What are the Kegel exercises?
To do the Kegel exercises, you just have to tighten the pelvic floor muscles. The part of your body that includes the hips is the pelvic area. In the lower part of the pelvis there are several layers of muscle that extend between your legs. The muscles are attached to the front, back and sides of the iliac bone.
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These are the muscles that support your bladder and help you to avoid leaking urine.
Strengthening the pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises can help you control your bladder.
How should I do exercises with the muscles of the pelvis?
Find the right muscles. Try one of the following ways to find the right muscles to tighten.
Imagine that you are trying to contain gases. Tighten the muscles you would use. If you feel a pull, you are tightening the correct muscles for pelvic exercises.
Imagine that you are sitting on a marble and want to pick it up with your vagina. Imagine that you suck the marble into the vagina.
Lie down and insert a finger into your vagina. Squeeze as if you were trying to hold urine. If you feel that the skin around your finger is tight, you are tightening the correct muscles of the pelvis.
Let your doctor, nurse or therapist help you (remember you can ask that these people be women). Many people find it hard to find the right muscles. Your doctor, nurse or therapist can determine if you are doing the exercises correctly. You can also do exercises using special weights or biofeedback (“biofeedback” in English). Ask your team of medical professionals about these aids to do the exercises.
Do not squeeze other muscles at the same time. Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs or other muscles. Tightening the wrong muscles can add pressure to the muscles that control the bladder. Tighten only the pelvic muscle. Do not hold your breath.
Repeat the exercises, but do not do them too much. At the beginning, look for a quiet place to practice, such as the bathroom or the room, to be able to concentrate. Lie on the floor. Contract the muscles of the pelvis and keep them that way while counting to 3; then relax them while counting to 3. Do 10 to 15 repetitions each time. Use the exercise log on the back of this sheet to keep track of your sessions.
Do pelvic exercises at least 3 times a day. Every day, use three positions: lying down, sitting and standing. You can do the exercises lying on the floor, sitting in front of a desk or stopping in the kitchen. If you use the 3 positions, the muscles will become stronger.
Have patience. Do not give up. It only takes 5 minutes, three times a day. You may not notice improvements in your bladder control until after 3 to 6 weeks. Still, most women notice improvements after a few weeks.