Kegel Exercises - Topic Overview
Benefits of Kegel exercises
strengthen some of the muscles that control the flow of urine. Doctors often
Kegel exercises for people who have bladder control
problems (urinary incontinence).
are also called pelvic floor exercises because they treat and prevent pelvic
floor weakness.1, 2 The pelvic
floor is a "hammock" of muscles that hold the pelvic organs in place.
See a picture of
the pelvic floor muscles .
women, Kegel exercises are helpful for those who have
stress incontinence or
During pregnancy and
delivery, the pelvic floor can become stretched and weakened, commonly causing
urine control problems for months to years after childbirth. A weakened pelvic
floor can also allow one or more pelvic organs to sag (uterine prolapse). If
you are pregnant, start doing daily Kegels and continue them after having your
In men, Kegel exercises are used to treat stress
incontinence and urge incontinence, a need to urinate that is so strong that
you cannot reach the toilet in time.
Performing Kegel exercises
- Kegel exercises are easy to do and can be
done anywhere without anyone knowing.
- First, as you are sitting or
lying down, try to contract the muscles you would use to stop urinating. You
should feel your pelvic muscles squeezing your
urethra and anus. If your stomach or buttocks muscles
tighten, you are not exercising the right muscles.
- When you've
found the right way to contract the pelvic muscles, squeeze for 3 seconds and
then relax for 3 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per
session. Try to do this at least 3 times a day. Kegel exercises are only
effective when done regularly. The more you exercise, the more likely it is
that the exercises will help.
- Your doctor may want you to try doing
your exercises with
biofeedback to make sure you are doing them right.
Biofeedback allows you to see, feel, or hear when an exercise is being