We are advised to incorporate exercise as part of healthy life habits. Many are concerned about having fit arms, tight buttocks, defined abs, and toned legs. Exercise improves our stamina, our cardio health, enhances our mood, and may contribute to our overall well-being and longevity. But what about our love muscle? If you don’t know what and where your love muscle is, keep reading.
WHAT ARE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES & WHERE ARE THEY?
The pelvic floor muscle, also named puboccoccygeus muscle and PC muscle, are found in both sexes and stretch from the pubic bone to the coccyx or tail bone. They form the floor of the pelvic cavity and support the pelvic organs. Dr. Arnold Kegel was a gynecologist who invented the Kegel Perineometer used to measure vaginal pressure and invented the exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by squeezing or contracting and relaxing such muscles.
WHY ARE KEGEL EXERCISES IMPORTANT?
Kegel exercises are a vital part of the reproductive health of women. Besides improving the overall sexual experience for both women and their partners, through increased muscle tone and lubrication, Kegel exercises help avoid urinary stress incontinence, constipation, pelvic organ prolapse, genital prolapse (uterine, bowel or bladder prolapse, sexual penetration pain, and other sexual dysfunctions. Nonetheless, most women are never advised to exercise their pelvic floor muscles and to prepare them for pregnancy, childbirth, and everyday use and stress.
WHAT CAUSES PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES TO WEAKEN?
According to Dr. Laura Berman, sexual therapist, reduced estrogen levels can compromise the health of the tissue and the muscle tone of the pelvic area. Therefore, menopause can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles. Moreover, strenuous activities such as straining on the toilet, a chronic cough, and even being overweight can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, inappropriate exercising such as abdominal crunches, running, and jumping can put pressure in the pelvic floor muscles causing them to weaken over time. Vaginal and cesarean deliveries can significantly damage the pelvic floor muscles.
HOW TO DO KEGEL EXERCISES
Kegel exercises increase the blood flow in the genital area and lead to improved muscle tone and enhanced sexual arousal and more intense orgasms (for both!). The tighter the muscles, the better the sexual experience for your male partner because he will feel the increased tightness, thus leading to higher levels of pleasure. To start exercising your Kegel muscles, Dr. Berman advises to start with a set of ten. Tighten and hold the tightness for a few seconds at a time. Gradually increase the number of sets and scatter them throughout the day. Fast and slow exercises will allow you to work different muscle fibers that benefit sexual function. To locate them, try either stopping your urine for a few seconds while going to the bathroom. You can also put your fingers in your vagina and contract your pelvic muscles to feel the tightness around your fingers. There are also aids in helping you reap the greatest results from the Kegel exercises. The use of the Kegelmaster, Vagacare, vaginal weights, and many others available can help. Check with your gynecologist if you need help deciding which apparatus or Kegel exercise technique is best for you.
WOMEN SHARE THEIR STORIES
I exercise my Kegel muscles daily. When I am having sex with my husband, I am able to tighten them to improve my feeling in my vagina and he goes nuts! He loves how I tighten and let go and intensify the sensation on his penis. —Melina O., San Juan, PR
I went to my gynecologist a few years ago after I had my baby and she assessed my vaginal muscles. She introduced her fingers and asked me to tighten my Kegel muscles as tight as I could. I did. She said I got a C minus on the tone of my Kegel muscles. She advised me to exercise them to improve their tone and told me that was going to help me have better orgasms, better sex, and help to avoid urinary incontinence in the future. —Trina B., Addison, TX
I know I need to work on my Kegel exercises. Among the first few times I had sex with my boyfriend, he asked me to tighten my Kegel muscles for him. I did but he did not feel it. I felt so embarrassed! I bought some Chinese balls to insert them in my vagina during exercise; I am forced to keep the Kegel muscles tight so they don’t slide out. I hope that helps! —Selva P., El Paso, TX
Your sex muscle awaits exercise. Start small and work your way up. Incorporate them as part of your daily routine and be consistent. Do not get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It may take weeks for you to start noticing the results. However, the effort will be worth it!
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