I have a dirty little secret. During my twenties I suffered with incontinence, the loss of bladder control. Both my mother and my brother suffered from it too, as it was something genetic to our family. My brother had an under-developed bladder, so was unable to hold his urine for long periods of time. My mother, on the other hand, suffered from stress incontinence—where she would pee whenever she coughed or sneezed. I suffered from urge incontinence, a sudden intense urge to pee, and often I couldn’t make it to the bathroom on time. It was very embarrassing and I had to wear a pad all the time, because I never knew when it would happen, and often there was no warning at all.
My brother grew out of his problem by learning to gradually hold his urine. I learned to control mine by doing kegel exercises to strengthen my PC muscle.
The Pubococcygeus Muscle
The vagina—just like every other part of your body—needs regular exercise to keep it resilient, healthy and happy. Over time, the vagina and its surrounding muscles on the pelvic floor can weaken, stretch, become torn and no longer offer support due to pregnancy, childbirth, aging, being overweight, abdominal surgery or inactivity. An important part of vaginal health is exercising a muscle called the PC muscle (pubococcygeus muscle). It is a hammock-shaped muscle that stretches from the pubic bone to the tail bone. It forms the pelvic floor and supports the pelvic organs including the bladder, urethra and vagina.
Advantages of Good PC Health
Exercising your PC muscle has numerous advantages because it strengthens the pelvic floor. Strengthening this area will help prevent prolapse (slipping or sagging of the uterus), incontinence (loss of bladder or bowel control) and constipation. For women who are pregnant, a fit PC muscle will help relax muscles during birth allowing for easier deliveries through the birthing canal. After vaginal births, working the PC muscle will benefit you by restoring vaginal muscle tone and promoting perineal healing (the area between the anus and vagina that can stretch or tear during birth).
Some women suffer from painful disorders like vaginismus (pain from vaginal insertion), dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and female sexual dysfunction (loss of sex drive or diminished sexual satisfaction). Working your PC muscles will help make your vagina and pelvic floor stronger and more elastic which means it will stretch easier during sexual intercourse.
Bonus! Kegels of Sexual Pleasure
Training your PC muscle is not only for women who suffer from disorders. PC workouts are very beneficial for all women, regardless of your age, your vagina’s physical condition, or whether or not you have given birth. Why? Since the PC muscle also encircles the outside of the vagina, a healthy PC muscle will improve sexual arousal, allow you to feel your partner more fully during intercourse and intensify your partner’s pleasure by tightening the vagina cavity, thus enhancing lovemaking for both of you. And, that’s not all. A strong PC will allow you to reach orgasm more easily, experience more powerful and pleasurable orgasms, and may even help you achieve multiple orgasms as you learn to better control and respond to your sexual arousal. A fit PC muscle also improves G-spot stimulation and can help you learn to experience G-spot orgasms and female ejaculation. Rhythmic squeezing of your PC muscle during intercourse will help increase lubrication, stimulate the clitoris, and massage your partner’s penis to take him to new heights of sexual ecstasy.
Men Can Do Kegels Too? Sure They Can!
Although kegels are chiefly related to women, men can enjoy the benefits of better sexual function by performing regular kegels as well. According to studies in sexual health journals, kegel exercises for men help prevent premature ejaculation because the PC muscle participates in the ejaculatory reflex. Strengthening this muscle helps men control ejaculation and additionally assists in achieving extended orgasms for men. Other studies have shown that performing kegels on a regular basis can help strengthen erections, and improve erectile dysfunction problems in men by increasing circulation. In fact, a strong PC muscle can create more intense, stronger orgasm for men as well.
Finding your PC Muscle
It is very easy to find your PC muscle. You use it on a daily basis without even being aware of it. It is the muscle you use when you stop urinating mid-stream. The muscles of your pelvic floor tighten and your vaginal muscles clench when you activate this muscle. A method of locating the PC muscle is to insert a finger or two inside your vagina and squeeze until you feel the muscles gripping your fingers. So now that you’ve found it, how do you exercise it?
Kegel exercises are how you work the PC muscles, strengthen the pelvic floor and restore muscle tone to this area. Named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, kegels consist of contracting and relaxing the muscles in rhythmic intervals. There are different types of kegels and different methods for exercising them. Regularity when doing kegels is more important than how many you do in sequence. It is therefore recommended to do any exercise at least three times a day.
The Basic kegel is a slow, controlled squeeze of the PC muscle, as you draw upward and inward. Imagine that you are sucking water up through your vagina (you can actually do this in the bathtub when your PC muscles are strong). Each time you do this hold for a count of 3-5 seconds, then slowly release and relax the PC muscle as you push out. Repeat 10 times, 3 times daily.
Tools to Help
Doing kegels without resistance training (something to squeeze around) can be a bit difficult. I recommend get a resistance trainer like the Intensity which actually stimulates the muscles to contract around the stimulating device. Not only that, the Intensity is also a G-spot and clitoral vibrator in one, so you get the benefit of doing kegels and are rewarded by orgasms! You will never be bored doing kegels again!
For men there is the PrivateGym which is like having a private trainer for your privates. Men who practice Tantra know the benefits of having a strong PC and have learned the art of having expanded orgasms. I’m so thrilled that there is finally something for men to learn how to strengthen their PC muscle, as it aids in erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, increases stamina, sexual performance and pleasure, as well as helps cure incontinence and improve prostate health. So, whether or not you suffer from incontinence as a man, there are many benefits to working your sex muscle out!
For both men and women there is the website InControlMedical.com which features kegel tools for men and women. Similar to the Intensity, there are few products like the Apex, which is designed specifically for patients suffering from stress urinary incontinence and is a proven stress urinary incontinence treatment. The InTone is a similar device used to cure incontinence in men.
Doing kegels on a regular basis worked to fix my incontinence problem and has helped me learn to achieve bigger, better and more intense, longer lasting orgasms. Not to mention I am the known as Gspot Girl, because I can have Gspot orgasms on command (whenever I want). Yeehaw!
So, if you want to cure incontinence, and have better overall pelvic health, plus increases sexual function, pleasure and orgasm, start working your sex muscle (PC) out, stat!
*illustration courtesy of BackInMotion Physiotherapy & Pilates
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