Do Kegel Exercises Work?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is one of the most common gynecological problems women face, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 women. Symptoms include the frequent urge to urinate, painful urination, constipation, incontinence and lower back pain. Physical therapy is a common treatment, and for women who aren’t helped through other approaches, surgery may be an option.
Kegel exercises are routinely recommended to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Get the facts on how performing these moves can lessen pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms and improve your outlook.
Understanding pelvic floor dysfunction
The pelvic floor houses a group of organs, including your bladder, bowel, and uterus. The muscles surrounding these organs provide support in what is known as the pelvic sling. Problems arise when these supportive muscles weaken either from childbirth, injury, genetics or other causes.
This weakness can cause the pelvic organs to sink from their natural position, causing discomfort, incontinence, and more. Women with pelvic floor dysfunction may experience pain during sexual intercourse, abdominal discomfort and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Kegels effective for many
Many women have heard of Kegels — toning exercises meant to raise and strengthen the pelvic floor. These exercises effectively improve symptoms in many women with stress incontinence. However, it’s not always the answer for everyone.
If your problem is a pelvic floor that is too high and tight, you may be better suited for therapy designed to relax the pelvic muscles. In other cases, surgery is the most effective treatment. It’s vital to visit an experienced obstetric and gynecological specialist for diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan.
How are Kegels performed?
Performing Kegel exercises properly is crucial to symptom improvement. Your physical therapist will guide you on the appropriate way to do these exercises. The first step is to identify your pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to find these muscles is to stop urination midstream. If you’re able to do this, you’ve found the right muscles.
Performing Kegels involves contracting these muscles and holding the contraction for about 10 seconds at a time. It’s typical to perform contractions five times in a row. Your provider may recommend that you repeat Kegel exercises three times daily to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Just like other muscles in your body, exercising your pelvic floor muscles helps make them stronger so that they provide more support to your pelvic floor.
Pelvic dysfunction diagnosis
Dr. Darin Swainston takes advantage of the most up-to-date diagnostic tools, including ultrasound, radiology, and cystoscopy to examine and diagnose pelvic floor disorders.
When necessary, Dr. Swanson may order additional testing, such as an MRI and multichannel urodynamics, to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the lower urinary tract. This helps hone in on the source of pelvic dysfunction issues such as incontinence.
Treatment you can rely on
Pelvic dysfunction patients often find that their symptoms improve with various self-implemented measures. Dr. Swainston may recommend a combination of dietary changes, Kegel exercises and home biofeedback, a treatment that helps strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Some incontinence and prolapse cases may require surgery. When this is the case, Dr. Swainston uses the latest minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Swainston and his team offer robotically assisted laparoscopy to repair prolapse. Robotically assisted gynecological procedures shorten recovery time and improve the effectiveness of the repair.
If you need diagnosis and treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, call our Las Vegas, Nevada office and speak with our knowledgeable staff to schedule an appointment. Alternatively, you can use our convenient online booking form.