Most people don’t know much about the pelvic floor unless they specifically have a condition dealing with it, like pelvic floor dysfunction. Or, you may have talked to your doctor in the past about your pelvic floor if you’re pregnant, or have bladder control issues.
But, even if you’ve never given these muscles much thought, there are many benefits to exercising them. For women, pelvic floor muscle exercises are often referred to as “Kegels”.
If you have concerns about your bladder, bowel movements, or your sexual health, doing exercises that can help to strengthen these muscles is incredibly beneficial. On the other hand, if you ignore some of those concerns, they could lead to self-esteem or self-confidence issues, and even contribute to anxiety or depression.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits.
Better Bladder and Bowel Control
Approximately 13 million people in the U.S. alone struggle with some level of incontinence. It’s not uncommon for women, especially after giving birth, to deal with bladder control issues. That’s why pelvic floor exercises are so popular with new mothers.
If you lose control of your bladder – even a little, when you sneeze, cough, or even without any sort of trigger, it likely means that your pelvic floor muscles are weak. This makes it easy for urine to leak out without your control.
Not only can that be embarrassing, but it’s uncomfortable and disheartening. Practicing these exercises for just a few minutes each day can give your body back the control it needs to keep your bladder in check.
Reduces the Risk of Prolapse
A prolapsed bladder can be incredibly uncomfortable, and it can occur in both men and women. The symptoms are slightly different.
For women, prolapse feels like a heaviness in the vagina, or feeling as though you aren’t able to fully empty your bladder, even after going to the bathroom.
For men, prolapse can make you feel as though you need to empty your bowels, even when you don’t have to. The heaviness resides in the rectal area.
Again, pelvic floor muscle exercises can help to eliminate these feelings and reduce your chances of them happening again.
Increases Your Sexual Satisfaction
Another reason people do pelvic floor muscle exercises is to improve their sex life. If you are concerned about pain during sex or you lack sensitivity in that area, exercising those muscles can help.
No one should be in a sexual relationship without actually enjoying it. But, if you’re either in pain or not feeling much of anything at all, you’re not alone. While pelvic floor muscle exercises can help, it might also benefit you to consider pelvic floor physiotherapy.
If you’ve never taken the time to learn about your pelvic floor muscles before, start now! You don’t have to struggle with things like incontinence, and you can enjoy a fuller, healthier sex life if you educate yourself and learn how to strengthen that set of muscles. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll feel more in tune with what your own body can do, and you’ll know that you have more control over your pelvic floor muscles. What could be more invigorating than that?