Kegels are for life, not just for pregnancy

On what was supposed to have been my 37th week of pregnancy I had an antenatal appointment booked at the GP’s surgery for a check up. Normally this would have been one of many but as I had been going to the hospital every four weeks anyway it seemed overegging it to go to the GP as well so this was to be my first appointment since I was referred to the hospital at 7 weeks pregnant.

Then Elphie turned up rather unexpectedly, so like the diligent person I am I cancelled the appointment. Then the community midwife showed up at home and found my stitches were infected so told me to go get antibiotics from the GP so duly I reinstated my appointment.

So I turn up and the first to see me is the nurse, who looks mightily confused when I tell her my stitches are infected. Because without a baby (I had left her in daddy daycare) and still with a reasonably big belly, she thought I was there antenatally so was quite nonplussed about where these stitches were exactly.

Anyway, that was all straightened out before she had a chance to feel for a non-existent baby or whatever they do in the GP appointments.

Then was her turn to bamboozle me. Just as I thought I had got out of all the pregnancy related restrictions, she tells me that the Kegels (aka pelvic floor exercises) are for life.

20130718-234303.jpgThese women may or may not be doing their Kegels.

So for all of our non-pregnant female readers out there, listen up because you need to get yourself doing some Kegels!

Why so? Well we’ve got to get our pelvic floor is good shape for old age to avoid the embarrassing onset of urinary incontinence.

Women are twice as likely to get urinary incontinence as men, as the bizarrely named National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse explains this difference is due to pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and simply the structure of the female urinary tract. But our numerous male readers should take note because “both women and men can become incontinent from neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems associated with ageing”.

So if you don’t want to be old ladies or gentlemen who pee your pants then it’s time to get that pelvic floor in shape!

For those of you who need a reminder from Cath’s post on the subject, then netdoctor provides a blow by blow description.

The basics are:

  • locate the muscles by stopping yourself weeing;
  • once you know where they are then randomly throughout your day (when on the bus, checking your emails, getting water from the water cooler) practice squeezing them 10-15 times in a row;
  • then when a seasoned Kegeler start holding each squeeze for a few seconds.
  • After a few months you should notice results and you might get increased sensitivity during sex as an added bonus. But don’t stop then – remember, these are for life!

    As for the men, you have your own set of pelvic floor exercises as explained in this leaflet from Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital which describe the slow and fast twitch required of you.

    Happy Kegelling!

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