The Importance Of Keeping Up Your Kegels!

Kegel exercises (pelvic floor muscle exercises) are an important part of female health and are too frequently overlooked. So we’re promoting a Keep Your Kegels up month.

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The best gynaecologist advice in Durban is not just focused on reproductive organs; it always encompasses your overall physical and mental health. And at Dr Nitesh’s clinic, we always aim for you to live your best life!

The Kegel Explanation

Kegels do a simple thing ‒ they strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you understand how incredibly important the pelvic floor is, then the Kegels will hit the top of your priority list instantly!

A strong pelvic floor will:

  • Prevent you from accidentally:
    • peeing in your pants or the bed for no reason, or when you cough, sneeze, laugh, get a surprise, trip, do other exercise or have sex
    • soiling your pants, or the bed, in the above scenarios
    • passing gas in the above scenarios
  • Help improve your orgasms
  • Help prevent your uterus, bladder and bowel from drooping down into the vagina (Pelvic Organ Prolapse)

Is that priority list changing already?

Why Does Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Happen?

A common misperception is that POP is only due to natural childbirth. Various factors can stress the pelvic floor muscles and weaken them:

  • Being overweight
  • Genetics
  • Ageing – pelvic floor, rectum and anus muscles weaken with age. Loss of estrogen exacerbates this.
  • Frequent daily sneezing, coughing and laughing
  • Certain exercises, especially jumping, running and ‘jarring’ high-impact exercises Extreme strain can also cause it, e.g. heavy weight lifting and contact sports
  • Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth
  • Pelvic surgery, including but not limited to cesareans

Right, Let’s Get “Kegeling”

First step, find your pelvic floor muscles. Try stopping a pee mid-flow and you will instantly feel the pelvic floor engage. NOTE: Only do this until you learn how it feels because stopping and starting mid-pee is unhealthy.

Ease into Kegels with a small number twice a day and build up the length of time and the number of exercises per “set” or “session”. Two sets a day should be the minimum.

To do the exercise, lift and hold your pelvic floor muscles by lifting, squeezing, holding (3 seconds) and releasing over a short span of time. Rest for 3 seconds. Over the coming weeks, slowly increase the seconds and number of sets. Ten repeats will make one set.

If you find it difficult to do the Kegel exercises, book a chat with Dr Nitesh and let’s find a solution for you.

Kegel Tips

You can lie down or sit or stand when doing these exercises.

When you start, take it easy, don’t strain the muscles as that is counterproductive.

Remember to breathe and avoid holding your breath. Don’t squeeze your inner thigh, back, buttocks or stomach muscles. If you are, then you are not getting your Kegels right. Pause and refocus before starting again.

You should start noticing a difference within 12 weeks of doing the exercise every day, which is the same amount of time you need to get muscles fit for a sport.

Chat to Dr Nitesh today, the best gynaecologist in Durban focused on holistic female health. Happy Keep Your Kegels Up month!