For more great reasons check out Laura-Doe's
Why is it important to exercise your pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a large sling (like a hammock) of muscles stretching
from side to side across the floor of the pelvis.
It has a range of important functions
• It supports your pelvic organs and abdominal contents, especially
when you are standing or exerting yourself.
• It supports your bladder to help it stay closed. It actively
squeezes when you cough or sneeze to help avoid leaking. When the
muscles are not working effectively you may suffer from leaking
("urinary incontinence"), and/or urgent or frequent need
to pass urine.
• It is used to control wind and when "holding on"
with your bowels.
• It has an important sexual function, helping to increase
sexual awareness both for yourself and your partner during sexual
It is important for women of all ages to maintain pelvic floor
muscle strength. Some people even go as far as to say that 'pelvic
floor fitness is essential for lifelong physical, sexual and emotional
health'. Pelvic floor muscle tone is also extremely valuable for
men especially those experiencing premature ejaculation or related
sexual difficulties or prostate problems. There is more information
for the guys here
Three great reasons to 'Do the Kegel'
For the ladies kegel exercises specifically help you by
- improving your enjoyment of love making and the sensations of
your sexual response. Women with strengthened pelvic floor muscles
are more likely to be orgasmic and have a more satisfying sex
life ... discover how kegels stimulate
- support a healthy preganancy, successful birth and minimising
any post-partum problems. For pregnant women these exercises help
the body to cope with the increasing weight of the baby. Healthy,
fit muscles pre-natally will also recover more readily after the
- minimising problems with urine leakage or 'urinary stress incontinence'
Do the Kegel for increased sexual enjoyment
If the pelvic muscles are strong, orgasm is likely to be more intense
and pleasurable. Regular exercise of the pelvic muscles improves
blood circulation to the pelvic area. Better blood circulation and
nerve development does several things: it means more awareness and
perception of genital sensations. It means increased bathing of
clitoral, vulval, vaginal and pelvic cells in oxygen and circulating
sex hormones. It also helps your immune system fight disease because
it increases the genital flow of white blood cells, which defend
the body against viruses and bacteria.
Exercising any muscle increases blood flow to that area. Increased
vaginal and pelvic blood flow may slow down hormone-dependent aging,
more youthful skin, and improved genital tone.
Increasing the tone of your vaginal muscles means that instead of
them being flabby, soft and insensitive to the touch, they are firm
and have a tension that transmits the sensation of touch much more
intensely. All touch sensations may become stronger and more exciting
because there is literally more electrical energy coming from your
Since stronger muscles don't tire as quickly, the number of vaginal
muscle contractions during orgasm can be increased, which in turn
increases the length of your orgasms. Thus, you can have stronger
and longer orgasms.
The control that comes from vaginal muscle strengthening builds
the self-confidence and enhanced pleasure that encourages extending
time spent in lovemaking. Your self-confidence will carry over into
other areas of your life.
Do the Kegel for pregnancy
Strong pelvic floor muscles help to support the extra weight of
pregnancy, help in the second stage of labour and, by increasing
your circulation, assist in healing the perineum between the anus
and vagina after birth. A report in Obstetrics
and Gynecology (Feb 2003) states that 'the risk of urinary incontinence
during and after pregnancy is reduced with an intensive program
of pelvic floor muscle exercises.'
Do the Kegel for incontinence
Women with stress incontinence, that is, those who regularly lose
urine when coughing, sneezing or exercising, should especially benefit
from these exercises. As women grow older it is important to keep
the pelvic floor muscles strong because at menopause the muscles
change and may weaken. A pelvic floor exercise routine helps to
minimise the effects of menopause on pelvic support and bladder
Pelvic floor exercises may also be useful in conjunction with a
bladder training program aimed at improving bladder control in people
who experience the urgent need to pass urine frequently (urge incontinence).
Bladder training is explained in the Continence Foundation of Australia
'Bladder Training' leaflet and fact sheet.
Other pelvic floor tips
• Use your pelvic floor muscles when you are afraid you might
leak -- before you sneeze or lift something heavy. Your control
will gradually improve.
• Avoid straight-leg sit ups and double-leg lifts, which put
severe pressure on the pelvic floor and the back.
• Drink normally and don't go to the toilet 'just in case'
-- only go when you feel that your bladder is full.
• Watch your weight -- extra weight puts strain on your pelvic
Why have other people downloaded 'Do the Kegel'?
Check out other people's reasons
for getting their copy of 'Do the Kegel'
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists