How do you know if you’re doing your pelvic floor exercises (aka kegels) properly?

There are many wild and wonderful things women do when they think they’re contracting their pelvic floor! You might think this isn’t an issue for you because you haven’t got symptoms #ifitaintbrokedontfixit

And you might be right! But knowing and understanding what your pelvic floor is and how it feels when it’s contracting (tightening & lifting) and relaxing (lengthening) is a key part of managing any symptoms of dysfunction like

  • leakage
  • urgency
  • poor control of wind
  • pain & heaviness

And it also puts you miles ahead when one of these challenges comes along!

So how do you know exactly if you’re doing your pelvic floor exercises properly?

Well, there are few ways to check.

Here are 5 in order of least information to most information:

1. Stop the flow of urine while you’re on the toilet.

This one is something we would recommend doing regularly, or as part of your exercise program (it can be very confusing for the bladder!) but you could try it as a one off to see if you’ve got any control in that area

2. Grab a mirror and check yourself out!

Look for a tightening of the openings and and gentle lift of the perineum on contraction.

3. Assess yourself

You can do a self vaginal examination with one finger inserted, looking for a squeeze and lift on contraction.

4. Real time ultrasound

This is the same device they look at babies with but lots of women’s health physios use them. We put it on your lower tummy and, with a full bladder, we can see if you get a lift of the pelvic floor, if you can co-ordinate it and how long you can hold for.

5. A vaginal/internal examination

With a suitably trained women’s health physio. This is the gold standard because it gives the most information! The tissue can be assessed, the quality and strength of the muscles can be graded, and you can be assessed for pelvic organ prolapse.

Have you ever had your pelvic floor muscles assessed?

Reach out if you need more info or would like to make a pelvic health appointment @glowphysio