Kegels Kegels Kegels
What is a Pelvic Floor? A thin sheet of muscles and connective tissue between the pubic bone and the sacrum or tailbone. They contract when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, preventing leakage of urine. They support and protect your pelvic organs. They help control passing urine and stool and play a role in sexual function during intercourse.
Many times, these muscles become weak and THIS is when something doesn’t feel right. Many times, people will feel like they cannot control their bathroom habits or feel a “pressure and bulging” sensation vaginally or rectally.
So, why would a pelvic floor be weak?
- Underuse. Like ANY muscle, pelvic floor muscles need exercise to work well. Regular exercises should be maintained through all stages of life.
- Damage to the muscles during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Change in hormones during menopause.
- Decreased muscle tone with aging.
- Damage to the muscles through long term straining when constipated, with a chronic cough, or with obesity.
Pelvic floor muscle strengthening, and retraining can improve bladder and bowel control as well as decrease symptoms of prolapse such as pressure and bulging with early stages of prolapse.
Many women will try Kegel exercises but become frustrated when they either do not improve the bothersome symptoms or women feel like they are not doing them correctly. Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are challenging to do correctly which is why Pelvic Floor Rehab can be beneficial.
Women undergo guided pelvic floor muscle retraining using a special set of sensors. During this training, women learn how to correctly use their Pelvic Floor Muscles to improve symptoms associated with various pelvic floor disorders.
This guided pelvic floor muscle training helps women learn to use their pelvic floor muscles in a meaningful way to treat urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and early stages of pelvic organ prolapse. It can also help reduce the risk of progression or recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse. During this training, women learn to isolate their “Kegel” muscle and strengthen it to improve pelvic floor symptoms.
Like most exercises, you may not feel your control improve until after 3-6 weeks or up to 6 months. DON’T GIVE UP! It is important to maintain strength of the muscles once you complete a series of exercises. This can be best recommended by your urogynecologist.
Keep in mind that with some pelvic floor conditions, trying these on your own can worsen your symptoms. Take the time to find educated training to help guide and teach you how to perform kegel exercises correctly!
Ref: IUGA: Pelvic Floor Muscle Rehabilitation