Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that support your uterus, bladder, and bowels. Women especially benefit when they have problems with bowel or urine control. Kegels can also help prepare you for labor and delivery.
While you can perform Kegels on your own, the movement is nuanced and potentially hard to learn and feel. A Kegel exercise machine makes sure you’re doing these moves correctly and get the most benefit. At the OB/GYN office of Alan Patterson, MD, a female professional therapist shows you how to perform the exercises using a Kegel machine equipped with a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit, a device that sends electronic signals to your muscles. Read on to learn more about how you can tighten your pelvic floor with a Kegel exercise machine.
Who benefits from Kegel exercises?
You may experience atrophy in the muscles of the pelvic floor due to:
Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to urinary incontinence, particularly stress incontinence when you leak urine upon sneezing, laughing, or jumping, and to urge urinary incontinence where you may not be able to hold your urine before you can get to the toilet. It can also lead to pelvic organ prolapse, where organs – including the uterus – are no longer supported adequately by surrounding muscles and start to drop downward, sometimes protruding through the vagina.
What is a Kegel exercise?
A Kegel exercise can feel like the action you take to hold in your urine if you’re not near a bathroom. The exercise involves periodically relaxing and tightening the muscles that control urine flow. You can identify these muscles next time you’re using the restroom. Simply start your stream then squeeze to temporarily halt it. Your buttocks, thighs, and abdomen should stay relaxed.
Why use a machine?
For some people, the pelvic floor muscles are hard to locate and isolate. This might be because they’re quite weak or have lost the neural memories linking your brain to them. Some people just turn on the wrong muscles or find it difficult to remember to do the exercises at all.
Our Kegel exercise machine sends electronic signals to your pelvic floor. The energy initiates a muscle-strengthening contraction without any effort on your part. The contractions are precisely timed for five-second contractions followed by 10 seconds of relaxation.
You come in for a supervised half-hour session. This is to ensure that you’re doing the exercises correctly. Kegel exercises can help you avoid invasive treatments such as surgery or the insertion of devices that can be inconvenient. You combat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse naturally, without the need for pharmaceuticals.
Usually, six to twelve weeks of consistent pelvic floor muscle training helps you feel better and have fewer symptoms. You may also find, with time, you’re able to wean off the machine and do the exercises on your own as you get a better feel for the muscles to activate on your own.
You’ll want to make Kegel exercises a part of your regular routine, just like brushing your teeth. Without them, incontinence or risk of prolapse returns.
Kegel exercises are a valuable way to boost pelvic floor health. At the practice of Alan Patterson, MD, we can help you with Kegels and other ways to preserve your pelvic health. Call the office or schedule online to take advantage of the expert staff and caring atmosphere.