One annoying, stressful, obnoxious fact of aging is, well, peeing in your pants. Stress incontinence can be avoided by doing mula bandha during yoga, which is basically doing a Kegel clench during your entire yoga practice. It's what I've done for eighteen years, and it works. But if you're not into yoga, you need to have a daily Kegel practice.
What Are Kegels?
Pelvic floor muscle exercises were developed in 1948 by American obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Arnold Kegel. Kegels consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pubococcygeus (pubo-cock-see-gee-us) muscle, which is like a hammock holding in all the other muscles attached to the pelvic bone and surrounding organs. The benefits of Kegels are well documented.
Involuntary leakage of urine disrupts normal living and is demoralizing and depressing for those who suffer from this condition.
Strengthening your PC muscle specifically addresses stress incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine when a person coughs, laughs, jogs, shouts, sneezes, or lifts heavy objects such as grocery bags or small children. By strengthening your PC muscles, stress incontinence can be prevented, improved, even cured.
Prostate Cancer Surgery
A man's PC muscle can be weakened from an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, a radical prostatectomy, or radiation therapy for prostate cancer. A flabby PC muscle leads to incontinence. After surgery and radiation for prostate cancer, some urinary control is inevitably lost for a few weeks. Some men have permanent bladder leakage. Strengthening your PC muscles will improve the possibility of recovering bladder control after prostate surgery.
It's not uncommon for a woman to experience prolonged stretching and trauma to the perineum during delivery. The perineum is the tissue between the vagina and anus. The perineum becomes taut during pregnancy and is sometimes torn during childbirth. High infant birth weight, a large baby head, and maternal weight gain may be beyond a woman's control. But you can prepare your PC muscles, which will help prevent tearing of the perineum during labor and delivery. A well-toned PC muscle relaxes during delivery, allowing the baby's head to distend the area without tearing.
And since muscles have a memory, if you exercise your muscles during pregnancy they can spring back quickly after childbirth as you begin exercising again. After you have your baby, ask your doctor how soon you can begin exercising your PC muscle.
When the PC muscle loses tone, the uterus and bladder may begin to sag. Prolapse of the uterus--when the uterus sags into the vagina--occurs in older women who have had numerous pregnancies. This condition can worsen so that the uterus drops completely and the cervix protrudes from the vagina. The younger you are when you begin PC exercises, the less likely it is that you will suffer from a prolapsed uterus.
Better Sex And More Sexual Confidence
As a man ages sexual prowess hinges on the strength of the PC muscle. Strengthening the PC muscle can resolve erectile dysfunction, depending on the cause. Exercising the PC muscle creates more muscle mass in the pelvic region increasing blood flow and thereby contributing to a harder, larger erection. A well-developed PC muscle can give a man increased control and stamina, resolving premature ejaculation. With a well-toned PC muscle, when a man ejaculates, intense muscle spasms result in more pleasurable longer orgasms.
Older men who find it more difficult to become stimulated will benefit by developing their PC muscles. It's possible to maintain sexual interest and achieve orgasm throughout your life if you keep your PC muscle toned.
More Fun For Women
A woman obviously benefits when making love with a man with a well-toned PC muscle, but women who work out their PC muscle also have greater sexual pleasure and greater sexual confidence. With a developed PC muscle a woman can experience more frequent, more intense, multiple orgasms. Exercise prior to intercourse or during foreplay causes more blood to concentrate in the vagina. This blood flow results in more vaginal lubrication as the vagina becomes engorged with blood. As lubrication increases a woman can experience heightened sensitivity to vaginal and anal stimulation.
Women experience sexual pleasure in two ways, through the clitoris and also by internally by stimulating the G Spot. The G Spot is located internally on the front wall of the vagina about two inches up from the opening. The G Spot feels like a small nub that enlarges as it is aroused. The natural flexing and relaxing of a toned PC muscle arouses the G Spot, which then begins to swell. The G Spot and clitoris are simultaneously stimulated leading to more pleasurable, multiple orgasms.
Isolate Your PC Muscle Before You Attempt Working It Out
In women the PC muscle lies at the base of the pelvis encircling and supporting the urethra, vagina, and rectum. In men, the PC muscle runs below the prostate, beneath the testicles, encircling and supporting the urethra, prostate, and rectum.
To locate your PC muscle you must begin in the bathroom with a full bladder. The PC muscle is the same muscle that you use to stop and start the flow of urine. Do not confuse your PC muscle with muscles in your abdomen and buttocks.
Both men and women sit on the toilet, relax and take three long deep breaths. As you exhale, completely relax your abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Begin to empty your bladder, be aware of your PC muscle as you stop and start the flow or urine two to three times, or until your bladder is empty.
It is important to note that after you complete this exercise, you should not continue to stop and start the flow of urine each time your urinate. This practice can send a confusing message to the nervous system, which may ultimately make incontinence worse. It is only important to complete this exercise for the purpose of isolating your PC muscle.
Women who have developed a kidney infection should not do this exercise while urinating.
Once you've emptied your bladder, you can further isolate your PC muscle. Many women find it easier to locate their PC muscle by inserting two fingers into their vagina. Men should put two fingers at the base of their penis, alternating with two fingers at the base of the testicles in order to feel the muscles flexing. Flex the same muscle group as you did for urinating. Continue to flex as you pay attention to the muscle that causes the flow of urine to stop. Men will see their penis move slightly. A woman will feel pressure on her fingers.
Don't Go For the Burn
Like any other muscle, if you don't use your PC muscle it will eventually lose tone. But if you exercise this muscle it can gradually increase in tone and flexibility. However, the PC muscle needs to be developed slowly. Don't overdo your exercise at first. Any muscle including the PC muscle can become uncomfortably fatigued, even painful.
How Long Does It Take To Notice Results?
Keep up your exercise, and you will slowly but surely begin to experience results. Some men and women can have heightened and multiple orgasms, have better staying power, and less recovery time between orgasms within three to six weeks. If you suffer from moderate incontinence, you should notice some improvement in your bladder control within eight to ten weeks. If your incontinence is more severe, stick with it for six months.
Go For It!
The easiest way to fit your Kegels into your day is to use my simple, inexpensive Kegels in Your Car program when you're stuck in traffic. The key to the success of these exercises is doing Kegels consistently. Keep working and be patient. Make Kegels part of your daily life to ensure ongoing benefits.