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II. Kegel Exercises

The primary muscle involved is the pubococcygeus (P-C) muscle. When exercised, the P-C muscle:

  1. Strengthens urinary sphincter control

  2. Increases your muscle tone in the vagina

  3. Increases your ability to constrict the vagina voluntarily. 
      This increases female vaginal perception and response 
      during penile-vaginal intercourse

  4. Contributes to elimination of pain during sexual intercourse

  5. Aids in birth of baby by increasing your ability to relax the pelvic floor

  6. Aids in postpartum recovery of tone of pelvic floor muscles

To identify the P-C muscle, sit on the toilet with your legs spread as far apart as possible. Start and stop the flow of urine. The P-C muscle is the only one that can accomplish this while in this position.

Practice the Kegel exercise 5 times a day (15 contractions each time) or 10 contractions whenever you open the refrigerator. Soon kegels will become second nature to you. Contract the P-C muscle, hold for 3 seconds, relax, and repeat the process.

Because the P-C is a muscle like other muscles with too much strenuous exercise it can become sore. If this happens, either stop doing the exercise for I or 2 days until the temporary soreness disappears and then resume, or reduce substantially the amount of exercise per day, and gradually increase it to the recommended number.

Once you learn where the muscles are, the Kegel exercise can be done during daily activities that do not involve a great deal of moving around (e.g., driving an automobile, sitting, doing dishes, watching TV, waiting in a checkout line, lying in bed).

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