Thursday, January 19, 2017

All You Need To Know About Kegels

 Description - History

 We all have heard of them, some of us may have tried them out, some others may have put them in their daily exercise routine. But what exactly are kegels? What is their main purpose and what do we have to gain from them? Follow the lines below to find out.

 A little background check: In 1948, gynecologist dr Arnold Kegel first introduced these exercises as a form of treatment for looseness of the genital organs. He is also attributed with the invention of the Kegel perineometer (the instrument used to measure the strength of the pelvic floor muscles). His exercises continue to help in treating urinary stress incontinence and female genital prolapse, vaginal looseness and recovery from childbirth.


Pelvic floor muscles that contract during kegels
  Kegels are a simple series of exercises for the pubococcygeous muscles (the muscles and tissues that form the levator ani or, in plain English, all the mechanisms that support the urethra, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum). These exercises are performed by clenching and releasing the PC (pubococcygeous) muscles for a few seconds. The results take about 4 to 6 weeks to start showing, but kegels have proved to be really effective as a non-surgical treatment in several medical conditions including the enhancement of sexual pleasure. 




 A Kegels' Session

 Genital relaxation treatment was the main reason for the invention of these exercises. But this is not the only use for kegels. Let’s see how they actually work for us ladies. As I wrote above, the pubococcygeous muscles are a set of muscles that support the organs of the pelvic floor cavity. These are: the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina and rectum. It really doesn’t need to put much thought into it to understand that the stronger and healthier these muscles are, the better and more efficient these organs’ function will be. A strong PC muscle helps control urine flow, so it helps avoiding and even treating urinary incontinence (some forms of it). Moreover, the PC muscle supports the uterus and assists in childbirth. It also provides support to the vagina making its function vital when it comes to the control of vaginal contractions (tightening and releasing the vaginal walls). What is more, the PC muscle helps keeping the rectum sufficiently supported, as well as assisting in fecal incontinence.

 I think I got you covered on the reasons why it is important to take care of your pelvic floor muscles. And how are you going to do that? Simply by incorporating 3 triple sets of kegels in your daily routine (morning, afternoon and evening). Think of the profits you have to earn and don’t hesitate to try them. It’s not coincidence that doctors regularly recommend kegels. Read on to learn how to do them.


Step By Step

 Find The Right Muscles First

 Kegels are used for strengthening the PC muscles. I already told you where they are in your body, but can you track them? Are you capable of controlling them? It’s not difficult finding your muscles. First visit your bathroom, while you’re peeing, try to stop the urine flow and then let it go again. The movement you just made was a PC clench-and-release. Repeat this action a couple more times until you got it totally under your control. Don’t make a habit of it, though, because it’s not gonna bring you the results you wish for, it’s only gonna stress your bladder and might give you urine tract infections (UTI) in the future.

 Another way to track your PC muscle is to put your finger into your vagina and try to squeeze it. If finding the right muscles gives you a hard time, then you might need the help of your gynecologist. The main idea is to isolate the right muscle, when you’re doing the exercise be careful not to contract the muscles in your abdomen, sides, back or buttocks at the same time. The PC needs to work alone.


 How To Start

 Once you got the right muscles and the mechanism on how to control them, empty your bladder and find a comfortable position. If you’re a beginner, you need to start practicing while lying on your bed to get full understanding of the technique. After a few sessions you’ll be able to control the right muscles while doing almost anything, either sitting or on your feet.

 While you’re lying on your back contract your PC muscle and hold the contraction for 3-5 seconds (it depends on your ability) then release for equal time. Don’t hold your breath while contracting your muscles, it will help the rest of your body relax and improve your concentration. Perform 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions, 3 times a day. If you find 10 repetitions hard to achieve, then start with 5 and build up in time. As you become more advanced you might be able to keep your contraction for 10 seconds, but no more. You don’t want to overdo it because, like any other muscle, over-exercising will only fatigue your PC. 

 Results should start to show after 4-6 weeks of regular training, of course that depends on the person, but if you want to reap the fruits of your labor you must keep in mind that patience, persistence and discipline play the most important role. So don’t be disappointed if you’re not getting the results you expected immediately. Like any form of exercise, it takes time for the muscles to strengthen; all you need to do is stick to your training program and give your body the time it needs to see the transformation you aim at.

Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights - Beginners And Advanced Users If you've been training without any special equipment, you could try kegel weights to make your sessions more effective. Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights is a great example of vaginal training equipment. But if you are a beginner, I would recommend that you spend a little time trying to master the kegels' technique before incorporating weights to your programme.

 For a more effective training check my Ultimate Kegels Guide. There you can find plenty of exercises to perform with or without special vaginal training equipment. 


 Cautions 

 If you experience pain after doing kegels in your abdomen or back, it indicates that you’re not doing them the right way. 
 Keep in mind that you must isolate the PC muscles during kegel training, the rest of your core (abdomen, sides, back and buttocks) must remain loose. 
 Don’t hold your breath during the exercise, breathe normally.
 Always perform your exercises with an empty bladder. Don’t use kegels to stop and start urine flow repeatedly; this might prevent your bladder from emptying completely, putting you at a risk of urinary tract infections.
 Oh! And don’t exaggerate! Overstressing your muscles will probably leave them tired and unable to function properly. When you feel tired, stop, take a rest and try again later.
 Remember that you’re doing kegels to treat or prevent a health problem or even enhance sexual pleasure; you don’t want to get in more trouble because you did something wrong or had too much exercise.


 Benefits

 Kegels are one easy and inexpensive way of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, thus fighting weak bladder control, helping in labor, preventing fecal incontinence and enhancing sexual satisfaction.

 Pregnancy: Kegels during pregnancy are claimed to help the new mother have an easier delivery. They also assist in dealing with poor bladder control and hemorrhoids.
Kegels are also recommended after giving birth in order to speed the healing process of the perineal area and regain bladder control.

 Urinary incontinence: There are several types of urine incontinence. Kegels can be of help in treating or preventing some of them, especially stress and urge incontinence. For more information you should get advice from your doctor.

 Fecal incontinence: Kegel exercises are also claimed to have a positive effect on fecal incontinence. Since the PC muscle provides support to the rectum, a strong PC muscle helps gain control over a weak bowel.

 Women's health: A strong pelvic floor minimizes the chances of a prolapse (a condition when an organ starts to slip down from its place). When the pelvic floor loses its tone, organs like the uterus, bladder and bowel, or either a combination, start “falling down” and protruding into the vagina. Kegels help maintain a strong PC muscle, preventing such unpleasant situations.

 Women who lift heavy loads, have given birth vaginally or have gone through menopause are at a higher risk of prolapse, so they should practice kegels for their own well-being.

 Sexual pleasure: The PC muscle supports the vagina along with all the other organs of the pelvic floor. The PC also contracts during orgasm, so when it is well-trained and strong enough it can transform intercourse into a breathtaking experience. Sensitivity of the vagina increases, orgasms are easier to achieve, they are more frequent and more intense as well. In cases of vaginal looseness, kegel exercises can help tone up regain control over the saggy vagina, which brings back the lost feeling of tightness and the sense of friction needed to reach climax.


 Drawbacks

 One disadvantage of kegels is muscle fatigue when you practice them for too long. Exercising a muscle harder and more often than it needs and not allowing it for proper rest, leaves you with a tired muscle unable to perform its body function. To avoid overstressing your muscles just don’t overdo it. Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times a day until you start seeing results. The more the better doesn’t apply here.

 Another thing to keep in mind is that not all exercises fit all bodies. For some conditions kegels could be pointless or even harmful. They’re not a panacea (greek word to describe one treatment for all problems) for every pelvic floor health problem. There are certain conditions for which kegels won’t be of help. There are women who experience chronic tension in their pelvic floor muscles; which translates into their PC muscles being short and tight throughout most of the day. This can cause painful intercourse, a feeling of tension or even pain in the pelvic area or difficulty in starting urination. For these women, regardless of how many sets of kegels they perform, results are not showing. If you suffer from any of the above, you should get advice from your gynecologist and why not visit a women’s health physical therapist to help you release your PC muscles and balance the length and tension of your pelvic floor using other types of exercise. 


 Closure

 Every body is unique and you must take good care of yours. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor for any questions you might have. Your doctor knows your medical record and is a person you trust with your life and well-being, so if you are in any of the above cases or you feel uncertain about the suitability of kegels for you, have a talk with your gynecologist, before you do anything that would put you in trouble in the future.

 Kegels have been recommended by gynecologists to fight looseness of the vagina, urinary incontinence and a couple of other conditions. Their promised effect on your body is a tighter and stronger pelvic floor, more sensitive to touch. This translates into a bunch of health profits and sexual life enhancement. For some women they might not work, for others they may change their life. It’s up to you whether you’ll try them, make them part of your daily routine or reject them.

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