To Kegel or Not To Kegel

By Dr. Angela Potter


Kegels are a form of exercise to tone the pelvic floor muscles.  They are frequently talked about as the best exercise to do both while pregnant and during the postpartum time to help tone the pelvic muscles.  Unfortunately, this is not true!  Often, kegels can cause more problems for women.


What is the benefit of doing kegels?

Kegels help tone the pelvic floor muscles.  Just like someone would lift weights to build arm muscles, kegels build muscle tone for the pelvic floor.  Some women benefit from kegels when they are experiencing leaky bladder or organ prolapse.


Why are kegels NOT beneficial?

Many women already have pelvic muscles that are too tight and doing more kegels only exacerbates the problem!  Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight can contribute to urinary incontinence and organ prolapse.  


What to do instead?

Visit a pelvic floor therapist to get an evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles.  If your pelvic floor muscles are already too tight, they will be able to offer exercises to help reduce the pelvic floor tone.