Do You Know How To Perform A Correct Kegel?
When you sneeze, do you leak urine? When you have a strong urge to go, do you leak urine? If this is happening to you, your pelvic floor muscles may be weak!
Both men and women can have weak pelvic floor muscles. This comes from not using the pelvic floor muscles daily. Just like any muscle, you must use it, or you will lose the strength of that muscle. But how do you strengthen those pelvic floor muscles? Kegels.
How Do I Find The Muscle To Perform A Correct Kegel?
First, you must identify your pelvic floor muscles. This can be done by stopping the flow of urine when utilizing the bathroom. You have just done your first Kegel! If you can slow down your urinary stream, but cannot stop it, you are using your pelvic floor muscles , However these muscles weak. This is the one and only time you should stop your flow of urine. Stopping your flow of urine frequently can lead to retention of urine and further urinary complications.
How Do I Perform A Kegel Properly?
It is recommended that you should begin doing Kegels on your back or in side lying, whichever is more comfortable for you. Once in a comfortable position try holding your Kegel contraction for 3 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. While doing a Kegel, try to feel the contraction externally. To do this, you can lay on your side, place your hand near the opening of your anus, then perform your Kegel . You should feel your anus pucker in & lift up. Make sure you are not using other muscles, like your abdominals, thighs or buttocks. When doing the Kegels make sure you feel like the muscles are squeezing up and in, and not bearing down like you are having a bowel movement. Continue doing 3 second Kegel holds, 10x in a row. Gradually increase the length of time you can hold the Kegel contraction to 10 and even 20 seconds.
How Long Should I Perform My Kegel Exercises?
It is important to perform your Kegel exercises daily as a life time habit. Make sure you relax in between each Kegel contraction! A common mistake when learning to perform a Kegel is people stop too early into the activity because they think Kegel exercises are not helping. Practice makes perfect, if you are doing the Kegel contraction right! It may take up to 3-4 months of performing Kegel exercises before you notice improvement.
I Feel Like I Can’t Do My Kegel Exercise Correctly!
Still having difficulties getting the Kegel “just right” or think there may be an underlying pelvic floor dysfunction issue. Click here to your set up an appointment or a free screening to talk with one of our pelvic floor specialists.
Written by Kaitlin Willin PTA. Kaitlin sees pelvic floor patients at our Salisbury, Seaford and Millsboro offices.