Why Kegels Are Important (& actually explained!)

Relevium Labs Inc.,  ©2016

Relevium Labs Inc.,  ©2016

In the past when visiting my doctor I’ve been told “do your Kegels!” or “keep up with the Kegels, okay?”  Has anyone else ever been told that too? For me, how do I know that I am even doing them correctly? And, what’s the point exactly?

The point IS Dear Readers: Pelvic floor muscle tone affects continence – plain and simple.

What Kegel exercises are:

Kegel exercises are used to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by contracting them in a “tight + up movement”. Sound familiar? Probably not.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, many women are unable to correctly squeeze their pelvic floor muscles on their own [1]. When the organs shift from their natural position, the descended organs (aka “fallen organs”) put pressure on the bladder and result in urinary incontinence in women. Fallen organs usually occur over time due to childbirth, aging, onset of menopause, a hysterectomy and other conditions.

Why Kegels are so important:

Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowel so the organs do not descend into the pelvic cavity more than necessary.

A better visual might be to imagine a hammock that is holding all those organs together. When the hammock becomes loose from stress or other conditions as noted above, the organs begin start to descend and can move further down into the pelvic cavity to the pelvic floor. As shown in the image on the right, that is what is occurring. The “hammock” is called the pubococcygeus muscle (aka PC muscle or pelvic floor muscles). The pelvic floor becomes weak and the vesical neck on your bladder can no longer close completely.

In a Nutshell:

  • Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor muscle around your bladder and urethra to keep them toned and working well.
  • It has been established that when the pelvic floor muscle loses its supporting function – usually urinary incontinence ensues [2]
  • When the pelvic floor muscle become weaker, usually the vesical neck on your bladder can no longer close completely leading to incontinence.

How to Tell if You’re Doing Those Kegels correctly:

The simplest way is to insert a finger into your vagina and squeeze your finger with your muscles.

Sound a little too much?

There are also devices that help you perform Kegels correctly through clinically proven electrostimulation. Electrostimulation stimulates the pelvic floor muscle into doing a muscle contraction - correctly and conveniently - like the Kegel exercise. Electrostimulation is also used to re-educate pelvic muscle performance for optimum tone and strength.

One electrostimulation device is the Yarlap® System which is clinically proven and FDA Cleared and available over the counter (OTC) that does Kegel exercises for you in less than 20 minutes a day.