“What are kegel exercises?
These exercises are used to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. They are done by tightening and releasing the pubococcygeus muscles several times a day. If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about, bear with me! These are the same muscles we use to stop our urine flow. To practice, pretend that is exactly what you’re doing. Hold it for ten seconds, and then release it. Women use these exercises for increased sexual pleasure; however, there is another extremely important reason to use them.
Kegel exercises are the best protection against postpartum complications.
After you have a baby, your pubococcygeus muscles can be significantly weaker than before. This can lead to many complications including:
Incontinence is when you are unable to hold your urine while sneezing, laughing or anything else that puts strain on the pelvic muscles.
Uterine Prolapse is a weakening of the muscles that support the uterus, and can cause the uterus to dip down into the vaginal opening.
Cystocele is a condition in which the bladder is unsupported by the pelvic muscles, and therefore it can sag down into the opening of the vagina.
Rectocele happens when the uterus is not supported by the pelvic muscles, so it dips down until it is only supported by the rectum.
These are frightening and even embarrassing concepts, but can all be prevented by practicing the Kegel exercises. Start off slowly until you build the muscle to do more. Here is an example of a beginning exercise to get you started.
The Clinch – Lie down or sit comfortably, and tighten your pelvic muscles, just like you would to stop your urine flow. (Never actually do this while you are urinating, as it can cause urinary tract infections.) Hold it for up to five seconds, and then release. Repeat this ten times a day to start out with. You can gradually work your way up to twenty times a day.
It’s amazing how something as small as these exercises can prevent us from developing very serious, embarrassing, and expensive conditions. Practice these exercises daily to maintain good pelvic muscle tone and health.”