People suffering from medical conditions like urinary incontinence, pelvic prolapse or erectile dysfunction are benefited by kegel exercises. This Buzzle article covers all the benefits associated with these exercises.
Kegel exercises are performed to strengthen pelvic floor muscles of the body. Both, men and women, can benefit from these easy-to-perform exercises. They are used to treat several problems associated with the pubococcygeus or PC muscle. This muscle stretches between the tail bone and pubic bone, and acts as a support for the organs in the pelvic region. Kegel exercises aim at controlling, toning and strengthening this muscle, along with other pelvic floor muscles. The benefits associated with regular practice of these exercises are mentioned in the following sections.
Kegel Exercise Benefits
- Urinary incontinence is observed in many women after childbirth. This is because childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles, including the PC muscle thereby, making it difficult for women to control the flow of urine. When kegel exercises are performed, pelvic floor muscles or the muscles which are used to stop the flow of urine are toned and strengthened, thus, treating the problem of urinary incontinence.
- Pelvic prolapse is a medical condition, when organs situated in the pelvic region like vagina, uterus, and rectum fall out-of-place or slip out of the body. This condition occurs due to weak pelvic floor muscles. Weakened pelvic floor muscles are predominantly found in postmenopausal women, probably because of reduced or absent sexual activity or childbirth. Kegel exercises prevent pelvic prolapse by strengthening the PC muscle, that acts like a hammock, to keep the organs in the right position.
- Pregnant women are advised to keep doing these exercises every day, so as to prepare the pelvic floor muscles for pregnancy. Toning these muscles will maintain their strength during childbirth and prevent them from weakening.
- Women who exercise the pelvic floor muscles consistently before delivery, are capable of relaxing muscles of the perineum, better than women who do not do it. Relaxing the perineum muscles helps in minimizing labor pain.
- Apart from relieving labor pain, these exercises also reduce the risk of tearing of perineum muscles, thereby, lowering the need of episiotomy. In episiotomy, a surgical incision is made on the perineum and posterior wall of the vagina to prevent vaginal tears.
- A study published in the British Medical Journal has inferred that, women who did kegel exercises before childbirth had short labor. The second stage of labor, which involves ‘pushing’, continued for a lesser time. It was also stated that, the need of carrying out a C-section was also reduced in these women.
- Vaginal muscles become loose after childbirth due to stretching. These exercises can be done after delivery so as to regain muscle tightness.
- Hemorrhoids are commonly found to occur in women during pregnancy and after childbirth. It is characterized by inflamed veins of the anus, which are extremely painful, specially when sitting upright. Kegel exercises are known to reduce the risk of developing this problem.
- Doing them every day, in the right way, improves the sexual health of a woman. Strengthened pelvic floor and vaginal muscles help in attaining strong orgasms without any difficulty.
- Men with erectile dysfunction face problems in reaching orgasms. Exercising PC muscle through these exercises helps in solving this problem to some extent.
- Pelvic floor exercises also help in gaining control over ejaculation. PC muscle plays an important role in achieving orgasms, therefore, having a good control over it can make the life of men suffering from premature ejaculation a lot easier.
- Like women, men also suffer from urinary incontinence which can be controlled by performing kegel exercises for five minutes, 2-3 times daily.
- Medical conditions related to prostate gland like inflammation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostatitis cause a lot of pain and inflammation. Patients facing these problems are recommended kegel exercises for relief.
- Studies have concluded that men doing PC exercises have reported improved sexual control and satisfaction.
Kegel exercises are easy to perform, but, you need to first identify the right muscle to exercise. Exercises for men are different from women. Once the PC muscle is identified, people can practice it at any time and any place, without anyone knowing about it. For those who don’t know how to do kegel exercises, it is better to consult a physician who is the right person to explain the method. If done regularly and correctly, these can help in preventing and treating a lot of problems in men and women.