Fiera Blog

Do Your Kegels!


I recently had a conversation with a friend who was experiencing some urine loss during exercise, following the birth of her child. Putting on my gynecology hat, I asked her if she'd tried kegel exercises yet. Her response was classic—“I hate working out, so why would my vagina be any different”? Her response intrigued me. As a clinician, recommending a treatment as simple as a kegel squeeze is a no-brainer.

Over time, the pelvic floor muscles can become weak from a variety of causes, including:

  • Pregnancy/childbirth
  • Aging
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Oobesity
  • Straining associated with chronic constipation
  • Chronic cough
When this occurs, a woman can experience pelvic organ prolapse, as well as urinary or fecal incontinence. By exercising your kegel muscles on a regular basis, you can strengthen the pelvic floor in order to potentially prevent or lessen the severity of these conditions.

How do you do a kegel exercise?

The key is to make sure that you are actually engaging your levator ani muscles.

  • Start by standing over the toilet while urinating. Stop the flow of urine midstream and pay attention to the muscles in your pelvis that you just squeezed—these are your “kegel” muscles (don’t forget to finish emptying your bladder!).
  • When first starting out, it helps to lie down in a quiet environment. Squeeze the kegel muscles for 5 seconds and relax for 5 seconds. Repeat for a total of 10 squeezes. For the first week, perform the exercise once a day only.
  • At the start of the second week, try holding each squeeze for 7 seconds. Now perform the exercises twice a day (10 squeezes each time).
  • At the start of the 3rd week, try holding each squeeze for 10 seconds. Increase the frequency of kegel exercises to 3 times a day.
You may notice results as soon as 3 months after starting this routine. The great thing about kegels is that you can do them anywhere without anyone ever knowing, and the “gym membership” is free. Oh, and one last tidbit to really seal the deal—doing kegels may increase the intensity of a woman’s orgasm. Find me one exercise machine at the gym that can make the same claim!

Relationship Refresh


Topics: aging Fiera Experts kegels

Written by Leah Millheiser, MD

Dr. Leah Millheiser is the Chief Scientific Officer of Aytu Women's Health, LLC. At Stanford University Medical Center, Dr. Millheiser is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program. In addition, she is a Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. As a sexual medicine expert, Leah devotes her career to treating all aspects of female sexual health. She has a particular interest in the sexual wellness of cancer survivors. In her gynecology practice, she takes care of women across the lifespan, from adolescence to menopause and beyond.

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