Science Reveals What Kegel Exercises Are REALLY For

Even if you're not quite sure what Kegels are, you've probably heard of them. Named for Dr. Arnold Kegel, the exercise is done by contracting, then relaxing the pelvic floor. Go ahead, do it now; I am as I type this. Can you feel it? Pull your pelvic muscles in, then release. In, then release.

Feel calmer yet?

On top of helping with urinary incontinence later in life, keeping your lady parts nice and taut, and making childbirth smoother, I'm sure you've also heard that Kegels are a great way to keep your sex life in tip-top shape. And if you can incorporate them into your between-the-sheets routine (or non-routine, wink), you're making the experience even more intense for both parties — or so they say.

According to a new study, "doing your Kegels" may not improve sexual function.

In researching a group of 32 post-menopausal women who were asked to do Kegels for three months (twice a week in clinician group-guided sessions and three times a week on their own), São Paulo University scientists found that the participants had stronger muscles in their pelvic region and an overall change in their moods and anxiety levels as a result. Forty-four percent of the women reported anxiety before the workouts, whereas afterward, that percentage dropped to only 28 percent.

But despite age-old theories that Kegels were some sort of miracle exercise when it came to sexual satisfaction, none of the women reported any changes in that department. Granted, there could be many other factors that contributed to this, like physical and mental issues, the fact that they were post-menopausal, or simply that these women were knockin' boots with fellas who couldn't locate their clitoris. Tragic. 

I, for one, have Xanax to counteract any levels of anxiety that my creep into my brain, so I don't need Kegels for that. Ladies (and gentlemen), the primary reason I will continue to do my Kegels is to avoid "pelvic prolapse." I have always thought that horror stories about your uterus getting droopier over time and actually falling out of place was the stuff of urban legends, but after some quick research this morning (a.k.a., Googling, like the caffeinated, hyped-up lass I am), I confirmed that Kegels are indeed a major way to keep your lady bits intact. That, my friends, should be reason enough. 

Who wants to wake up at 50, go to the loo and see their uterus hanging low? No thanks.  

Do you do Kegel exercises?

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