Your pelvic floor includes all of the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that support the organs in your pelvis. And sometimes, like any muscle in your body, your pelvic muscles need a little exercise.
That’s where Sara Anderson, DPT, comes in. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, she specializes in using physical therapy techniques to treat pelvic floor conditions. These conditions include urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, constipation and sexual dysfunction.
“The [pelvic floor] muscles work like muscles in our arms and in our shoulders in that they can be strengthened,” explained Anderson. “The more that they’re strengthened, the less likely you are to have things like incontinence when you cough, sneeze and laugh. We can train those muscles to do that with Kegels.”
Kegels are just one of the therapies Anderson uses to help treat pelvic floor disorders. If you’re unfamiliar with Kegels, it’s an exercise that’s done to make the vaginal muscles contract, or squeeze. They’re a good way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, but they aren’t recommended for everyone.
“Women who have a history of pelvic pain, abdominal pain, previous surgeries or pain or discomfort with sex should be checked out by a provider so we can establish whether Kegels are appropriate,” said Anderson.
If it’s safe for you to do Kegels, it’s an exercise you can do virtually any where at any time.
“It’s always helpful if you can align them with something you’re doing normally throughout your day,” suggested Anderson. “Right before or after breakfast lunch and dinner is a good time.”
How to Kegel
Watch the video below to see Anderson explain how to properly do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor: