By Sarai Arrones BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 07/17/2014

Kegel exercises are aimed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Designed by Dr. Arnold Kegel to control urinary incontinence after pregnancy. Now, these exercises haven been proved to be useful for birth preparation and also increases sexual pleasure.

Moreover, they help to reduce the chances of having hemorrhoids, as they increase the blood flow, prevent episiotomy (a cut done in the anus and vagina to facilitate the delivery) and also prevent the risk of prolapse or organ displacement.

The drill is to contract and relax the pubococcygeal muscle, or pelvic floor muscle repeatedly to increase its strength and endurance. This muscle is responsible of holding the urethra, the bladder, the uterus and the rectum.

  • To empty the bladder.
  • To contract the vaginal muscles, hold for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • Rapid contraction and relaxation of the aforementioned muscles. Repeat 25 times.
  • To envision that the vagina is holding something. Hold the position for three seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • To envision an object is thrown using the vagina. Hold the position for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • To envision you are caressing and object. Hold the position for three seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles

The workout has to be done three times a day.

The efficiency of the Kegel exercises will depend on proper practice, it is not advisable to skip any of the drills listed.

Other activities that also improve the condition of the vaginal muscles are yoga, pilates and Tai-Chi.

Authors and contributors

 Sarai Arrones
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biomedicine and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Specialist Training Course of gamete, embryo, and animal tissue cryopreservation. Embryologist specializing in the field of Assisted Procreation. More information