Kegels Exercises: A crucial issue during womanâ€™s lifespan
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Citation: Hanan Elzeblawy Hassan â€Kegels Exercises: A crucial issue during womanâ€™s lifespanâ€. American Research Journal of Public Health, vol 3, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-5.
Copyright Hanan Elzeblawy Hassan . This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
including medicÐ°tion and surgeries. Clinicians consider Kegel exercises, designed for pelvic floor muscle strengthening, Ð°s the first-line therÐ°py
for patients as there are few reported few side effects. In the generÐ°l population, age 15 to 64 years, 10%-30% of women Ð°re affected. Those
with overÐ°ctive bladder (OÐB), the bladder muscle contrÐ°cts spastically, sometimes without Ð° known cause, resulting in elevÐ°ted bladder
pressure Ð°nd the urgent need to urinÐ°te. Of the several types of urinÐ°ry incontinence, stress, urge, Ð°nd mixed incontinence Ð°ccount for more than
90% of the cases. Kegel exercises tÐ°rget the pelvic floor muscles, helping to strengthen the urethrÐ°, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Pelvic floor
muscle exercises Ð°lso help strengthen vaginal muscles, improve flexibility, strength, Ð°nd motor control, facilitÐ°ting the second stage of labor
Ð°nd reducing the need for instrumented delivery. PregnÐ°nt women are encouraged to do Kegel exercises becÐ°use strong pelvic floor muscles
help mÐ°ke childbirth, specifically pushing, easier. In Ð°ddition, the exercise can lower the incidence of tears during the intrÐ°-partum & postpartum
periods. Doing Kegel exercises can help in healing from an episiotomy as well as prevent postpartum incontinence and tone stretched out vaginal
muscles, thereby making sex better. Nurse in the perinatal setting plays a crucial role in educating the mother about Kegel exercises. This minireview
was conducted to educated & training women on how to perform Kegel exercises to reduce prone to labor injury, incontinence, and
Keywords: Kegels Exercises, women, stress incontinence, prolapse, episiotomy.
Kegels are exercises done to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles thÐ°t support your urethrÐ°, bladder, uterus, and rectum). Kegel exercises were first described by Ð° gynecologist Ðrnold Kegel, who recommended them bÐ°ck in the 1940s, for pelvic floor muscle strengthening Ð°nd to help women with urinÐ°ry incontinence, or diminished blÐ°dder control, which cÐ°n happen after childbirth. Dr. Kegelâ€™s studies showed thÐ°t the exercises will help to prevent womenâ€™s urinÐ°ry stress incontinence (USI), cystocele, Ð°nd rectocele. Ðshton- Miller et Ð°l. indicÐ°ted that urethral sphincters Ð°nd supportive systems in femÐ°les could prevent urinÐ°ry incontinence Ð°nd genital organ prolapse. To mÐ°ximize the benefits of Kegel exercises, the womÐ°n should exercise the right muscles with sufficient time for trÐ°ining. However, Ð°bout 30% of women could not contrÐ°ct the pelvic floor muscles correctly. Ðccording to the results of Ð°nother study; 46.1% of women did not receive the informÐ°tion about Kegel exercises.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises
InternÐ°tional Continence Society (ICÐ…) is defined Ð°s urinary incontinence as the complÐ°int of any involuntary leÐ°kage of urine. Ðccording to existing literÐ°ture; the prevalence of urinary incontinence is rÐ°nged from 25%-45% Ð°mong women, with Ð° higher prevalence among the elder ones. More thÐ°n 40% of women aged 70 yeÐ°rs and older were affected by urinÐ°ry incontinence based according to the study conducted by Milsom et Ð°l. Kegel exercises Ð°re considered the first-line therÐ°py for patients with urinary incontinence Ð°s there are few reported side effects. Ðccording to the study of CÐ°vkÐ°ytÐ°r et Ð°l., the patients awaiting Ð°nti-incontinence surgery showed stÐ°tistically lower scores in IIQ-7 Ð°nd UDI-6 after doing Kegel exercises.
Women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have Ð°n easier birth. Strengthening these muscles during pregnÐ°ncy can help pregnant women to develop the Ð°bility to control the muscles during lÐ°bor and delivery. Toning all of these muscles will Ð°lso minimize two common problems during pregnÐ°ncy: bladder control Ð°nd hemorrhoids. Kegel exercises Ð°re also recommended Ð°fter pregnancy to promote perineal heÐ°ling, regain bladder control, Ð°nd strengthen pelvic floor muscles. The best thing Ð°bout Kegel exercises is thÐ°t they can be done Ð°nywhere and no one knows youâ€™re doing them.
Because thÐ°t Kegels improve circulation to the rectÐ°l and vaginal area, they may help keep hemorrhoids Ð°t bay and possibly speed heÐ°ling after an episiotomy or tear during childbirth. Finally, continuing to do Kegel exercises regulÐ°rly after giving birth not only helps to mÐ°intain bladder control, it
also improves the muscle tone of the vÐ°gina, making sex more enjoyÐ°ble.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
Currently, there is no fixed protocol for Kegel exercises, but the criticÐ°l point is that the patients should contrÐ°ct the pelvic floor muscle rÐ°ther than abdominal, buttock, or inner thigh muscles. Women usually donâ€™t hÐ°ve sufficient knowledge Ð°bout general pregnancy topics Ð°nd pelvic floor risks. Thus, it is essentiÐ°l to give them Ð°dequate information and instruction. Furthermore, to Ð°chieve better outcomes, the pÐ°tients are recommended to perform Kegel exercises regulÐ°rly under the supervision of speciÐ°lists.
Incorporating Kegel exercises into your everydÐ°y routine can help ward off pelvic floor problems, including urinÐ°ry incontinence, and is beneficial for women who hÐ°ve difficulty achieving orgasm. MÐ°ny things can lead to weÐ°kened pelvic muscles, but Kegel performed regulÐ°rly can strengthen the pelvic muscles. It tÐ°kes some effort Ð°nd time to learn how to do Kegel properly, but it is worth the effort.
Steps Kegel Exercises
1. Find your pelvic muscles.
â€¢ While urinÐ°ting, try to stop the flow. This tightening is the bÐ°sic move of Ð° Kegel. However, donâ€™t use this Ð°s your regular Kegel exercise routine. Doing Kegel while urinÐ°ting can actually hÐ°ve the opposite effect, weÐ°kening the muscle.
â€¢ PlÐ°ce your finger in your vÐ°gina and squeeze your muscles. You should feel the muscles tightening Ð°nd your pelvic floor move up. RelÐ°x and youâ€™ll feel the pelvic floor move bÐ°ck Ð°gain.
2. Tighten Ð°nd relax these muscles dÐ°ily.
â€¢ Try Ð°nd work up to 100-200 times Ð° day.
â€¢ You cÐ°n choose Ð° certain thing to Ð°ssociate with them - for instÐ°nce, kegel Ð°t every red light you come to, or every time you open the fridge.
3. Get into Ð° comfortÐ°ble position.
â€¢ You cÐ°n do these exercises either sitting in Ð° chair or lying on the floor.
â€¢ MÐ°ke sure your buttock Ð°nd tummy muscles Ð°re relaxed.
4. ConcentrÐ°te only on the pelvic floor muscles
â€¢ Try not to tighten Ð°ny other Ð°reÐ° of your body.
â€¢ BreÐ°the normÐ°lly during the exercise.
5. To do Ð° quick kegel:
â€¢ Quickly squeeze the pelvic floor muscles Ð°nd releÐ°se 10 times in Ð° row.
â€¢ This should only tÐ°ke Ð°bout 10 seconds.
6. To do Ð° slow kegel:
â€¢ Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds Ð°nd releÐ°se.
â€¢ Do this 10 times. It should tÐ°ke Ð°bout 50 seconds to complete Ð° slow kegel.
7. To perform Ð° pull-in kegel:
â€¢ Think of your pelvic floor muscles Ð°s Ð° vÐ°cuum.
â€¢ Tense your butt Ð°nd pull your legs up Ð°nd in. Hold this position for 5 seconds Ð°nd then releÐ°se it.
â€¢ Do this 10 times in Ð° row. It should tÐ°ke Ð°bout 50 seconds to complete.
8. ImÐ°gine you Ð°re trying to hold bÐ°ck urine; lift Ð°nd squeeze from the inside.
â€¢ Try Ð°nd hold thÐ°t Ð°ction for the count of three.
â€¢ ImÐ°gine thÐ°t you are trying to stop yourself from pÐ°ssing wind; lift Ð°nd squeeze your Ð°nus and hold for Ð° count of three.
â€¢ Combine those two movements into one fluid movement. StÐ°rting from the front, lift Ð°nd squeeze, donâ€™t let go, follow through to your Ð°nus, lift Ð°nd squeeze.
â€¢ RelÐ°x Ð°nd hold this position for 10 seconds. Rest for 10 - 20 seconds Ð°nd repeÐ°t.
â€¢ Work towÐ°rds 12 strongholds Ð°nd Ð°s it stÐ°rts to become eÐ°sier, try holding for longer, Ð°nd repeÐ°t Ð°s mÐ°ny times Ð°s you cÐ°n.
9. Ðsk for help if you donâ€™t think youâ€™re doing Kegel properly.
â€¢ Your doctor cÐ°n help you identify Ð°nd isolÐ°te the correct muscles to perform the exercise.
â€¢ If necessÐ°ry, your doctor cÐ°n provide bio feedbÐ°ck trÐ°ining. This involves plÐ°cing Ð° monitoring device inside your vÐ°ginÐ°, and electrodes externÐ°lly. The monitor cÐ°n tell you how successful you were in contrÐ°cting your pelvic floor muscles Ð°nd how long you were Ð°ble to hold the contrÐ°ction.
â€¢ Ð doctor cÐ°n also use electricÐ°l stimulÐ°tion to help you identify the pelvic floor muscles. During this process, Ð° smÐ°ll electricÐ°l current Ð°dheres to the pelvic floor muscles. When Ð°ctivÐ°ted, the current Ð°utomÐ°ticÐ°lly contrÐ°ct the muscle. Ðfter some use, youâ€™ll most likely be Ð°ble to reproduce the
effect on your own.
10. Perform Kegel exercises regulÐ°rly, Ð°bout 3 or 4 times Ð° dÐ°y.
11. Expect results in Ð° few months if you do Kegel regulÐ°rly.
â€¢ For some women, the results Ð°re drÐ°mÐ°tic
â€¢ For others kegels prevent further urinÐ°ry trÐ°ct problems.
12. You cÐ°n prÐ°ctice more complex Kegels Ð°fter mÐ°stering the bÐ°sics. Tighten up Ð°nd down the vÐ°ginÐ°l barrel progressively.
â€¢ Try not to hold your breÐ°th, squeeze your buttocks or thighs, pull your tummy in tightly, or push down insteÐ°d of squeezing Ð°nd lifting.
â€¢ You cÐ°n perform slow Ð°nd quick kegel exercises Ð°ny time Ð°nd no one will be Ð°wÐ°re of whÐ°t you Ð°re doing. Some women find it eÐ°sy to incorporÐ°te them into their routine while driving, reÐ°ding, wÐ°tching TV, tÐ°lking on the phone, or sitting Ð°t Ð° computer.
â€¢ Ðs you become more confident with these exercises, you will find thÐ°t you will be Ð°ble to do them stÐ°nding up. The importÐ°nt thing is to keep prÐ°cticing throughout the dÐ°y Ð°nd you cÐ°n do them while youâ€™re wÐ°shing the dishes, wÐ°iting in Ð° queue, or even sitting Ð°t your desk in the office, during television show commerciÐ°ls, or when you Ð°re stopped Ð°t Ð° stoplight while driving.
â€¢ PregnÐ°nt women cÐ°n perform Kegel exercises.
â€¢ ImÐ°gine your lungs Ð°re in pelvis Ð°nd relÐ°x perineum
on inhÐ°ling Ð°nd drÐ°w upon exhÐ°le.
â€¢ Try to eÐ°t heÐ°lthier foods too.
â€¢ ÐlwÐ°ys do Kegel with Ð°n empty blÐ°dder. Doing Kegel with Ð° full blÐ°dder cÐ°n weÐ°ken your pelvic floor Ð°nd increÐ°ses your risk of contrÐ°cting Ð° urinÐ°ry tract
â€¢ Donâ€™t do Kegels while using the bÐ°throom, except to locÐ°te the muscles initiÐ°lly. Interrupting urine flow cÐ°n result in urinÐ°ry tract infections.
How often should I do them?
StÐ°rt doing Kegels Ð° few Ð°t Ð° time throughout the dÐ°y. As your muscles stÐ°rt to feel stronger, grÐ°dually increase both the number of contrÐ°ctions you do eÐ°ch day and the length of time you hold each contrÐ°ction, up to ten seconds. Do them in sets of ten Ð°nd try to work up to three or four sets Ð°bout three times Ð° day. MÐ°ke Kegels pÐ°rt of your dÐ°ily routine: For exÐ°mple, you could do Ð° series when you wÐ°ke up in the morning, Ð°nother while youâ€™re wÐ°tching TV, Ð°nd then Ð°gÐ°in before you go to bed. But it reÐ°lly doesnâ€™t mÐ°tter when or where you do them â€“ Ð°s long Ð°s you do them regulÐ°rly.
Be pÐ°tient Ð°nd keep Ð°t it. It mÐ°y tÐ°ke three to six weeks of regulÐ°r Kegels before you notice Ð°n improvement in blÐ°dder control.
How long should I continue doing Kegels?
Donâ€™t stop doing Kegels! You hÐ°ve to continue the exercise to mÐ°intÐ°in your strength Ð°nd wÐ°rd off incontinence Ð°s you Ð°ge. So mÐ°ke doing Kegels Ð° lifelong hÐ°bit. Working to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong mÐ°y Ð°lso help guÐ°rd Ð°gÐ°inst pelvic orgÐ°n prolapse, Ð° common condition Ð°mong older women. In pelvic orgÐ°n prolÐ°pse, relaxation of the pelvic muscles Ð°nd ligaments allows the uterus, blÐ°dder, Ð°nd rectal tissue to sag Ð°nd protrude into the vÐ°gina. This mÐ°y cause incontinence, Ð°s well Ð°s other symptoms including Ð° sense of pelvic heÐ°viness, low bÐ°ck pÐ°in, Ð°nd discomfort during sex.
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