A lot of people never think about their pelvic floor muscles.. In fact it’s something we take for granted on a daily basis. The P.C. muscles can be made stronger by regularly doing kegel exercises. The pelvic floor contains the group of muscles which support the bladder, uterus, and bowel. I never gave this area much thought until after the birth of my first child. It can be helpful to understand more about your pelvic floor and why it is important, as well as why it is necessary to strengthen it.
Many things contribute to the weakening of the pelvic floor. Pregnancy and carrying around extra weight in general are two typical causes. Like a lot of women I had both of these causes weakening my pelvic floor by my third pregnancy. When the pelvic floor weakens enough for the pelvic organs to sag and descend into your vagina that’s known as a vaginal prolapse. This condition has several varying degrees, the worst needing surgery to correct. Incontinence, pain, and even embarrassment can result from a prolapse. Using kegel exercises daily can help prevent a prolapse and in some cases can even help fix a minor degree of prolapse. If you suspect you have a prolapse always see your OB/GYN to rule out the need for physical therapy or surgery.
Try to stop the flow of urination while using the bathroom if you want to identify the pelvic floor muscles. Another description would be to squeeze the muscles between your vagina and rectum. You can also insert two clean fingers into your vagina and try squeezing them with your vagina. You will feel the pelvic floor move upwards as the walls of your vagina tighten.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
- Squeeze tight the pelvic floor muscles and hold them for five seconds. Then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do this 3 times a day.
- As your strength increase you can increase the number of repetitions to 15 then 20 and beyond each set.
I find that doing my Kegel exercises with a Ben Wa ball can be easier. Using the ball provides much better feedback for the body to react to while doing the kegel exercises. With Ben Wa balls many women find that they work harder and see faster results while doing kegel exercises. The downside is of course that it takes a little more preparation to do the exercises with Ben Wa balls, so many women save them for their nighttime set.
One great thing about kegel exercises is that they are very discreet. You can do them in the car, in class, or with your morning coffee. To make a solid practice of doing your exercises my best tip is to integrate them into your current daily routine somehow. Do your first set with your coffee, the second set while your little ones are napping and the last set before bed.
As long as you do it, you will be thankful you made time to support your pelvic floor. Visit ben-wa-balls.org to learn more.