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About: Women Give Your Pelvic Floor a Workout

Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, August 16th, 2006

Ladies, you dutifully do your cardio and strength exercises for different areas of your body each day? But is your pelvic floor included in the regimen?

The pelvic floor is a thin, interlocking hammock of muscle and tissue spanning the base of the pelvis and provides support for pelvic organs, including the bladder, vagina and uterus. This area can be strengthened through Kegel exercises, which consist of “pulling up, in and relaxing” the muscles that comprise the pelvic floor, according to a news release.

“A weak pelvic floor can lead to a variety of life-restricting health problems, including loss of bladder control and reduced sensation during sex,” said Dr. Raymond Bologna, a urologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and co-author of The Accidental Sisterhood, in the release. “Kegel exercises can help women to regain pelvic floor muscle strength, which allows them to properly control their bladder.”

The first step in doing Kegels is to properly identify the muscle group to be exercised, the release says. Since these muscles can’t be seen, a woman needs to learn how to feel them in order to exercise them:

Here are some tips:

  • Next time you’re in the bathroom, try to stop the flow of urine. Do not tense your buttocks or abdominal muscles, as they don’t affect bladder control.
  • Pretend you are in a full elevator, you have to pass gas and you don’t want to make a sound. The muscles you’re using are your pelvic floor muscles. Just squeezing your buttocks won’t do it.