It’s time to talk about VAGINAS! I don’t know about you, but we talk about vaginas every day over here at the Colorado Plastic Surgery center. Vaginal anatomy, orgasms, general sexual wellness- we cover it all! Today we are going to focus on Kegels. I’m sure you’ve heard about Kegels at some point in your life. You probably have a vague knowledge that Kegels have something to do with your vagina…but what are Kegel exercises? How do you do them correctly? Why are they important? Let’s dive in.
Let’s first cover what Kegel muscles are. Here is a definition from our head nurse, Jessica, “Kegels are the muscles you use to stop your urinary stream- these exercises strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegels can benefit you if you leak a little urine when you run, jump or laugh. Having healthy pelvic floor muscles is important as they support your bladder, uterus, small intestine and rectum.” Aside from those listed benefits, Kegels are also known to improve sex life by increasing blood flow and muscle tone. Helloooooo, intensified orgasms!
Dr. Arnold Kegel was an American gynecologist who identified the benefits of training and strengthening pelvic muscles in 1948 after working with many patients who struggled with urinary incontinence after childbirth. Yeah, he invented these magical vagina exercises YEARS ago and we are still trying to get the word out! Kegel exercises are pretty simple and can be discreet. These super-secret exercises can be done while you’re sitting at your desk, ordering your coffee, watching tv, sitting in traffic…basically all day any day. It is important to ensure that you are doing your Kegel exercises correctly and regularly otherwise you won’t reap any of the benefits.
Next time you’re peeing, try to start then stop then start then stop your urine stream. You should be able to feel the muscles in your vagina tighten and move upward. These are your pelvic floor muscles that you want to focus on. If you’re still unsure if you’re activating the right muscles, you can insert a finger into your vagina and try to squeeze. You should feel your muscles tighten around your finger.
Now that you’ve found the right muscles, it is important to find the wrong muscles. All other muscles, like your abdomen or buttocks, should stay relaxed. So, take a seat or lie down, take a few deep breaths to relax, tighten your pelvic muscles and hold for 3-5 seconds, then relax the muscles for 3-5 seconds and repeat 10 times. Repeat this set of ten in the morning, afternoon and at night. After 4-6 weeks, you should begin to see improvements in urinary leakage. Overdoing Kegels can lead to straining your muscles when you urinate or during bowel movements, so stick to 3 sets of 10 every day. Just like you should have a workout routine, a skin care routine, a food prep routine, you should have a vagina routine! It is so important to be consistent with your Kegel exercises, so we recommend adding reminders in your phone or downloading one of the many Kegel apps on the market. Tell your friends, tell your mom, tell a stranger! Here’s to healthy and strong vaginas! (Okay, maybe don’t tell a stranger about your Kegel exercises…)
Until next time,