Kegels are targeted pelvic floor muscle-training exercises designed to strengthen the muscles that control urine flow. Learning how to consciously tighten and relax these muscles may help to prevent and treat a number of genitourinary conditions.
Pelvic floor muscles can weaken due to many factors, including:
Kegel exercises can be beneficial for both men and women. Urologists often recommend Kegels for managing urinary stress incontinence in women, especially after childbirth. Kegels may also be effective for men who experience urinary urge incontinence during recovery from prostatectomy surgery. Another benefit of Kegels? They're one exercise you'll never be too busy for: Once mastered, you can do them discreetly anywhere at any time as you go about your day.
While Kegels are a powerful therapeutic tool, many urologists have found that their patients aren't doing them properly. When that happens, patients experience little — if any — benefit. At New York Medicine Doctors, urologists like Ms. Borohov use biofeedback devices that can monitor which muscles in your body are relaxed and which ones are tightened. That way, she can easily check to see if you're performing your Kegels as directed. If not, she can use the feedback from the same monitoring system to teach you how to do these tricky exercises correctly.
Kegel exercises don't work for everyone. However, recent innovations in neuromodulation medicine now let even these patients gain better control of their pelvic floor through minimally invasive outpatient therapy. The Urgent® PC device New York Medicine Doctors uses in its urology clinic directly stimulates the nerves that control your pelvic floor muscles. Once attached to your ankle, the device uses nerve stimulation to treat urinary incontinence. While not as convenient as Kegels, Urgent PC therapy has fewer side effects than and comparable results to pharmaceutical interventions.
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