January 8, 2021
You've got your at-home workout equipment, signed up for a wellness app, and maybe even a meal kit—but what have you done for your vag lately? The best Kegel weights, as well as smart trainers and machines, exist to strengthen your pelvic floor. Unsure what the pelvic floor even is? Think of it as a hammock that supports some very important organs, like your uterus, bladder, and bowels—and keeps you from going number one or two when you have to go. The pelvic floor enables childbirth, but it's also a major player in your sex life.
Kegel exercises, whether you choose to use a product or not, can help. These exercises involve a series of contracting and relaxing your pelvic-floor muscles to help strengthen them.
Doing a Kegel means you are performing an isolated contraction of your pelvic-floor muscles by ‘closing the openings’—my cue for women to gently close the anus, then vagina, then urethra,” pelvic-floor physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, tells Glamour.
However, it’s important to talk to a medical professional before you self-prescribe Kegel exercises since sometimes exercising your pelvic-floor muscles can lead to more damage. If these muscles are short or overactive, doing Kegels could actually make their incontinence, pain, or prolapse worse,” Jeffcoat says.
One effect that weak Kegel muscles can have is the condition called vaginismus, which is when the pelvic-floor muscles spasm before or during penetrative sex, oftentimes making it very painful and uncomfortable. Some people even experience pain when inserting a tampon. In this case, Jeffcoat tells her patients to stop doing Kegel exercises, or even any core strength training (like Pilates), as this could be exacerbating the condition.