What Is Your Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor consists of muscles that surround the bladder, uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes. These muscles are responsible for maintaining continence during sexual activity and prevent urinary incontinence after childbirth. They also help with bowel movements.
Your pelvic floor muscles are not only strong enough to keep you from passing out during sexual activity, but they’re also strong enough to stop you from passing gas or diarrhea. Without them, you’d likely pass both symptoms at the same time! (And then it wouldn’t be a good day!)
When You Need To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor?
If you have any kind of incontinence issues, you need to strengthen your pelvic floor. If you’ve ever had pain while trying to go to the bathroom, or if there’s been times when you haven’t been able to control the urge to pass gas or diarrhea, strengthening your pelvic floor is one way that will make those problems disappear.
How To Do It
You can strengthen your pelvic floor in a number of different ways, but most of them involve doing Kegel exercises. If you’ve ever given birth before, then you may already be familiar with these and may have even been taught how to do them. If not, don’t worry! There are tons of articles on the web that can teach you about how to do them properly.
The important thing is to do them regularly. In fact, you should be doing your Kegels on a daily basis anyway because they improve urinary and fecal incontinence, prevent postpartum fecal incontinence, and can even help with sexual performance. There’s really no reason not to be doing them every day, so hop to it!
When You Shouldn’t Do Them
Even though Kegel exercises are very beneficial and help a ton of women with incontinence issues, you shouldn’t do them if you have vaginal mesh complications. In fact, you should consult your doctor before doing any at all if you have this issue.
Vaginal mesh complications can cause painful problems such as cuts and abrasions that make Kegels very unpleasant to do. Not to mention the fact that you probably shouldn’t be doing a lot of exercises if you have a complication like this anyway.
How Many Kegels Should You Do?
As with any sort of exercise, it’s always better to do too much than not enough. However, if you’re just starting then just start off slow and work your way up from there. There’s no benefit to doing so many Kegels in one day that you cause yourself pain or soreness. In fact, if you’re experiencing any sort of pain during your kegel exercises, then you’re probably doing them wrong and you should stop immediately.
When you’re starting out with your kegel exercises, try doing around ten of them in a row, twice a day. This is a good amount to prevent incontinence without being too much work on your body. You can slowly increase the amount as your body gets used to the exercise and can handle more.
If you experience any pain, don’t do anymore that day and take a few days off. Once the pain subsides, you can try again. You should also remember to always warm up your muscles before doing kegel exercises. You can do this by taking a warm bath or by simply walking around a bit before sitting down to do them.
Incontinence doesn’t have to be a life sentence, you can do something about it! All you have to do is put in a little bit of effort and you’ll notice a vast improvement in both your quality of life and your confidence.
Sources & references used in this article:
Vaginal” tightness”: Myths, tips, and what you need to know about the pelvic floor by A Druet – helloclue.com
The Pelvic Floor-A Missing Link by J MENA – temporun-dpt.org
The Kegel: What it is, How to do it, and Why men, women, and children in Frederick should be doing them by CDV DC, MD Cassie, CW Treat – chiropractorfrederickmd.com
Kegel exercises and biofeedback by D Vickers, GW Davila – Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, 2008 – Springer
5 Key Steps for Lifting Safely with Pelvic Organ Prolapse by PRI Key – coreexercisesolutions.com
The pelvis revisited: Fitness for body, mind, and spirit by E Noble – International Journal of Childbirth Education, 2001 – search.proquest.com
How you can Train Your Computer Muscles Fast by N BRYANT – noahstrength.com
Natural Ways to Tighten your Vagina by L Jane – 2017 – okpeke.com
Is pilates as effective as conventional pelvic floor muscle exercises in the conservative treatment of post‐prostatectomy urinary incontinence? A randomised controlled … by FR Pedriali, CS Gomes, L Soares… – Neurourology and …, 2016 – Wiley Online Library