Kegel Exercises brief

Kegel is a term used to refer to exercises aimed at restoring and increasing the tone of the pubococcygeus muscle by regular clenching and unclenching. Kegel exercises find their roots from ancient traditions. They were first developed by the Taoist movement in China. In those times, exercises were meant to strengthen various muscles in order to promote health, longevity, spiritual development and also better sex. Later on, Dr. Arnold Kegel adapted the “program” to the modern world, vastly promoted and contributed to make the exercises very popular.

The aim of Kegel exercises is to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. The muscles are engaged during urination, bowel movements, sexual intercourse and, in women, during childbirth.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments which support the bladder, uterus (womb) and bowel. The openings from these organs, the urethra from the bladder, the vagina from the uterus and the anus from the bowel pass through the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles attach to your pubic bone at the front and the tail bone at the back and from the base of your pelvis.

Age, surgery, childbirth, being overweight and specific medical conditions can cause weakening in the area, leading to urinary and bowel incontinence. In men, weakening of the pelvis can also lead to premature ejaculation. In both sexes, it can cause decreased sexual gratification.

Stress incontinence is when a person “leaks” urine during laughing, sneezing or coughing. Urge incontinence is when a person feels a sudden urge to “go” and can’t quite make it to the bathroom. These conditions occur in both sexes, but are most common in women after pregnancy, childbirth or caesarean section.

The pc muscles become weakened during natural childbirth, as a result of increased pressure on the area during pregnancy and may also be affected by C-section.
Kegel exercises can also strengthen and tone the vaginal walls following natural childbirth.

The pc muscles are like any muscle of the body. If they are not engaged or “worked out” frequently, they become weak and eventually atrophy. Vaginal atrophy is a particular problem for post-menopausal women.

In women, loss of muscle tone in the area can lead to vaginal or uterine prolapse, sometimes referred to as fallen womb. Those conditions can be quite uncomfortable and in some cases require surgical treatment. But, the root cause is a collapse of the pelvic floor, which holds the organs in place.

Kegel exercises can prevent these conditions and can be helpful in treating them, as well. The exercises are also useful tightening and toning the vaginal muscles which increases sexual gratification.