When to do your Kegels

Make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine. For example:

  • Fit in a set of Kegel exercises every time you do a routine task, such as brushing your teeth.
  • Do another set after you urinate or have a bowel movement, to get rid of the last few drops of urine or to return any feces that haven't been voided to the rectum.
  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles just before and during any activity that puts pressure on your abdomen, such as sneezing, coughing, laughing or heavy lifting.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor muscles rhythmically during sexual activity to maintain an erection or delay ejaculation.

When you're having trouble

If you're having trouble doing Kegel exercises, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Your doctor or other health care provider can give you important feedback so that you learn to isolate and strengthen the correct muscles.

In some cases, biofeedback training might help. In a biofeedback session, your doctor or other health care provider inserts a small probe into your rectum. As you relax and contract your pelvic floor muscles, a monitor will measure and display your pelvic floor activity.

When to expect results

If you do your Kegel exercises regularly, you can expect results — such as less frequent urine leakage — within three to six weeks. For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.

Sep. 25, 2012 See more In-depth