Do You Pee When You Sneeze?
Do you ever pee when you sneeze, run, or laugh really hard…? No? Just us? Ok. Well, the reality is that many women who have gone through childbirth, surgery, pregnancy, aging, or excessive straining due to constipation or coughing may suffer from weakened pelvic floor muscles. The result? You may not have *complete* control of your bladder. It’s perfectly normal, but we want to help!
If you want to gain a bit more control over your bodily functions (and stop peeing whenever you go for a run), we have one word for you: kegels.
What are Kegels?
A kegel (rhymes with seagull) is simply a pelvic floor muscle exercise. They are intended to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, like your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. Why exercise these muscles? Because they can help you prevent or control urinary incontinence (a fancy term for peeing by accident) and other pelvic floor issues.
The Pros & Pros of Kegel Exercises (because let’s be honest, there are no cons)
- No more peeing when you run (or at least less peeing when you run). Ok, while we can’t promise your urinary incontinence issues will go away entirely, regular kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, allowing you to regain more control over your bladder. If letting out a little pee every time you sneeze is your new normal, we urge you to give kegels a try ASAP!
- Better sex! Yes, you read that right. Doing regular kegel exercises helps relax your vaginal muscles, which in turn can increase your vaginal lubrication, ultimately making it easier for you to reach orgasm.
- Anyone can do them. One of the reasons we love kegels is because anyone can do them. No matter your age, gender, or mobility level, this is one exercise regimen that is accessible to all. And kegels aren’t just for women! Kegel exercises will also strengthen men’s pelvic floor muscles, providing support to the bladder, small intestine, rectum, and even the prostate. Additionally, kegels aren’t only for people with pelvic floor issues, they’re for Think of your pelvic floor like any other muscle in your body, and give it the exercise it deserves (is pelvic floor day the new leg day?).
How To Do Kegel Exercises
- Do: Make sure you pee before doing kegel exercises (if you do them on a full bladder, you increase your risk of a UTI)
- Don’t: Hold your breath. Like with any exercise, you should continue breathing freely while doing kegels.
- Do: Find the right muscles. Many people incorrectly contract their glutes or inner thighs, which can do more harm than good. The muscles you want to work are the same ones you’d use to stop peeing midstream. In fact…
- Don’t: Squeeze your glutes, abdomen, or thighs at all. One way to think of it is like you’re sitting on a marble and you want to tighten your pelvic muscles in order to pick up that marble.
- Do: Three sets per day of 10-15 repetitions each. Hold each rep for up to 10 seconds (you may want to start by holding for a few seconds only, working your way up to 10). Relax for at least 10 seconds in between repetitions.
- Do: Find a position that works for you. You can do kegels in almost any position: standing, sitting, lying on your stomach with one leg bent, lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, or even on all fours with your head resting on your hands.
What more is there to say? It’s time to work those kegels, people! Grab your sweatband, bike shorts, and queue up “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John. Better sex and bladder control are just a workout away!