What is Kegel Exercise?
Kegel exercise is also known as pelvic floor exercise. It is done by repeatedly contracting the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles have now become known as the Kegel muscle. They were first described by Arnold Henry Kegel. Kegel was an American gynecologist and Assistant Professor of Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of South Carolina. These exercises were invented in order to reduce urinary incontinence in women after childbirth. They also help combat premature ejaculation and increase the size and intensity of erections.
How do I do Kegel Exercises?
- Find the muscles you use to stop urinating.
- Squeeze these muscles for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds. Your stomach and thigh muscles should not tighten when you do this.
- Add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds each time.
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per session. Try to do this at least 3 times a day.
- Don’t do Kegels while you urinate. Doing them during urination can hurt your bladder.
These exercises can be done by both women and men.
Health and sex benefits
- For women – the pelvic muscles of women are often weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, being overweight and aging. The effect of this can be measured using a perineometer which was designed by Dr. Kegel for this purpose. Doing the kegel exercises as described above will counter the effects of urinary incontinence. It will also combat the symptoms of pelvic prolapse. (Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ drops from its normal place in the lower belly and pushes against the walls of the vagina.) Dr. Kegel also published a report in 1952 that doing this exercise helped women orgasm more easily, more frequently and more intensely.
- For men – Although more usually used by women, Kegel exercises can also be done by men. The exercises strengthen the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle as well as other muscles of the pelvic diaphragm. Doing these exercises gives men stronger erections as well as helping to treat premature ejaculation. It will also increase bladder and bowel control and improve general sexual function.
Ben Wa balls
A popular way for women to achieve the benefits of kegel exercises is to use Ben Wa balls. The first recorded use of the balls was in Japan as early as 500 AD. Ben Wa balls are also known as Burmese bells, Orgasm balls, rin-no-tama, Venus balls or Geisha balls. They are usually small, marble-sized balls, usually hollow and containing a small weight, that are inserted into the vagina. Sometimes they are larger and contain smaller balls inside – these are called Duotone Balls. They are used to strengthen then PC muscle by internally stimulating the same muscles that are strengthened doing Kegel exercise. They sometimes have a string or attachment in order to allow for easy retrieval.
Ben Wa balls can be kept in the vagina which will strengthen the muscles and also create very pleasurable sensations.
Other natural ways to improve sexual health
To learn about other natural ways to improve sexual health please read our other articles.