Kegel Exercises to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

Kegel Exercises to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

What are the causes of pelvic floor weakness? We will inform you about how to strengthen your pelvic floor through Kegel exercises

A woman should give the utmost care her body, from the more visible aspects such as skin and hair, to aspects which tend to go unnoticed, which often happens with the pelvic floor.

Many times we overlook less visible aspects of our body, but health includes our external health to our internal, invisible health, as happens with the pelvic floor.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

This is a set of tissues that are located in the lower abdomen, in charge of maintaining all of the pelvic organs, the bladder, the uterus and the rectum, in the correct position for proper functioning.

Pelvic floor anatomy

Causes of Pelvic Floor issues

Factors

Their weakening is more common than is believed, as it can be caused by various factors:

  • Existence of some natural weakness in the tissues and ligaments;
  • Obesity;
  • Certain physical high-impact activities like lifting weights;
  • And there is even the possibility of injury by playing wind instruments.

Pregnancy

Despite this, pelvic weakness may also occur by pregnancy and natural delivery.

This is because the muscles are forced to endure not only the weight gain that is naturally generated with the growth of the foetus, but must also cope with the physical and hormonal changes that occur within the body before and during delivery.

Pregnant

These muscles can be stretched and can cause irreparable damage.

Menopause

When a woman’s body reaches a certain age, it is subjected to physical and hormonal changes that directly affect the muscles of the body, including the intra-abdominal muscles.

Menopause

Menopause can also affect the pelvic floor in a natural way.

The recurrence of this weakness can be verified with the research carried out by Kaiser Permanente, which is referenced by ELMUNDO.es, which assures that from the study carried out in California in 2008, it turned out that between “… the 4,000 participants, 37% suffered from one or more pelvic floor alterations. From pathologies, 25% suffered anal incontinence, 15% urinary, 13% had overactive bladder and 6% pelvic organ prolapse.”

Debilitating Pelvic Floor symptoms

This possibility of suffering from disorders can range from urinary incontinence to a prolapse or a collapse of the pelvic organs.

There are problems related to natural birth and hindrance of sexual relations, the latter being one of the first signs.

The physiotherapist, Antonio Meldaña conducted an interview with ELMUNDO.es where he stated that “The pelvic floor is a key piece in sexual relations in both men and women. It is part of the mechanism of erection and ejaculatory control in the man and in the intensity and quality of orgasm in the woman”, hence the importance of knowing and strengthening the pelvic musculature.

Can the Pelvic Floor be strengthened?

Exercises to work this type of muscle group, are fundamental, according to Madrilenian physiotherapist Esta Pérez

She told ELMUNDO.es that “the good condition of the pelvic floor influences the quality of life of women in a remarkable way, and this is appreciated by those who, after suffering some discomfort, have managed to reduce or eliminate it thanks to conscious and supervised work”.

A series of exercises, known as Kegel Exercises, are recommended for this purpose.

Exercises to strengthen the Pelvic Floor

Kegel Exercises

The Kegel Exercises are a series of contractions of the pelvic muscles that are intended to strengthen the tissues in the area.

This acts to control the bladder muscle, the one in charge of controlling the flow of urine. It’s necessary to know if it is being performed in the right way so it is recommended to do it while urinating.

When performing this type of exercise, both the buttocks and thighs and abdomen should be kept relaxed, only tensing the bladder and anus.

Kegel

How to perform these exercises?

We must perform 10 series of 10 contractions, between 3 and 5 times a day, in order to enjoy results for the next 3 weeks. These exercises can be done at any time of the day, anywhere and in any position.

Benefits of Strengthening the Pelvic Floor

When labour occurs, having done these exercises, they can make it easier, and they can reduce the chances of suffering tears and haemorrhoids and even allow for a faster recovery period.

Exercising the pelvic muscle for women before childbirth and during pregnancy, helps to control and decrease the risks of suffering from incontinence, something important to mention.

Recovery of the Pelvic Floor postpartum

The benefits of carrying them out after the birth:

  • Avoid the possibility of a collapse of pelvic organs,
  • Regain control of sphincters,
  • Improve blood circulation; and the
  • Increase of sexual pleasure.

Gravidez

Performing Kegel exercises is especially important after childbirth because medium- and high-intensity exercises that can generate abdominal pressure should be avoided, which increase the chance of complications.

Sources

  1. Centrada en Ti. ¿Por qué es tan importante el suelo pélvico para la mujer?
  2. El Mundo (2008) Una de cada tres mujeres tiene alteraciones del suelo pélvico.
  3. Inatal. El suelo pélvico y los beneficios de ejercitarlo.
  4. Portaladín, B (2012) Fortalecer el suelo pélvico también mejora las relaciones sexuales.

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About María José García
María José García
María José has been connected to sport throughout her whole life. She has competed in several sport disciplines such as skating, swimming or gymnastics since she was a little girl.
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