Kegel exercises

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Kegel exercises

specific exercises named after Dr. Arnold H. Kegel, a gynecologist who first developed the exercises to strengthen the pelvic-vaginal muscles as a means of controlling stress incontinence in women. He later learned from patients who had been performing the exercises that strengthening of the pubococcygeus muscle, a sphincteric muscle that surrounds the vagina, also improved feminine sexual response and contributed to the attainment of orgasm. Research has since demonstrated that this muscle contains specialized nerve endings which contribute to a satisfactory sexual experience.

A third area in which the Kegel exercises are important is in pregnancy and childbirth. The exercises strengthen the pelvic floor and therefore are helpful in reducing discomfort and congestion during pregnancy and in providing support for the pelvic organs before and after birth. During delivery the mother who has developed good tone and conscious control over the pubococcygeus muscle is able to release the muscle and thereby facilitate the passage of the infant through the birth canal. After delivery the exercises maintain the strength of the muscle and greatly diminish the possibility of rectocele and cystocele, dyspareunia, and other aftereffects of delivery.

Most patients must be taught an awareness of the muscle and how to control it. This usually can be done by having the woman shut off urine flow while sitting on the commode. After a few trials the sensation of control is recognized and the patient is able to perform the exercise on her own. Usually the exercises are begun with five or ten contractions before arising in the morning and also during each voiding of urine. Gradually the number of sessions and the number of contractions are increased until ultimately a pattern of three hundred daily contractions is reached. The exercises require concentration but a small expenditure of energy. Once the muscle has been strengthened it tends to maintain its strength and state of partial contraction at all times. Sexual activity helps preserve the muscle tone.
Contraction and release of the pubococcygeus muscle (Kegel exercises) can improve muscle tone, thereby providing better support to the pelvic organs. From Nichols and Zwelling, 1997.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Keg·el ex·er·cis·es

alternate contraction and relaxation of pelvic floor and perineal muscles for treatment of urinary stress incontinence.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

Kegel exercises

A series of exercises designed to help postpartum recuperation by strengthening the pelvic floor (pubococcygeus) muscles, thereby improving urethral and/or rectal sphincter function. Kegel exercises are also useful for men after prostate surgery, and for patients with faecal incontinence.

To ensure that the KEs are being done properly, a vaginal cone can be used to achieve biofeedback for positive reinforcement, as well as electrical stimulation with low-voltage electric current to stimulate the correct muscles, with the current delivered via an anal or vaginal probe.

1. Begin by emptying the bladder,
2. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10.
3. Relax the muscle completely for a count of 10.
4. Perform 10 exercises, 3 X/day (morning, afternoon and night), performed any time and any place; after 4 to 6 weeks, improvement of continence should be obvious; temptation to speed progress by over-exercising may instead cause muscle fatigue and increased urine leakage.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

Keg·el ex·er·cises

(keg'ĕl eks'ĕr-sīz-ĕz)
Alternate contraction and relaxation of perineal muscles for treatment of urinary stress incontinence.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Kegel exercises

Exercises designed to strengthen and rehabilitate the pelvic-floor muscles of those suffering stress incontinence.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Kegel exercises

A series of contractions and relaxations of the muscles in the perineal area. These exercises are thought to strengthen the pelvic floor and may help prevent urinary incontinence in women.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A.H., 20th century U.S. gynecologist.
Kegel exercises - alternate contraction and relaxation of perineal muscles for treatment of urinary stress incontinence.
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.
For maximum benefit, perform 60 to 80 Kegel exercises a day for 6 to 12 weeks.
Now a new gadget - essentially a Slendertone for your pelvic floor - has been created for those who can't get to grips with kegel exercises.
While Kegel exercises might also be part of the treatment plan, overly tight pelvic floor muscles can be just as problematic as having weak pelvic floor muscles.
The vagina itself doesn't actually get "tighter" or smaller, but Kegel exercises do help you have more control over your pelvic floor and vagina, so you can tighten or flex if and when you want to!
Chughtai recommends for all types of UI are Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor and help prevent or reduce leakage.
For example, Kegel exercises (if done properly) can be very helpful in improving bladder symptoms.
PELVIC floor exercises are known as Kegel exercises after the gynaecologist who first suggested them.
PFEs are commonly referred to as Kegel exercises. These exercises are periodic, voluntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that are designed to increase muscle tone.' This non-surgical approach to the treatment of SUI is associated with very low morbidity and reasonable success rates.
Kegel exercises, where you contract vaginal muscles while you're sitting, may be helpful in reducing your risk for incontinence.
Low- and non-impact classes are recommended because they put less stress on joints and exercises, such as modified squats, abdominals (though women should be careful about staying on their back after their third month) or Kegel exercises can also be helpful.
Many people fail Kegel exercises aimed at limiting incontinence because they never identify the correct muscle.