You’re at a restaurant with the girls celebrating a friend’s birthday. Your always-hilarious friend recites an anecdote that has you roaring with laughter, and suddenly it happens—a few drops slip out. You panic, wondering if anyone will notice, and quickly excuse yourself to the restroom.
Sound familiar? If you’re like millions of women around the globe, you’ve experienced some form of urinary incontinence. Those few drops (or more) that slip out when you laugh, cough, or sneeze are not only uncomfortable, but embarrassing.
Missy Lavender, Founder and CEO of Women’s Health Foundation, believes one in three women across the globe suffer from urinary incontinence, with many more cases going unreported.
Reducing or eliminating urinary incontinence is just one of the many benefits of strengthening the pelvic floor (Kegel) muscles.
Below we’ll take a closer look at some of those benefits, define what the pelvic floor is, examine the problem of urinary incontinence in more detail, and move through a step-by-step Kegel exercise guide. We’ll also look at how assistive devices like the PeriCoach System can help you achieve your pelvic floor exercise goals.
What Is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvis that support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. Life events, such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, can all weaken or damage the muscles and other tissues of the pelvic floor. This can lead to a host of problems, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. This is why it’s so important for women to do Kegel exercises. Even women who haven’t been pregnant or who don’t plan on becoming pregnant can benefit from Kegel exercises.