Pelvic Floor Exercise

Your pelvic floor muscles do a lot for you; they support all of your pelvic organs, they help stabilise and support your spine, they help guide your baby during childbirth, they even contribute to your relationship by being responsible for intimate sensation for women and erectile function for men.

We have brought together advice from multiple clinical studies to explain:

Visit our pages on the Male Pelvic Floor for specific advice.


The History of Pelvic Floor Exercises

Dr Arnold Kegel, the inventor of the original Kegel pelvic floor exercises

Dr Arnold Kegel, a successful American Gynaecologist, noticed many of the women he treated had weak pelvic floor muscles after childbirth. As a result, they were experiencing what we now call pelvic floor disorders; including incontinence, pelvic organ prolapses and sexual dysfunction.

To learn more, Dr Kegel invented the first biofeedback device, the Kegel perineometer. This manual device included a soft vaginal probe which the patient would squeeze against, and a dial which would measure the pressure this squeeze exerted. From studying his patients, Dr Kegel discovered that a squeeze harder than 20mm was associated with a lower chance of experiencing a pelvic floor disorder.

The Kegel perineometer was the first biofeedback device used to measure the strength of a women's pelvic floor muscles

As a result of his 1948 research, Dr Kegel invented the original pelvic floor exercises, Kegel exercises or Kegel's. Using these exercises Dr Kegel recorded a 93% cure rate of his patients pelvic disorders, and thus the exercises became more popular and many more studies have since followed. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness in pelvic floor exercises. We now understand Dr Kegel's suggestion of 500 daily contractions is too much and could instead cause the muscles to painfully tighten!

Throughout this guide we have brought together tried and tested pelvic floor exercises, providing you with the most up to date information on how to look after your pelvic floor.


Sources

[1] Kegel, A. H. (1952). Ciba Clinical Symposia. Stress incontinence and genital relaxation; a nonsurgical method of increasing the tone of sphincters and their supporting structures. [online] 4(2), p 35-51 [viewed 03/04/2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14905555

[2] Kegel, A. H. (1948). Annals of Western Medicine and Surgery. The nonsurgical treatment of genital relaxation; use of the perineometer as an aid in restoring anatomic and functional structure. 2(5), p213–216