Are you doing Kegels? …Should you be doing Kegels?
Kegels are a form of exercise, first described by Dr. Arnold Kegel, used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in order to reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The movement is a voluntary inward and upward contraction or squeeze of the pelvic floor. The recommended number of contractions and how often you should perform them varies across the literature.
Most women are automatically told they should be doing Kegels to strengthen their pelvic floor if they report any urinary or fecal leakage. But did you know that sometimes these issues can be due to the pelvic floor muscles being too tight (for various reasons) and doing Kegels to strengthen the muscles can actually make it worse? A tight pelvic floor may mimic a weak pelvic floor; this can lead to ineffective contractions– so the instance that you cough or sneeze, the sphincters that are supposed to close don’t actually close in time.
Are you having urinary or fecal leakage, but not sure if you should be doing Kegels? The best way to know would be to have your pelvic floor evaluated by a pelvic health physical therapist– start addressing your symptoms now in the most effective way!