How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor Muscles
Regular pelvic floor exercise, or Kegel exercise, will help to build awareness, muscle strength, endurance and coordination. It is important that you relax your body and breathe during your exercises. Holding your breath makes it more difficult to exercise correctly. DO NOT STRAIN, BEAR DOWN, OR HOLD YOUR BREATH as you do the exercises. If done properly, no one else can tell if you are doing the exercises. Keep the buttocks, belly and inner thighs relaxed. When doing the exercise think of pulling the opening of the vagina up and in towards the belly button (like you are trying to hold a marble in the vagina).
- Quick Flicks
- These are quick contractions where you tighten, lift and release.
- Endurance Holds
- These are longer contractions where you tighten, lift, and hold the muscles for up to 10 seconds. Then rest for 20 seconds.
In general, you should perform 60-80 of these exercises per day. (Half quick flicks and half endurance holds.)
You may continue to experience urinary and/or fecal incontinence and your condition could continue to worsen. You may start to experience more serious problems such as pelvic organ prolapse.
Please speak to your medical provider if you have any questions about whether you are exercising these muscles correctly. For any additional questions, please contact our Physical Thearpy department at 630-967-2000.