How Kegel Exercises Can Help You Long after Birth

Written by yvonnethornton on November 22nd, 2012

Of course you’ve heard about Kegel exercises before. In fact, you probably did some of your own when you were pregnant. When you perform Kegel exercises, you strengthen the floor of your pelvis, which is an excellent way to prepare your body for birth and push more effectively in the delivery room when the big day finally arrives. Believe it or not though, Kegel exercises can be helpful even if you’re not planning on giving birth any time soon. Actually, they’re extremely helpful for women going into menopause. Studies show that Kegel exercises are a great way to prevent incontinence.

As we get older, our ability to hold in urine when we really have to go lessens. It’s simply a part of aging, and it usually comes on during menopause. Whether you’re having a laughing fit with the girls over brunch or rushing to the bathroom at a crowded sports game, you just won’t be able to hold it in like you used to. It’s common and nothing to be ashamed of, but regular Kegel exercises will improve your ability to hold it until you find a bathroom.

Your physician can help you learn how to do Kegel exercises if you’ve never done them before, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to do them anywhere.  Your daily Kegel routine will involve contracting and relaxing the muscles for a short period of time every day.  As stated in my women’s health book, Inside Information for Women, it takes about one to two hundred repetitions a day in divided segments of twenty at a time.  It’s important that you don’t do your Kegel exercises while urinating though, as this could lead to a urinary tract infection. Never interrupt the flow of urine once it begins. These exercises are especially helpful in obese women who have reached menopause and are experiencing incontinence.

It makes sense that Kegel exercises can help you better control the flow of your bladder. Just like any other muscular exercise, you will become stronger over time and have more control in general. The best part about the exercises is that you don’t need a gym or even privacy to do them. They are extremely discrete, so you could even do your routine at your desk or anywhere else you can sit comfortably. Of course, speak with your physician if your incontinence is seriously affecting your daily routine, but if it’s only a minor inconvenience, Kegel exercises might be the only treatment you need.

 – Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.


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