A kegel is the name of a pelvic floor exercise, named after Dr. Kegel who discovered the exercise. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in your pelvic organs. To try and isolate these muscles trying stopping and starting the flow of urine.
How do I do the kegel exercise?
Once you have located the muscles simply tighten and relax the mucsle over and over, about 200 times a day. These are basic kegels. There are many variations on kegels: elevator kegels (Where you tighten slowly, in increments going in and out, like an elevator stopping on several floors.), you can hold the muscle tightened for five seconds, you can bulge the muscles out at the end, and many other variations.
Why would I want to do kegel exercises?
Kegeling provides many benefits:
- Conditioned muscles will make birth easier, and your perineum will more likely be intact (fewer tears and episiotomies)
- Sexual enjoyment is enhanced for both partners
- It can prevent prolapses of pelvic organs
- It can help prevent leaking urine when you sneeze or cough
You might also try perineal massage to decrease the likelihood of needing stitches after you give birth.