Kegel Exercises

September 15, 2011

These are a series of exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the vagina. These exercises are easily learned and can be performed as convenient. Women who have strong vaginal muscles are less likely to suffer from urine incontinence or prolapse of the pelvic organs. Kegel exercises performed after childbirth promote healing of the vagina and help restore tone to the vaginal area.

The technique for Kegel exercises is simple. The woman firsts learns to contract her pelvic muscles by identifying the location of these muscles. A simple way to do this is to insert a finger into the vagina and attempt to squeeze the vaginal muscles around the finger. Another technique would be attempt to halt the flow of urine while urinating. This may be difficult at first but will become easier as the pelvic muscles become stronger.

At first, the muscles should be contracted for 2-4 seconds followed by a period of muscle relaxation. This exercise can be repeated five times. As the pelvic muscle strength increases, more repetitions can be performed and held for longer periods. Avoid holding the breath during the activity. These exercises can be performed without other people being aware of the activity.

SEE ALSO: Pelvic organ prolapse, Urinary incontinence and voiding dysfunction

Suggested Reading

  • The Boston Women’s Health Collective (p. 274) (1998). New York: Touchtone.
  • Varney, H. (1997). Varney’s midwifery (p. 156). London: Jones & Bartlett.

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