Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the accidental leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, or during physical exertion such as lifting or running. SUI is often the result of weak pelvic floor muscles, and generally responds well to pelvic floor strengthening exercises, also known as Kegels. Urge incontinence is a feeling of sudden urgency to urinate, which may or may not result in urinary leakage. This is often experienced with frequency of urination- needing to use the restroom frequently. Performing pelvic floor strengthening exercises and including the use of vaginal weights can be helpful in training the muscles to treat both stress and urgency symptoms. The goal of the exercises below is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve coordination and timing of these muscles during activities in which exertion places pressure on the bladder to prevent the loss of urine. Individuals with urinary urgency may benefit from seeking the services of a pelvic floor physical therapist to identify other factors that contribute to urgency.
Basic Kegel:Lying on your back with knees bent and feet shoulder width apart, place your pelvis and low back in neutral alignment: this means that the pelvis is not rocked up or down, but is right in the middle. You may wish to have a pillow under your head. To contract your pelvic floor muscles, visualize that the urethra, the area where urine comes out, is a telescope, and you are going to pull the telescope up and into your body using the pelvic floor muscles. This action properly tightens the pelvic floor muscles around the urethra- this is called a Kegel.
Avoid movement of the pelvis or bearing downward as if you were going to pass gas. It is also important to avoid holding your breath. While doing the exercise, inhale keeping the muscles relaxed, then exhale and simultaneously tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do this 3 times every day.
Once this becomes easier, perform the Kegel exercises seated in a chair. Sit up tall, and inhale, relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, then exhale and perform a Kegel. Perform the Kegels in varied lengths in the seated position as described below:
Quick Kegel:Seated, contract your pelvic floor muscles as quickly and as tightly as you can for 1 second. Rest 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Repeat 3 times per day. Perform every day.
Long Kegel:When you are able to hold the Basic Kegel for 5 seconds easily, begin to increase hold time working towards a 10 second hold, followed by a 10 second rest. Perform 10 repetitions 3 times every day.
When this becomes easier, you may progress these exercises by adding an Intimate Rose Vaginal weight. To find the proper weight to exercise with, begin by placing the white vaginal weight into the vagina as you would a tampon. Stand up and attempt to hold the weight inside the vagina for 1 minute. If this can be easily achieved, attempt to walk around doing chores in your home with your clothing on as you normally would with the weight inserted for 20 minutes. If this can be achieved quite easily, attempt to do this with the next heaviest weight on a subsequent day. If the weight falls out into your underwear, go back down to the previous weight that you were able to maintain for 20 minutes, and use that weight to perform the aforementioned Kegel exercises described in the Quick Kegel and Long hold section.
Functional Pelvic Floor Training: Kegels and Beyond
In order to train the pelvic floor muscles to react quickly to prevent urine leakage during activities of daily living, it is necessary to train them during such tasks. The goal of these exercises is to build coordination and control of the pelvic floor muscles during common motions found in daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, and grocery shopping.
To do this, place in the vaginal weight that you were able to maintain for 20 minutes as described before, and perform the following exercises 3-5 times per week:
Standing Kegel: With the weight in, stand up tall with good posture, feet standing hip width apart.
Inhale and relax. Then exhale, and simultaneously do a Kegel, holding the Kegel while exhaling for 5 seconds. Inhale and relax. Repeat 10 times.
Standing Heel Raise Kegel: Stand at your kitchen counter for support with vaginal weight in.
Inhale and relax. Exhale and simultaneously do a Kegel and slowly raise up onto the balls of your feet and then come back down with control. Once your feet are flat on the floor again, inhale and relax the pelvic floor, then exhale and repeat. You should feel the Kegel throughout the entire process of raising up onto the toes and lowering back down. Repeat 10 times.
Mini Squat Kegel: Stand at your kitchen counter for balance and support with the vaginal weight in.
Inhale and relax. Exhale and simultaneously do a Kegel, then bend your knees to approximately 45 degrees while pressing your hips backward as if you were going to sit in a chair. Maintaining the Kegel, return to standing. The Kegel and the gentle exhale should be maintained throughout the entire duration of movement. Once you return to standing, inhale and relax. Repeat 10 times.
The Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights Are Doctor Recommended!