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Kegel exercises are simple muscle movements that everyone man or woman can do to improve muscle tone in their groin area. These exercises were, unsurprisingly, named after the doctor who first made note of them, Dr Arnold Kegel. In pregnancy, they can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which facilitates an easier vaginal birth and speeds up childbirth recovery, according to many. How are they carried out, and what else do you need to know about this simple, invisible exercises?

Kegels are done by contracting and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. If you have ever had to hold up a pee, you already know how they are done, because the same muscles are used. Try it now imagine you really have to use the bathroom but will have to wait for a while. Feel those muscles? Now let go, and relax. You have just completed a Kegel. The more often you do these exercises, the stronger the muscles in question will become. Pregnancy, vaginal births, age, and surgical interventions like cesarean sections, can all contribute to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

Doing Kegel exercises can prevent urinary incontinence (also see weak bladder control or pregnancy incontinence), prevent pelvic prolapse, and make childbirth easier and recovery quicker.There are many reasons to try Kegel exercises for yourself, and you can do them anywhere and at any time, without anyone ever knowing. Now for some Kegel curiosities: Did you know there are specialized "Kegel exercisers" on the market? Often made of stainless steel, these are also called vaginal barbells. You don't need these to do Kegels, however. Men can also carry out Kegel exercises. For men, they can help prevent or cure incontinence, and give them stronger erections as well.

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