Better Sex and Bladder Control

We've all heard about kegels, we've all been told by our OB/GYNs to do more of them, but very few women do enough of them to make any difference. The person who popularized a description for a pelvic floor exercise was, yes you guessed it, Dr. Arnold Kegel, in the 1940s. He wanted to help mothers with their urinary incontinence after birthing children (yes moms have had issues since the beginning of time, it isn't a modern issue). If you have a full bladder and sneeze, most of us who have multiple kids know that can be problematic for urinary control. If you can jump on a trampoline without any wetting you don't need a medical or surgical intervention thankfully, however if you're over that line, you might want to consult your doctor for more help than just kegels can provide. What you may not know is that kegel exercises can help with better sex too.

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Kegels strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which are a complicated set of muscles that surround and support the organs inside your pelvis, it's not just one muscle sheet, and those muscles get unevenly and heavily strained by the growing weight of amniotic fluid and baby pressing down on them for months. How you do a kegel (in case you've escaped this information) is to tighten the muscles down there that make it feel like you're stopping urination mid-stream. And it's important to do series of both quick clenches as well as sustained holds of a couple seconds, not just one or the other.

There is a sexual payoff in addition to better bladder control to sweeten the deal though. Studies have shown women can feel less discomfort during intercourse, increased sexual desire, and easier orgasms. It is also shown to help men sexually, with males reporting better erections and better ejaculatory control, which is good for their partners, so encourage your male partner to join in the fun. The catch is, you have to do multiple sets of kegels every day, and for several weeks before a distinct benefit is determinable, and then you have to keep them up!

I've found the easiest way to remember to kegel is to attach it to another activity I already do multiple times a day, for me that's brushing my teeth. Since after a lifetime of good training by my parents, I don't even have to think about brushing my teeth twice a day, so that's the activity I've affixed my kegel mental reminder to. Other people I know use their commutes as the place and way to remember to do the exercises. They can be done anywhere, standing or sitting are both effective, so the car is fine. 

Think of it this way, it's an exercise routine that can be done anytime, without a gym membership, without special equipment or outfits, without anyone knowing. The end goals will be more subtle than 6-pack abs, but more easily attainable for most of us as well. Not peeing yourself like your toddler AND easier orgasms? Sure you have to do it at least twice a day to really make a difference, which I acknowledge can be a barrier to entry for sure, but how good will it feel to have an achievable small life change/new habit you can implement and succeed at? One with long lasting effects. If more sexual desire isn't a good motivation, how about putting off panty liners and adult diapers for longer?      

sexual healthAdrienne Dahms