What are Kegel exercises?
In 1948, Dr. Arnold Kegel highlighted a series of exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, urethra, uterus, and rectum. Today, these exercises are more commonly known as Kegel exercises, in a homage to their famous inventor.
Is there a good time to start doing them?
You start them whenever and wherever! Only you personally will know when you are doing them, so you can do them at any time and any place without others knowing it.
It is the Pubococcygeus muscle (PC) which controls both your orgasm and urination. Therefore, learning to control your PC muscle will enable you to have multiple orgasms and consequently enhance your sex life, sounds good to us!
Having control over your PC muscle through Kegel exercise is hugely beneficial for both men and women.
What are the benefits of Kegel exercises for women?
Many women have found that negative sexual issues can arise after childbirth., such as the loosening of the vagina. The vagina begins to loosen up almost immediately after conceiving your first child, and this is worsened with every birth following the initial one.
This can negatively affect your sex life which is why Kegel exercises are so beneficial and important for women as Kegels enable the vagina to get tighter. The results are not seen immediately but if you persist in these exercises you will begin to see the effects in as early as two months.
Are there any more advantages to doing them?
Kegel exercises come with an array of extra health benefits. These include:
- Multiple orgasms which will enable you to have a more fulfilling and enjoyable sex life
- Avoiding incontinence because you will have more control over the muscle
- An increase in self-confidence and self-esteem
- Feeling younger and more energised
- Hastens the recovery of the muscles after future childbirth
How do women do Kegel exercises?
You must first find your PC muscles and to do this, squeeze the muscles around your back passage as if preventing wind from escaping, then continue squeezing forward around the walls of the vagina, pulling up inside.
When you contract your pelvic floor muscles, you should feel as if you are lifting them in addition to squeezing them. It is important not to hold your breath or squeeze you bottom but squeeze as if you are trying to avoid farting.
Keep breathing and relax between each contraction. If you are a beginner to pelvic floor exercises, aim to do these three times daily, every day for three months, then at least once a day for the rest of your life. If you feel that coughing, sneezing or lifting makes you leak, try a pelvic floor squeeze to prevent this happening.
Do them whilst on the phone, at your desk, waiting in the queue, no one will know but you and your sex life and urinary control will benefit too!
Some people prefer to use kegel exercise balls or beads to make the process easier.
The exercise balls help you perform Kegel exercises correctly so that you can effectively target the intended muscle. Kegel exercises for women follow a sequence of squeezing, holding, and releasing of the PC muscles. At first you may find it difficult holding the PC muscles contracted but practice, practice, practice and you will definitely improve!
The Lelo Luna Smart Bead is a vibrating pelvic floor exerciser which offers a daily 5 minute exercise programme to follow and allows you to track your progress by increasing the strength of vibrations, the stronger your PC muscles become.
The MyStim range of vibrators are ideal if you want both a vibrator and a pelvic floor exerciser as they combine vibratory and electrical stimulation and have a pelvic floor exercise programme to follow.
If you are unsure about technique, you can seek advice from a women’s health physiotherapist who will teach you how to do the exercises.
What are the benefits of Kegel exercises for men?
Often seen as something only done by women, pelvic floor exercises can benefit the sexual health of men, making erections stronger, last longer and improving sexual performance. Research by the University of the West of England Bristol (2003) found that pelvic floor exercises may be very effective in treating erectile problems when performed regularly.
Researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome (2014) have demonstrated that pelvic floor exercises can help men control premature ejaculation, making sexual intercourse more pleasurable and satisfactory for them and their partners. According to researchers, Kegel exercises also increases blood flow to the penis so men can sustain erections and orgasm.
One of the primary benefits for men is to improve bladder control in urinary incontinence. Incontinence is the inability to voluntarily hold urine in the bladder. Urinary incontinence is related to ageing and other diseases affecting normal bladder control. Although there can sometimes be more serious causes, the primary cause of incontinence is that the pelvic floor muscles are not strong enough to hold the urine in or support the bladder. Over time, kegel exercises can really help to improve this issue.
Kegels can be used for pain management in men with prostate gland conditions. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the rectum. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer are diseases in which there is an enlargement or inflammation of the prostate gland, which causes pain during urination.
Promote erectile function/continence post prostate surgery and treament
Male pelvic floor exerciese are recommended to people who have has prostate surgery and post cancer treament to help improve the quality of erections and continence. Pelvic health physiotherpaists teach patients prior to treatment and surgery and then continue post operatively/treatment to help people regain their erectile function and continence.
Working with a pelvic health physiotherpist pre op is so important but not often recommended to men requiring prostate surgery. Teaching them how to do their pelvic floor exercises is much easier before surgery than post op when they may be in discomfort or feeling the side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Seek advice from a physiotherapist who can teach you how to perform pelvic floor exercises to ensure that you learn how to do them correctly, in order to benefit your sexual health. Your doctor should be able to recommend a suitable physiotherapist who is trained to treat male sexual health problems.
Improving Sexual Performance
Believe it or not, one of the amazing Kegel benefits for men is improving sexual performance. Performing Kegel exercises help men control premature ejaculation, making sexual intercourse more pleasurable and satisfactory for them and their partners. According to researchers, Kegel exercises also increases blood flow to the penis so men can sustain erections and orgasm.
How do men do Kegel exercises?
For you to achieve all these important benefits for men, you must first know how to do them correctly. You must first find your PC muscles, and you can do this during urination. When the flow of urine starts, try to stop it, which renders the feeling of your PC muscles being tightened. You should not do this too often because it can cause urinary problems.
Once you find the muscle, you can begin exercising. Another way is by inserting a finger into your anus and trying to grip it. If you are successful, you are now ready to do Kegel exercises for men. Benefits follow a sequence of squeezing, holding and releasing of the PC muscles.
At first you may find it difficult to hold the PC muscles but practice will help you improve this. A sign that you are doing the correct Kegel exercise is when you feel lifting of the testicles. Start doing pelvic floor exercises today and reap the benefits for years to come.
Again, if you are unsure how to do the exercises, seek advice from a men’s health physiotherapist who is trained to teach pelvic floor exercises for men.
Please note that Kegel Exercise Balls are not suitable for men.
Want to read more? Then take a look at our In Depth Look At Kegel Exercise Balls article.
Association of Chartered Physiotherapists :www.csp.org.uk
Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecology Physiotherapy: https://pogp.csp.org.uk/