Light Bladder Leaks or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a common problem for thousands of women. Experiencing an occasional bladder leak when laughing or running, or any activity that could put stress on the urinary tract could mean you’re also one of these women. SUI can come about after vaginal birth, surgery, or even years of high-impact activity that weakens the pelvic floor muscles. Luckily, there is hope for you to regain this lost muscle, whatever the cause. There are several pelvic floor muscle exercises that one could do, like body-weight squats that may help with leaks. One effective exercise to help strengthen these muscles are called Kegels.
What are Kegels?
So, what exactly are Kegels? Kegels are pelvic floor exercises that tighten and relax the muscles that are interwoven with the vagina, urethra, and rectum. While both men and women can perform Kegels, women are more likely to experience light bladder leaks or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and therefore may benefit more from the exercises for their leaks. Performing these exercises correctly is the only way to ensure that your pelvic floor muscles are actually going to benefit from them. So, how do we do Kegels? Here’s a step-by-step from the Mayo Clinic to help you find and strengthen the right muscles.
Find the right muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first.
Perfect your technique. To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three.
Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
Repeat three times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions a day.
Tools to Help
There are plenty of tools and resources available for women to perfect the exercise and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to the best of their abilities without having to go too far from home.These items can be ordered and shipped right to your house discreetly.
Yoni Eggs: These are smooth egg-shaped stones to be inserted into the vagina to activate the pelvic floor muscles. Your personal preference about how spiritual you want your Yoni Egg experience to be is up to you, but the idea can benefit those suffering with SUI.
Elvie Trainer: This is like the Yoni Eggs cool, modern cousin. Inserted into the vagina, the Elvie has an app to guide you through expert-created Kegel exercise routines, let you know if you’re performing them correctly, and monitor your progress.
These tools are meant to help support women perform their exercises safely and effectively to ultimately help strengthen the muscles that control the urinary tract and may help reduce leaks.
Using tools like the Yoni Egg can help you identify the right muscles. The Mayo Clinic also stresses the importance of not always using the pelvic floor muscles to stop urination, as this can stop the bladder from draining completely and causing a urinary tract infection.
When to Ask for Help
If you’ve been suffering from light bladder leaks and have been trying different solutions from exercises to covering leaks with pads, but are still experiencing leaks, contact your doctor. Keep in mind, while Kegels and other pelvic floor muscle exercises can be effective, they’re like any other muscle and have to build strength over time and with repetition. If you feel that these exercises are causing you to be sore or in pain during or after performing them, you may be doing them wrong or require a different solution. If you’re having problems locating the muscles to engage, contact your doctor or a healthcare professional for advice and tips.
As mentioned before, Kegels can be effective but take time to have the full effect. In the meantime, Revive™ is a safe, reusable solution for women who are suffering from light bladder leaks, Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) to help stop leaks. Inserted like a tampon, Revive can be left in for 12 hours per day to support the bladder and urethra to comfortably prevent embarrassing leaks. Get back to being the leak-free you, before SUI. With Revive you can run, jump, and laugh worry free.