Once upon a time, the mere mention of a woman’s vaginal health would have been met with chaotic screams and men shouting: “witch, witch, burn the witch!”
Okay, perhaps this is an extreme scenario, but at the very least, disapproving looks and gasps would be directed your way.
There’s no doubt that we’ve come a long way as a society when talking about women’s health, but we’re just not all the way there yet.
If you grew up watching Sex and the City, you may have had a brief introduction to the term ‘kegel.’ This comes after the iconic Samantha Jones flips through a magazine and comes across vaginal weights, uttering one of her many epic lines: “Honey, my vagina ‘weights’ for no man!”
But why on earth would women choose to insert little balls inside them for fun? While some may find it a little odd, it’s an excellent way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which in turn improves your sexual wellness and bladder health.
What’s in a kegel?
Kegels are basically exercises in which you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles – contracting and releasing for three seconds, says Healthline. These muscles are responsible for supporting the pelvic organs – bladder, colon, uterus or prostate. Similar to every other muscle in the body, the pelvic floor muscle can be strengthened through continuous exercises. But this form of exercise isn’t only limited to women, men can benefit from these exercises too!
Why do them?
Do you remember that one Keeping up with the Kardashians episode where Kris Jenner would literally pee herself all the time? Well, kegel exercises aren’t just for sexual pleasure. They also help women that struggle with incontinence. Along with saying no to a leaky bladder, kegels are also a great way to improve blood circulation to the vagina, which definitely helps when you’re ready to get down and dirty. Worst-case scenario, your pelvic floor muscles start to weaken as you get older, causing your pelvic organs to droop and fall out of your vagina – a harrowing tale we would not love to relay, so make sure you do those exercises!
How to find these muscles
A common way to find your pelvic floor muscles is to imagine you’re urinating and then holding it. Those muscles that contract to stop the flow of urine are the muscles you need to be engaging. Pay special attention to the muscles that you use when you contract, making sure that you’re not using your abdomen, buttocks or leg muscles when attempting this exercise.
If you’re still struggling, there are a range of apps online (Kegel Trainer PFM Exercises is a great one) and YouTube videos that will help you locate these muscles.
With endless benefits to performing these exercises, there’s only one thing left to be said: ready, set, engage!