Pelvic floor exercise
Kegel exercises are the most popular method of reinforcing pelvic floor muscles and are noninvasive treatment such that they do not involve the placement of any vaginal weights/cones. They are the most cost-effective treatment and differ from other therapies in that the patients can do them by themselves anytime, anywhere, while doing other work, and without regular hospital visits.
The pelvic floor muscles are used in order to stop the flow of urine, grasp a penis during intercourse, or hold back a bowel movement. Since the anal sphincter is usually the strongest of these muscles, it needs very little attention, while the other two areas are usually stressed when the Kegel exercises are taught in childbirth preparation classes.
Kegel exercises are considered by childbirth educators to be essential to all women – whether or not they have borne children (Cesarean or vaginally) or intend to, and no matter what their age. Contrary to common belief, pelvic floor muscle laxity is not always associated with childbirth and can be caused by other factors, including the aging process, hormonal decreases, a woman's particular physiology, an injury or disease, or simply an unawareness of the existence of these muscles.
Though most commonly used by women, men can also use Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises are employed to strengthen the pubococcygeal muscle (the main muscle of the pelvic floor) and other muscles of thepelvic diaphragm. Kegels can help men achieve stronger erections, maintain healthy hips, and gain greater control over ejaculation. The objective of this may be similar to that of the exercise in women with weakened pelvic floor: to increase bladder and bowel control and sexual function.
The exercises consist of exercising the pubococcygeus (PC), contracting it and relaxing it repeatedly (Pic.1). This muscle is used to prevent leakage of urine, so it is possible to identify throught first making cuts during urination. Once identified, is advised start with sets of 10-20 contractions / relaxations, repeating the exercise throughout the day. Should be consistent and, if possible, to reach 200 daily repetitions spread over four sets of 50.
More immediate reasons for doing these exercises as soon after delivery as possible are to encourage urination and increase blood circulation to the perineal area, thereby promoting healing of the episiotomy site and aiding the relief of hemorrhoidal pain (pain vascular structures in the anal canal).
If the Kegel exercises are not done postpartum (and continued forever) the weakness of the pelvic floor may become worse with each subsequent pregnancy and rehabilitation of the muscles takes longer and involves more effort.
It is not appropriate holding breathe while contacting, breathe normally. It is important focus just on pelvic muscle and not on abdominal or thigh muscle. Performing this exercise is dangerous while emptying the bladder as it can weaken the muscle and can lead to UTI (urinary tract infection).
Kegel exercises were originally devised to prevent urinary incontinence in postpartum women and they are one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications. Although Kegel exercise is safe, is advisable to consult with a gynecologist.
To improve symptoms of involuntary leakage of urine through effort, it has been demonstrated that the practice of these exercises is effective if these contractions become 10-12 2- 3 times a day. It is important to perform these exercises slowly, without forcing or pain, breathing normally and avoid contracting the abdomen, buttocks or thighs. The important thing is to do well, since fewer repetitions well done is more beneficial than many incorrect repetitions.
Regular Kegel exercises should achieve tangible results (such as less frequent urine leakage) within about 8 to 12 weeks. For some women, the improvement could be dramatic. Kegel excercises effective to prepare the pelvic floor for physiological stresses of the later stages of pregnancy and childbirth. Kegel exercises are said to be good for treating vaginal prolapse and preventing uterine prolapse. Pelvic floor exercises could help restore erectile function in men with erectile dysfunction.
Most studies show that Kegel exercises steadily reinforce the pelvic muscles. However, in practice the results of patients vary depending on whether they exercise their pelvic floor muscles after identifying them, how earnestly they exercise, and how much trust they place in the exercises themselves.
The inability (that lasts more than 6 months) to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity.
A physical or psychological condition in which woman cannot engage in any form of vaginal penetration.