A sedentary lifestyle, long hours behind the wheel, and ignorance about the importance of exercising this group of muscles result in the exacerbation of conditions such as urinary incontinence.
Well-exercised pelvic floor muscles enhance sexual pleasure in both men and women.
The term “pelvic floor muscles” refers to all muscles located between the lower surface of the pubic bone and in front of the sacrum (coccyx); in fact, they form a swing which supports the rectum, the urinary bladder and the uterus in women.
Arnold Kegel (1894-1981) was an American gynaecologist who, in 1948, devised exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and that bear his name, as a non-surgical treatment for pelvic relaxation.
The key to the Kegel exercises’ success is to understand exactly which muscles we need to contract and relax.
The easiest way to do this is to willingly interrupt urination. Of course, this must be done just a few times, until we have understood the group of muscles to which we refer: willingly interrupting urination may lead to urinary tract infections. That’s why the correct way to do Kegel exercises is on an empty bladder.
Kegel exercises: Initially, we should make sure the muscles are contracted for 2-3 seconds. Once we have mastered the technique, we can have a programme of at least 5 sets of 10 repetitions of the contractions.
Kegel exercises can be done while we are in our chair or standing; they can be done while we are driving, at the office and while we are cooking.
Lastly, they can also be done during intercourse, when the penis is in the vagina, a technique which will add pleasure and guarantee a stronger orgasm for you and your partner, and, of course, help you with any incontinence issues.
In fact, French doctors do not perform incontinence surgery on women unless they have previously completed 3-6 months of Kegel exercises: they have observed that surgery has better results following a set of exercises, as the tissues have become stronger.