My wife does kegel exercises every day because her doctor told her it would decrease her risk of becoming incontinent, make bowel movements easier, improve her sexual function, and help prevent her uterus from falling out…..I didn’t even know that could happen!! My wife says I should be doing them too!? My question is, do Kegel exercises benefit men at all?
Good morning John and thank you for your question. The short answer is Yes, Kegel exercises absolutely benefit men in a number of ways.
To expand on the answer, they not only help in all the ways they help your wife (with exception of the uterus falling out), they also improve erectile dysfunction, can shorten latency time between ejaculations, as well as improve premature ejaculation.
Kegel exercises, when done correctly, will strengthen all the muscles in the pelvic floor. These pelvic floor muscles run from the underside of the pubic bone all the way to the tailbone. In men, these muscles are responsible for supporting the bladder, the bowels, and greatly affect sexual function. These muscles, like any other muscle group in the body, can become weak without proper exercise. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause sexual dysfunction, urinary problems (such as incontinence and night time visits to the restroom), and issues with bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea). When these muscles are weak, they do not perform as well and it may be more difficult to attain and maintain erections or control ejaculation.
Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Factors include, but are not limited, to surgery on the prostate or bladder, health conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease,and overactive bladder), straining on the toilet caused by constipation, chronic coughing, smoking, heavy lifting with poor form, high impact sports or exercise, age, and obesity.
Unlike typical exercise routines, these exercises don't require you to buy any weights or expensive machines...and they can be done anywhere. However, the success of Kegel exercises is dependent on proper performance of the exercises. The first step in correctly performing Kegel exercises is to locate the correct muscle group and understand the proper technique.
- The easiest way to identify the correct muscle group is by attempting to cease urination mid-stream or tightening the muscles that keep you from passing gas. This is not the exercise but will help you identify the pelvic floor muscles. Don't make a habit of using Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Some studies show this could cause a bladder infection.
- Once identified, it may be helpful to stand naked in front of a mirror and tighten these muscles. If you are performing the technique correctly the penis should draw in and the scrotum should lift up. Be careful not to use the muscles in the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.
- After you have identified the muscle group and are confident in the technique, try to accomplish at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. 1 repetition consists of tightening the muscles for 3 seconds then relaxing for 3 seconds. Make sure you continue to breathe during the entire exercise.
- When you begin, it might be easier to do them lying down. Once you’ve mastered the technique you will find Kegels are easy to perform in any position.
If you're having trouble doing Kegel exercises, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. At Optimal Male, we can give you important feedback so that you learn to isolate and strengthen the correct muscles.
Similar to any exercise, seeing results takes time, so be patient. If you do Kegel exercises three times a day, you should see better bladder control, stronger erections, more intense orgasms, and the ability to hold off ejaculation longer in three to six weeks -- some men see it even sooner. Try keeping a record of your urine leakage, erectile strength, and ejaculation delay each day to help you notice improvements.
If you don’t see any improvements after about a month, you may not have located the correct muscle group for proper Kegel exercises. Give Optimal Male a call. We can offer tips on how to find and successfully exercise the right muscles.
In some cases, biofeedback training may help. In a biofeedback session, a specially trained physical therapist inserts a small probe into your rectum. As you relax and contract your pelvic floor muscles, the probe measures the strength of muscle contraction and a monitor will display your pelvic floor activity.
For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine. A little investment of time upfront can result in significant improvements in your quality of life.
We encourage you to schedule your FREE medical exam and consultation with us to address any medical conditions that you may be struggling with. Our number is 239-596-8886.
Richard Freier, MD
Optimal Male Performance Center