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Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises for bladder control and better health

Chances are you’ve heard of Kegel exercises. You may have even tried to perform them a few times, but did you know these exercises can really help improve your health? When performed properly, Kegels help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles provide vital support for your bladder, uterus, rectum and small intestine. When pelvic muscles get weak, you may leak urine or have other problems. Our Austin urologists are happy to educate and advise you about Kegels, also known as pelvic floor muscle training.

Pelvic floor muscle training can improve your health

Kegel exercises can help you prevent or cope with pelvic floor muscle weakness. There are many things in women’s lives that can weaken your pelvic floor muscles.

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Chronic constipation that causes straining
  • Surgery
  • Aging

Urinary incontinence can cause problems such as urine leakage when you laugh, cough or sneeze, or a sudden, strong urge to urinate. Kegels can help you manage your symptoms. Pelvic floor muscle training can also help manage symptoms such as leaking stool or gas.

How to perform Kegels

The first step in properly performing Kegel exercises is figuring out which muscles you are supposed to be working. Think about how you try to prevent urinating, and squeeze those muscles. Once you locate the right muscles, you can squeeze and hold the muscles for five to eight seconds, repeating the process five to 10 times. You can do the exercises three times a day. Here are some tips for performing Kegels properly.

  • Empty your bladder before you do the exercises.
  • Focus solely on the pelvic floor muscles, while trying to keep your buttocks, hips and abdomen relaxed.
  • Perform Kegels when you cough, lift heavy things, or do anything that makes you leak urine.
  • You can practice Kegels anywhere, anytime, as long as you focus on the correct muscles. Sitting, standing or lying down is fine as long as you stay relaxed and don’t cross your legs.

Our team can help you learn to perform Kegel exercises properly

If you feel like you aren’t really getting the hang of pelvic floor muscle exercises, we can help. Our Austin urologists can help you locate the right muscles and give you tips on how to perform the exercises. Pelvic floor physical therapy can also help with techniques such as biofeedback. This involves a device that helps you isolate the proper muscles. It also makes you more aware of how to breathe properly, relax nearby muscles and increase your awareness of what proper contraction and relaxation feels like during Kegels.

Our Austin urologists provide expert help for women’s urology problems

Whether you are dealing with symptoms of urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or other women’s health issues, our urologists are here for you. Contact us for an appointment with one of our caring, professional physicians to learn more about Kegel exercises and pelvic floor muscle training.

Dr Stacy Ong
NAU Urology Specialist