Kegel Exercises for Women
Kegel exercises are an essential for women to keep their bodies healthy, and it has been proven that following a program of effective kegel exercises for women is the best defence against incontinence in later years. Whether exercises are done unaided or with the help of a kegel exerciser it is never too late to start.
Neglecting to exercise the pelvic floor muscles leads to loss of muscle strength and support underneath the abdomen. The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for taking the weight of all your insides, and keeping them in place. These muscles also play a role in controlling the bladder and the rectum. It stands to reason that if these muscles are allowed to become weakened, then various problems can arise, the most common of which is stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the condition where small amounts of urine leak from the bladder in response to a sudden stress, such as when women coughs, sneezes of does exercise.
Approximately 30% of women aged 45 and over have some degree of bladder control issues, ranging from minor urine leakage, up to regular loss of bladder control, prolapse of the uterus and other conditions that may require surgery.
It is common for women who have been through pregnancy to develop symptoms where they are unable to stop the flow of small amounts of urine at some stage in their lives. Certainly, this can be an issue at the last few weeks before delivery, when the baby is positioned low. For some, the leakage can continue to occur, but most women regain full control of their bladder after childbirth. However, years later the symptoms can reoccur, this time due to a general weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that control the release of the urine from the bladder. If steps are not taken to build up the strength of these muscles, the symptoms will worsen over time, causing greater discomfort and embarrassment, and possibly leading to further problems.
Research has shown that a regular and effective kegel exercise routine can reverse the symptoms of minor stress incontinence. Just like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles can be toned and strengthened by performing exercises, even weight training, that target these muscles specifically. Women can build up muscle strength and regain full bladder control without having to rely on drugs or surgery.
Kegel exercises are recommended for all women who are intending to have children, especially during and after pregnancy, and continuing on for life. Strong pelvic muscles contribute to making labour easier, and aid a swifter recovery after delivery.
In later years many women develop an urge incontinence. This means that when they get an urge to pass urine, they are no longer able to hold it in until they get to the toilet. Once the urine starts to flow they cannot stop it. This is most common in women over 70, and can be extremely embarrassing and traumatic. Urge incontinence is a complicated issue, where different factors contribute to the loss of control. A regular kegel exercise program leading to strong pelvic floor muscles increase the chances of treating the condition successfully.
The most important message for women of all ages is to be proactive with their kegel exercises. Start early, and continue. If you stop doing them for a while, make the effort to start again. If you find it hard to maintain a regular routine, or feel that the exercises are not effective, then don’t give up. Get medical advice or try using a kegel exerciser to improve the effectiveness of the exercises you do.