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All About Kegel Exercises

The hows, Whys, and Whats of Kegel Exercising

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Updated October 02, 2011

What are Kegel Exercises?

Named after Dr. Arnold Kegel who originally developed the exercises as a way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, specifically the pubococcygeus muscles (PC muscles). The exercises can also be done by men or women, don’t require very much time, and are relatively easy to learn.

Why Kegel?

The exercises are recommended for a variety of reasons, some of which have been studied, and others are just suggested based on anecdotal evidence.

For women:

  • Kegel exercises were originally designed for helping women experiencing incontinence as a result of childbirth, but it can also help stress incontinence.
  • It is thought that better toned muscles can make vaginal childbirth easier.
  • Many, but not all, women report doing Kegel exercises enhances sexual enjoyment and changes the way orgasms feel.

For men:

  • Kegel exercises may help men who experience incontinence, depending on the cause of the incontinence.
  • Kegel exercises can help men learn greater ejaculatory control
  • Kegel exercises can enhance sexual enjoyment both through greater ejaculatory control, but also changes in the way orgasm is experienced.

How Do I Do Kegel Exercises?

Before you start it is important to make sure you know where your PC muscle is located, and what it feels like to exercise the muscle. This process will be different for men's bodies and women's bodies. If you are just curious there's nothing wrong with learning on your own. But if you are thinking about doing kegels to address a health problem or condition you should consult with a doctor or pelvic physiotherapist before starting to do the exercises. It's possible that doing them incorrectly or over doing them could make a situation worse.

Here are basic step by step kegel exercise instructions.

Do I Need to Buy a Kegel Exerciser?

In most cases the answer is no, you don’t need to use any special device to do Kegel exercises. There are many kegel products but just as you don’t need fancy gym equipment you don’t need these products. Some of them are good quality, and will make the exercises easier or more efficient, but there are other products on the market of dubious use.

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