Kegel Exercises for Your Pelvic Muscles
What are Kegel exercises?
Stress incontinence can be treated with special exercises, called Kegel exercises. These exercises help strengthen the muscles that control the bladder. They can be done anywhere, any time.
Although designed for women, the Kegel exercises can also help men. It may take 3 to 6 months to see an improvement.
How do pelvic muscles get weak?
Pelvic muscles help stop the flow of urine.
For women, pregnancy, childbirth and being overweight can weaken the pelvic muscles.
For men, prostate surgery can weaken pelvic muscles. Weak pelvic muscles can cause you to leak urine.
Fortunately, pelvic muscles are just like other muscles--exercises can make them stronger. People who leak urine may have better control of these muscles by doing pelvic muscle exercises called Kegel exercises.
The instructions below focus on Kegel exercises for women because it is much more common for women to leak urine than for men.
If you are a man who leaks urine, talk to your doctor about whether Kegel exercises can help you.
Which muscles control my bladder?
At the bottom of the pelvis, several layers of muscle stretch between your legs. The muscles attach to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bones. Two pelvic muscles do most of the work. The biggest one stretches like a hammock. The other is shaped like a triangle.
These are the same muscles that you would use to try to stop the flow of urine. They are the muscles you will exercise and strengthen.
How do I exercise pelvic muscles?
You can exercise almost anywhere and any time - while driving in a car, at your desk or watching TV.
To locate the right muscles, try stopping or slowing your urine flow without using your stomach, leg or buttock muscles. When you're able to slow or stop the stream of urine, you've located the right muscles.
To exercise these muscles, just pull in or "squeeze" your pelvic muscles (as if you are trying to stop urine flow).
Hold this squeeze for about 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Do 3 to 4 sets of 20 contractions per day.
You may need to start slower, perhaps squeezing and relaxing your muscles for 4 seconds each and doing this 10 times, 3 or 4 times a day. Work your way up from there.
Be patient and continue to exercise. It takes time to strengthen the pelvic muscles, just like it takes time to improve the muscles in your arms, legs or abdomen. You may not notice any change in bladder control until after 6 to 12 weeks of daily exercises.
Still, most women notice an improvement after just a few weeks.
A few points to remember
There are different sets of exercises you can do. Select the one that is best suited for you and do it regularly. Always keep in mind that you should keep your other muscles relaxed (don't use momentum).
The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions
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