The time leading up to menopause, referred to as perimenopause, your body begins to change as oestrogen starts to decline. This can affect the body in a number of negative ways including the overall health of your vagina.
When oestrogen levels drop during menopause, the pelvic floor weakens and can cause problems like weak orgasms and incontinence (leaking when you sneeze or laugh). So it makes sense to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles through very specific exercises which target the pelvic floors to improve not only your sexual health as well as the overall health of your vagina.
What are pelvic floor muscles and what do they do?
You can think of pelvic floor muscles like a supportive hammock which lies under your urethra and bladder. Its role is to keep the pelvic organs in place and working effectively. However the diminishing oestrogen levels during menopause can cause all sorts of complications including weakening of the pelvic floor. This can cause your vaginal tissues to lose lubrication and elasticity. And because of this, you may notice the following changes:
- Incontinence: you leak a little urine from sneezing, laughing or coughing.
- Dyspareunia: sexual intercourse can become painful or uncomfortable.
- Pelvic organ prolapse: you may develop a feeling of heaviness in your vagina caused by your pelvic organs slipping out of place.
Prevention ladies, is better than any cure. It’s essential that you commit regularly to performing these no-sweat exercises to build strong pelvic floor muscles – it’s these very muscles which allow you to ‘hold on’ and intensify orgasms. Did you know that if you regularly exercising weak muscles, over a period of time you can strengthen them and make them work effectively again? These exercises are discrete and powerfully effective. They are called Kegel exercise and below are two different methods which can be used with or without a devise.
The Key to Correct Kegel Exercises
A step-by-step guide:
♥Lie down on your back with your knees bent (this will take the weight off your pelvic floor).
♥If you’re using a device (a weighted exerciser, something firm to flex you muscles around), coat it with lubricant and insert it into your vagina until it comfortably slips into place just behind the pubic bone. Don’t worry it can’t be pushed in too far or get lost inside of you.
♥If you’re not using a tool using your finger(s) which has the same effect, but remember to wash your hands first. Coat your finger(s) with lubricant and insert your finger(s) about 2 inches into your vagina.
♥Start by contracting your pelvic floor muscles. If you are doing it correctly it will feel like you’re pulling up and in toward your belly button. And if you’re using a tool, you should feel it rise a bit. Whereas you should feel a gentle tightening around the finger(s). Remember to stay relaxed & breathe throughout the exercise.
♥Hold the lift for a count of 5. If you’re using a tool, you can add resistance by pulling gently on it as you continue using your muscles to pull the tool inward and upward. Remember to breathe!
♥Relax your muscles.
Congrats you have just done one Kegel!
Exercise 2: A quickie (squeeze for power)
Squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles as strongly and as quickly as possible. This involves just quick intense impulses so don’t hold on to the contractions. Rest and pause between each squeeze. Repeat this 10 to 20 times or until you feel your pelvic floor muscles are tired.
You can do this exercise regularly and just about anywhere!
Remember – you are doing your Kegels correctly when you feel your pelvic floor muscles ‘lift up’ inside you, NOT downward movement.
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