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Ask The Doc: I’m Too Embarrassed To Ask My Doctor About Kegels

QUESTION:
I’VE BEEN HAVING URINARY LEAKAGE AND MY DOCTOR RECOMMENDED THAT I PERFORM PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN MY PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS, I WAS TOO EMBARRASSED TO ASK HIM HOW TO DO THEM! I KNOW THAT SOUNDS SILLY, BUT NOW I’M CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING. PLEASE HELP!

ANSWER:

Don’t worry! It’s not as complicated as you may think. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, are some of the easiest, most natural, and most effective ways to control urinary incontinence.

What’s even better is that anyone can do them, regardless of age or physical fitness. They’re great for helping with a whole range of conditions, too, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overactive bladder. You don’t need any equipment, and you can do them anywhere. Need another reason to start doing your Kegels today? How about this: they may even help you in the bedroom – stronger pelvic floor muscles contract more firmly during orgasm!

Here’s how you can get started in three simple steps:

STEP 1

Pretend you’re trying to stop the flow of urine by pulling in and squeezing your pee muscles.

STEP 2

Hold for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.

STEP 3

Repeat 4 sets of 10 contractions every day for at least 3 weeks and for up to 6 weeks. Like any other muscle in your body, it takes time to build and strengthen. Once you get the hang of it, make doing your Kegels an ordinary part of your daily routine.

For a more complete guide on how to do kegels, visit our guide here. You can also sign up

for NAFC’s 6-Week Guide To Pelvic Floor Health, which provides a plethora of information

about how to strengthen your pelvic floor, and will walk you through weekly exercises to do

to help you improve. And, NAFC’s Pelvic Health Center has lots more articles and tips on

how to keep your pelvic floor healthy, and tools you can use to address symptoms.

There’s something else in your question that I wanted to address, though: Your comment about being too embarrassed to ask your doctor questions. This is something that we see all too often in the incontinence field. So many patients tend to be uncomfortable discussing their conditions, and for good reason – after all, we’ve been taught all our lives that going to the bathroom is something deeply personal, and that type of lifelong conditioning is hard to overcome.

However, for the sake of your health and your quality of life, you can feel free to leave your embarrassment at the door. After all, this is what we do for a living – all day, every day, we help patients understand that what they have is a real medical condition and that there are real, effective therapies to help them. There’s no judgment on our part – in fact, nobody understands better than we do that incontinence isn’t a personal failing and that you’re not to blame for your condition. We’re here for no other reason than to help you – you just have to let us!

Sources:
https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/oab-21/urinary-incontinence-kegel-exercises-for-pelvic-muscles

The NAFC Ask The Doc series provides answers to some of our reader’s most common questions from a group of experts in the fields of urology, pelvic floor health, bowel health, and absorbent products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Click here to Ask The Doc!

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