Doing Kegels the Right Way

By Dr. Dorothy Fairley, ND

Incorporating Kegel exercises into your daily routine can help with some stress urinary incontinence control. There are 3 kinds of Kegels, and they need to be done repeatedly to strengthen the muscle at the base of the bladder. Just like with any exercise, repetition makes the muscle stronger. It usually takes about 3 months to get good control and build up strength.
The first thing is to locate the muscles that you are strengthening. A quick way to do this is to stop the flow of urine when urinating. Do not make a habit of doing this, as the body may start to retain urine.

The 1st Kegel exercise most women know as the quick Kegel, which is where you rapidly squeeze and release the muscles of the vagina 10 times in a row (this should take about 10 seconds).

The 2nd exercise is called the slow Kegel, where you squeeze and hold it for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat this 10 times in a row (this should take about 50 seconds).

Lastly, is the pull-in Kegel where you imagine that you are sitting in an inch of water, and your vagina is a vacuum cleaner trying to suck it up. When properly performed, you tighten your buttocks when pulling up and in at the front. Hold that position for 5 seconds and release. Repeat this 10 times in a row (this should take about 50 seconds).
Work up to doing these 4 times per day, and increase by 5 reps each week, until you are doing 40 in a row. Within 3 months, there should be good control. Drop back to 10 reps, 4 times per day as a maintenance level.