Q. What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises were developed 60 years ago by Dr. Arnold Kegel to control incontinence in women after childbirth. These exercises are now recommended for both women and men who experience urinary or fecal incontinence.
Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. The exercises improve the functioning of both the urethral and rectal sphincters.
The muscles that are developed through the Kegel program are the ones you feel when you try to stop the flow of urine. After about eight weeks of exercising, you usually see results, such as less frequent urine leakage.
Urinary and fecal incontinence are examples of “pelvic-floor disorders.” The pelvic floor is a network of muscles, ligaments and other tissues that hold up the pelvic organs — the vagina, rectum, uterus and bladder. When this network — often described as a hammock — weakens, the organs can shift and create disorders.