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Kegel Exercises - what they are and where they came from

Who was Dr Arnold Kegel?

Dr. Arnold Kegel was a pioneer of women's pelvic health and devoted much of his career to understanding and treating woman who suffered from the effects of a weak pelvic floor.

Kegel developed his own device for diagnosing and treating pelvic floor weakness, the Perineometer. His work established the importance of the pubococcygeus muscle, the core of the pelvic floor, and a course of treatment that had extremely high success rates in the treatment of both stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Kegel's treatment

In short, Kegel's treatment involved a 3 stage process:

  1. Diagnosis - this involved a medical examination to establish the condition of the patient's pelvic floor
  2. Muscle training - physical therapy to teach the patient to exercise their pelvic floor muscles effectively, using biofeedback provided by his Perineometer
  3. Exercise - a precribed regime of exercise against resistance to build up and strengthen the patient's pelvic floor

Kegel regularly prescribed a programme of as much as an hour a day: twenty minutes, three times a day, or for a total of 300 contractions daily.

Kegel's success

Kegel reported "complete relief from simple urinary stress incontinence has been consistently obtained in a series of over 700 cases of this type" and for 212 patients with severe urinary stress incontinence, most of whom had previously undergone surgery unsuccessfully, "good urinary control was established in 84%", with patients able to discontinue the use of pads and remain continent under normal circumstances.

If you want to find out more about Kegel's work, you can click here to read the now famous article he published 1948, explaining his treatment.

Do you Kegel's (or pelvic floor exercises)

Whether you are suffering from stress incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or poor sex due to vaginal laxity, or whether you are keen to avoid them in the future, we strongly recommend that you make pelvic floor exercises part of your life.

Just enter your email address and click on "Start now".


Exercise Programme

To use our online exercise programme, just enter your email, click on "Start now" (below) and follow the instructions. And don't worry, it's completely free.