Kegel exercises for an impermeable life
Kegel exercises are key – for better strength, swiftness and endurance. Just like any exercise. Almost. And it can also improve your sex life!
3 min read
The muscle group stretching from the pelvic bone to the tailbone makes up the floor of the pelvis – the pelvic floor. It supports the abdominal organs and its primary function is to control urine, gases and faeces. When you have given birth, the muscle is weakened by the strain and you need to train it back into shape. If you don’t keep up with your pelvic floor training, you risk long-term problems with incontinence. With the help of contracting and relaxing exercises, you’ll quickly get your muscles in the pelvic floor back in shape and be able to keep the urine in. So get into a routine with everyday Kegel exercises – even before you give birth!
First of all, you need to find the right muscles. It’s called identification contraction. Lay on your back and relax. Contract your rectum as if you were keeping gas in. Contract forward around the vagina and urinary tract. Contract upwards; it should feel like something inside you is lifted up, and hold the contraction for three seconds. Let go of the contraction slowly. Keep doing this until you can do 10 identification contractions in a row. When you’ve found the right muscles you can move on.
The next step is to practice the strength. Contract as hard as you can and hold for five seconds. Relax for five seconds and repeat until you can do this ten times in a row. After that, you can start practising parrying pressure from when you lift, sneeze, laugh or cough. Then you practice swiftness. Make a quick contraction and hold for three seconds. Then let go and relax for the same amount of time. Repeat ten times in a row. Try to get into the habit of always contracting (or “squeezing” as it’s referred to in Swedish) when you feel that you are about to sneeze, laugh and so on.
You also need to practice endurance for your pelvic floor so that you can keep it in when you exhaust yourself like when you are exercising or doing physical labour. Contract and hold for 30 seconds. Practice it and then increase gradually until you can contract for two minutes in a row. The goal is for you to be able to contract continually for two minutes, three times per day, not too long after having given birth. If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, you will need to practice for three to six months to reach the goal. If your pelvic floor is weakened and you leak urine or notice an increased feeling of gravity, you should do the exercises more often. Contact a midwife or gynaecologist if it doesn’t work. Don’t give up – “squeezing” is always worthwhile!
Reviewed by Preggers
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