Staying fit and healthy ‘down there’ is important for all women and for years doctors have said one of the best ways to strengthen your pelvic muscles and keep your vagina in tip-tip shape is to do kegels every day.
Now though, health experts say there are some women who should avoid doing the pelvic exercise as they could risk doing more harm than good.
Kegels are essentially a vaginal exercise meant to improve muscle tone and control. They can help with incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse as well as the general health of your nether region.
Despite all the good they can do though, kegels can cause significant muscle damage to women who have tight pelvic floor muscles and should be avoided in order to prevent any further damage.
You most likely have tight pelvic muscles if you have trouble emptying your bladder, suffer from chronic constipation, feel pain during sex or gynecological exams, or have lower back or hip pain.
Pelvic floor pain isn’t just focussed around the vagina; it can cover anything from the top of your hip bones to your sit bones and can be felt deep inside your body or on the surface of your genitals.
It’s important to see your doctor and avoid doing kegels if you suffer from any of these conditions as working the muscle can cause even more damage.
A kegel is a muscle exercise, and just like you wouldn’t do excessive exercise if you had a sore hamstring, you shouldn’t work out your pelvic muscles if they are too tight.
Head to your doctor or your gynecologist if you suspect you have tight pelvic floor muscles and they will work with you to loosen the area and increase flexibility.
Once you’re given the all clear, you can get back to working those muscles the right way.
Experts suggest you aim to do 8 to 12 contractions, holding each rep for 8 to 10 seconds with a 5 to 10 second rest in between, repeating up to 3 times a day.