It Is Safe Kegel Exercise for Female During Pregnancy

It Is Safe Kegel Exercise for Female During Pregnancy

Kegel exercises (or "Kegels") are an effective, relatively easy way to find and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, rectum, and uterus. By improving pelvic floor muscle strength, you can help prevent and treat several common pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence (UI), fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which can occur due to pregnancy and childbirth, aging, weight gain, and other factors.

Why Kegel Exercises are Important

Kegel exercises target the pelvic floor, a set of muscles in the pelvic region that runs like a hammock from the tailbone to the pubic bone. The main muscle of the pelvic floor is the pubococcygeus (PC), which runs along and around the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum.

This layer of muscle supports the organs in the pelvis, which include the uterus, bladder, and intestines. These muscles span the base of the pelvis to hold your organs in place and strengthen the bladder and rectum sphincters, which give us conscious control over the bladder and rectum and the release of urine, feces, and gas.

A strong pelvic floor can help prevent and/or treat:

  • Leaking a few drops of urine when you cough, exercise, laugh or sneeze (stress urinary incontinence)
  • Strong, sudden urge to urinate (urgent urinary incontinence)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Unexpected defecation (fecal incontinence)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

Exercising your pelvic floor muscles also helps tighten the muscles of the vagina, which can improve sexual health and enjoyment. In fact, research has shown a strong link between weakened pelvic floor muscles and sexual dysfunction.

Kegels can be used to treat or prevent pelvic health symptoms and, for the most part, are safe to start at any time. However, if you have an overactive pelvic floor, kegels can potentially make your symptoms worse. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can help you assess your pelvic floor and make recommendations specifically for you.

Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pregnancy and childbirth can put a lot of stress on the pelvic floor muscles, especially with the weight of the pregnant belly, changes in posture and body alignment, and all of the stretching and contraction that occurs in a woman's pelvic and abdominal area during the growing baby. Childbirth itself can also damage these muscles, leading to common pelvic floor disorders.

Vaginal births, particularly second births, can significantly weaken the pelvic floor muscles, as can a cesarean section. Research overwhelmingly shows a link between pregnancy and decreased pelvic floor strength. Other factors such as trauma, abdominal surgery, repetitive strains from constipation, aging and severe obesity can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles.

Even if you don't have a clinically diagnosed pelvic floor dysfunction, Kegel exercises can help reverse, improve, or prevent a variety of pelvic health symptoms commonly experienced during or after pregnancy, including:

  • Constipation or painful bowel movements
  • Feeling like you're not "done" during a bowel movement
  • leakage of stool
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful urination
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • Postpartum incontinence (stress urinary incontinence, urge urinary incontinence, mixed incontinence)

It's a good idea to consult your doctor about starting these exercises if you have specific pelvic health concerns, especially if you're pregnant or have recently given birth.

Your doctor may want you to wait until you have recovered from childbirth before starting treatment to see if any of the symptoms have changed or if it is a sign of another condition that you are having nothing to do with your pregnancy.

Why new mothers should consider pelvic floor therapy

How to do Kegel Exercises

Luckily, kegels are a relatively simple and effective exercise that most women can do to dramatically improve their pelvic floor muscle tone.

Kegels are essentially repetitive squeezes of the pelvic floor muscles. You don't need any special equipment to perform these exercises and they can be done anywhere. All you have to do is find the right muscles, contract, hold, release, rest and repeat.

Kegels can be done almost anywhere and only take a few minutes a day.

Sometimes that's easier said than done. It can be a bit tricky to figure out where the muscles are and what exactly to do. However, rest assured that once you've done this, the actual exercises are straightforward - even simple. The key is to isolate the right muscles to focus on and learn how to execute them properly.

Identifying the right muscles

To find the right muscles, there are a few things you can try:

Imagine you are sitting on a marble. Now imagine trying to pick up the marble with your vagina and "sucking" it into your vagina.

Insert a clean finger into your vagina. Tighten your muscles as if you are holding urine. If you feel a tug around your finger, you have the right muscles.

Stop peeing midstream and hold. These are the muscles you will be using during kegels. If necessary, press and hold a few times to figure out how to isolate those muscles. However, don't make it a habit to do your pelvic floor exercises while you're urinating, as this increases your risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Use weighted vaginal cones (shaped like a rounder, smaller computer mouse) that you insert and squeeze like a tampon. These can be helpful tools for showing you which muscles to use and keeping you on track with your kegels.

If you're having trouble isolating your pelvic floor muscles, ask your doctor or gynecologist for advice. They can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health and can help teach you proper Kegel technique. Some doctors also use biofeedback with Kegel exercises to monitor pelvic floor activity.

Performing Kegel Exercises

Proper technique is crucial, but once you get the hang of doing Kegel exercises, you can do them in any position, anywhere.

Here are four comfortable positions to start with:

  1. Kneel on all fours
  2. Lying down
  3. Meeting
  4. Stand

Ideally, you should do all four positions every day for maximum strength. One way to think about Kegels is to push and lift from the vaginal opening to the cervix. Some describe this tightening movement as taking an elevator up as far as possible. Then, while letting the muscles relax, take the elevator all the way back down.

Example Kegel Exercise

  • When preparing for Kegels, make sure your bladder is empty.
  • Find the right muscles, which are the same ones you use to stop the flow of urine.
  • Pull pelvic floor muscles up and squeeze for 5 or 6 seconds, then relax while counting 5 or 6.
  • Work your way up to a set of 10 to 15 reps each time.
  • The goal is to do the exercises at least three times a day.
  • Other variations of Kegel exercises include:
  • Quick, firm holds or a series of longer, progressively harder presses
  • Custom grips targeting specific issues such as: B. Leaking while exercising, coughing, laughing, or screaming
  • Incorporating different letters or words or simulating coughing while performing Kegels
  • to avoid mistakes
  • Relaxing the pelvic floor muscles between pelvic floor exercises is just as crucial to improvement as the pushing movements, so it's important not to skimp on this part.

Think about it like this. When you do kegels, you get those muscles strong enough to stay hard on command, for example, to avoid accidents. However, if you always grab, your muscles will have a hard time clenching in times of need. Another way to think of it is that if you keep your hand in a fist all the time, it becomes difficult to grab something when you need to.

Also, to avoid using the wrong muscles when kegeling, try not to squeeze or tighten any adjacent muscles, such as B. those in your stomach, buttocks or legs. This can impair the function of the pelvic floor muscles. Also, tensing the muscles around the pelvic floor instead of the actual pelvic floor muscles can put pressure on your bladder.

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