Men and women have a pelvic floor muscle referred to as a kegel muscle. The pelvic floor muscle supports the uterus, bladder, small intestine and the rectum. Overtime health conditions due to the natural aging process or lifestyle changes can cause the muscle to weaken leading to health disorders.
For women, pregnancy and childbirth can add weight, pressure and stress to these muscles. In some instances, excessive straining from constipation, chronic coughing or being overweight can trigger pelvic floor muscle problems.
In response to these conditions, there are a series of kegel muscle exercises that can help to prevent urinary incontinence or other pelvic floor problems. The exercises involve learning to contract and relax the muscle. For best results, you need to make it a daily habit of working the muscle.
Strengthening the pelvic floor muscle can prevent urinary leakage when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Routine exercising helps to increase your bladder control. For women who are pregnant or just given birth, these exercises can help prevent urinary or fecal incontinence.
Here’s how this muscle works. When the pelvic floor muscles relaxes, you urinate. When you stop, it tightens. Biologically, the function of contracting the floor muscles closes the lower urethra. If you are experiencing leakage, you may be dealing with weak muscles.
Be sure to empty your bladder before contracting the kegel muscle. Start slowly. Contract the pelvic floor muscles and hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat the same process, building up to holding the contraction for ten seconds and relax. For the most effective workout, do not engage your abdomen, thighs or buttock muscles. Be sure to breathe while doing the exercises. Inhale while contracting and exhale as you relax. Depending on the severity of your health, make an effort of working towards ten repetitions, three times a day.
It takes time to learn how to isolate and exercise the right muscles. There are devices available that help you hold the contractions. Some are prescribed by your health care provider for use with professional supervision. Others are available without a prescription. Most individuals find using the device easier when laying down. It could take two weeks or several months before you notice less urine leakage. The goal is to restore the muscle’s function and the bladder control. Before you make any changes to your health routines, talk with your doctor.
Kegel workouts are one of the best ways to improve and support bladder and bowel functions. The condition can is embarrassing, but the more often you exercise the muscle, the sooner you will notice a significant improvement. Besides, improving the pelvic floor muscle is important to your health and your lifestyle.