What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are ones designed to tighten up your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles help you control your bladder and bowels. It also helps you with your erections.
The pelvic floor muscles, along with other tissues, stretch from your tailbone in the back to your pubic bone in the front. The muscles support your bladder and your bowel. The urethra, which takes urine (pee) out of your body, and your rectum, which allows feces (poop) to move out of your body, pass through the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor.
Why would men do Kegel exercises?
Men with certain health and sexual health issues can benefit from doing Kegel exercises. These exercises may help you:
What happens before you can do Kegel exercises?
To do Kegel exercises, you have to find the muscles that you need to exercise. There are three muscles you need to find and flex to complete a correct Kegel exercise.
- One muscle is the bulbocavernosus (BC) muscle that you use to push blood into the penis and to squeeze urine and semen out of your urethra and penis.
- Another muscle is the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle. This muscle is one that helps you pee and poop and contracts during orgasm. It supports your lower organs.
- The third muscle is the iliococcygeus muscle (IC), which supports your organs and is involved in moving your anus back into place after you poop.
The BC muscle is the main one involved in doing Kegel exercises, with the other two muscles doing less of the work. You can find this muscle by stopping your urine stream while you’re peeing.
You can try feeling your PC muscle by attempting to draw your penis in toward your body, making it shorter. You may feel like your scrotum is being pulled upward.
What happens while you’re doing Kegel exercises?
Like any exercise program, you should start with small steps.
- You can do Kegel exercises anywhere, but you might want to start by lying or sitting on your bed.
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for about five seconds. To keep from holding your breath, try counting out loud. Then relax for another five seconds.
- Do this 10 times per session. Try to do three sessions per day. If you get tired, stop.
- Try to reach the point where you’re holding for 10 seconds and then relaxing for 10 seconds.
- You shouldn’t feel pain while you’re doing Kegel exercises. If you have pain, you may be doing them incorrectly. At this point, speak to your healthcare provider. They may have suggestions about how you can improve your technique or be able to provide you with a physical therapy program for pelvic floor exercises that may include biofeedback.
It’s also important to learn how to relax your pelvic floor muscles to avoid pain and to help with proper muscle functioning.
Risks / Benefits
What are the advantages of Kegel exercises for men?
Kegel exercises can help improve your bladder and bowel health, and possibly your sexual performance. These exercises can be helpful for people who are preparing for prostate cancer surgery, too.
What are the risks or complications of Kegel exercises for men?
Kegel exercises shouldn’t cause damage if you learn to relax the muscles, as well as strengthen them. You shouldn’t do Kegel exercises to excess. You also shouldn’t spend too much time trying to stop your urine flow.
Don’t do Kegel exercises if you have a urinary catheter in place.
How long should it take before you feel a difference from doing these exercises?
It may take as long as six weeks to notice improvements from Kegel exercises. You need to make them a permanent part of your routine to continue getting the benefits.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Muscles need exercise to stay strong, something that’s also true for the muscles in your pelvic floor. You can speak with your healthcare provider about the correct way to do Kegel exercises for your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can help you stop leaking urine or feces and may improve your sexual performance and enjoyment. It may seem embarrassing to talk about, but these situations can be improved. It’s worth the effort to make your life more enjoyable.
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