Kegel exercises are exercises that can help women strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that support the urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum). They are a type of pelvic floor muscle training. Stronger pelvic floor muscles can help reduce urine leakage associated with urinary incontinence. They can also increase muscle strength for childbirth. These muscles can become weak over time and can be affected by childbirth, so doing these exercises after pregnancy will help with recovery.

It can take 3-6 weeks for Kegel exercises to make changes, so be patient. Fortunately, these exercises can be done anytime, anywhere so they are easy to add to your day.

Simple, Risk-free, and Painless

Kegel exercises are simple, risk-free, and painless. They involve squeezing the pelvic floor muscles.

How to do Kegel Exercises

  1. Lie on the floor. Choose a place that is comfortable, such as in your bedroom.
  2. Find your pelvic floor muscles. Again, to do this pretend you are trying to stop urinating or passing gas.
  3. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, hold, and count to three.
  4. Relax for a count of 3.
  5. Squeeze again for 3 counts, then relax for 3 counts. Do this 10-15 times.

When you are comfortable with the exercise, you can do them for 5 minutes, 3 times a day. You can do them lying down, sitting, and standing.

Making Kegel Exercises a Habit

The following tips may help you remember to do your Kegel exercises:

  • Try to schedule your Kegel exercises at the same time every day, such as during a regular TV show, while you do the dishes, or before you go to bed.
  • Find a way to remind yourself to do your Kegel exercises. For example, you could put a note or sign on your mirror or refrigerator.
  • You may forget to do your exercises for a few days. It is common to have a few slips when you are trying to make any new change. Do not get discouraged. Just get back to your exercise program.
  • Chart your progress on a daily or weekly basis. If you were leaking urine before, you should begin to notice that you are leaking urine less frequently or in smaller amounts.
  • Loss of bladder control is common, especially as you get older. Kegel exercises offer you the benefit of trying to solve the problem without medical treatment. A few minutes a day, a few times a day may make a big difference. Keep them up because you will only benefit from these exercises if you continue to do them.