Lake Forest residents ask, ‘Are Kegel exercises for women effective?’

Happy girls working out in a gym

Leaking urine can be embarrassing and can negatively impact your personal and professional lives. Thankfully, there is a solution. Kegel exercises for women who are experiencing urine leakage can be an effective way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. For women near Park City, Lake Forest, and Woodstock, IL, Dr. Sanjay Gandhi of Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology offers feminine health care including ways to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Purpose of the pelvic floor muscles

For the average young adult woman, your pelvic floor muscles probably never cross your mind. The muscles are most likely working as they should. However, with age, or certain conditions, the muscles begin to weaken. When the muscles weaken, patients are at risk for developing pelvic organ prolapse (POP). With this condition, the pelvic organs begin to drop. You run the risk of them falling into or out of the vagina. Patients who have had a hysterectomy have the potential for vaginal tissues to fall out also.

Conditions that increase your potential risks for POP include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal childbirth
  • Pelvic surgery including a C-section or hysterectomy
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Excessive straining from constipation
  • Frequent actions that put pressure on the pelvic organs including coughing, laughing, or sneezing

What are Kegels?

Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor exercises, are movements to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the small intestine, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Performing specific exercises keep your private areas fit, improve orgasms, and help you avoid embarrassing accidents such as bladder leakage or passing gas.

A woman, even one who is pregnant or who has recently had a baby, can perform Kegel exercises to prevent urinary leakage. Aside from the risk of POP, Kegels may be beneficial for women who suffer from the following conditions:

  • Stress incontinence – This causes urine leakage when pressure is placed on the bladder when sneezing, laughing, or coughing.
  • Urinary incontinence – Having a strong, sudden urge to urinate and then losing urine can be part of urinary incontinence.
  • Fecal incontinence – Losing stools is unpleasant and embarrassing. It can be due to weakened muscles.

Benefits and effectiveness of Kegels

Smiling young woman at the beachThere is nothing harmful about Kegel exercises. As part of your daily routine, they have several benefits including:

  • Discreet – Kegel exercises can be done at your convenience without anyone even knowing. You can do them while brushing your teeth, driving in the car, eating a meal, or watching TV. Do them when it is convenient for you.
  • Easy to perform – Kegel exercises only take a few moments of your time each day. Hold for a few seconds at a time, release, and repeat.
  • Strengthen muscles – By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, you can reduce urine leakage.
  • Prevent problems – Keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong helps to prevent future urinary or vaginal problems.
  • Results – Women who perform Kegels regularly notice results within a few weeks or months. Continuing to perform Kegel exercises maintains the health of your muscles.

To learn more about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles or to experience the best urogynecological care, contact Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology. Call today to improve your pelvic health and to schedule your appointment with Dr. Gandhi. (844) 327-1188 Back to Kegels Page