Kegel Exercise

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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

  • Weak pelvic muscles often lead to urine leakage.

  • Daily exercises can strengthen pelvic muscles.

  • These exercises often improve bladder control.

  • Ask your doctor or nurse if you are squeezing the right muscles.

  • Tighten your pelvic muscle before sneezing, lifting or jumping. This can prevent pelvic muscle damage and urine leakage.

  • Continue to exercise. If the exercises work, continue to do them, just like any other exercises.

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).

Exercise 1:

  • Quickly clench and release your PC muscle for a 10-second period -- take a 10-second break. Perform three sets, then take a 30-second break.

  • Clench and unclench for 5 seconds with 5-second breaks in between -- 10 times in a row.

  • Tighten your PC muscle for 30 seconds and release for 30 seconds -- 3 times in a row.

  • Repeat the first step and you're done for the day.

Exercise 2:

  • Tighten your muscle and hold for a count of 5, and release. Repeat 10 times.

  • Squeeze and release the muscle 10 times quickly. Repeat 3 times.

  • Tighten and release your PC muscle in long and short intervals for counts of 10. Repeat 3 times.

  • Squeeze your muscle and hold it for as long as you can. Try to work your way up to 120 seconds (relax, that's only two minutes).

Exercise 3:

  • Fully squeeze and release your muscle over and over again. Begin with one set of 30, and then slowly work your way up to over 100.

  • Squeeze as tightly as you possibly can (make sure it's only your PC muscle that you're clenching). Hold it for 20 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise 4:

  • Simply begin squeezing and releasing your muscle for 2 minutes a day and gradually work your way up to doing it for 20 minutes at least 3 times a day. You should eventually be able to perform at least 200 repetitions per session.

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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