This entry provides insights into “the little muscles that could” and the wherewithal to get these muscles into tip-top form, providing benefits from the bedroom to the bathroom. Let us start with 3D animated videos from the Continence Foundation of Australia that provide excellent information about the pelvic floor muscles in each gender:
Pelvic floor muscle training provides a workout of the all-important PC –pubococcygeus muscle (see image below of PC and perineal muscles in males on left and females on right). In many contexts, PC stands for “politically correct.” The PC we refer to is certainly not a “politically correct” muscle, as it is a muscle of the nether regions that plays a vital role in sexual, urinary and bowel function.
The PC may not be politically correct like the exposed “glamour” muscles—e.g., the biceps, triceps and pectorals—those external, seen and for-show muscles, are often worked out more for form than function. However, the PC muscle is the small muscle that needs a big introduction because, although unexposed and behind the scenes, it is truly a muscle of “go,” all function vs. form, and without which you would be living in adult diapers. Not only does the PC contribute significantly to bladder and bowel control, but it also has a vital role in both genders in terms of sexual function, specifically the ability to obtain an erection (penile and clitoral) and achieve orgasm.
Image credit: Attribution: OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology Published May 18, 2016
Pelvic health has always been a somewhat neglected focus of both women’s and men’s health. Pelvic floor problems are incredibly common in women following the trauma of childbirth, often resulting in anatomical changes that can cause stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and sexual dysfunction. In men, the aging process, pelvic surgery and pelvic muscle weakness can contribute to post-void dribbling, stress urinary incontinence and erectile/ejaculatory dysfunction. A strong pelvic floor helps prepare the female body for pregnancy, labor and delivery and in both genders can improve/prevent urinary, bowel and sexual issues.
There are several challenges in motivating one to exercise a muscle that is internal and not visible. One major challenge is ensuring that the proper muscles are being exercised, since very often those who think they are contracting their PC muscle are, in fact, contracting their butt, thigh or abdominal muscles. Another challenge is making the exercise regimen interesting so that the routine is not given up prematurely out of boredom. If these challenges can be surmounted, the ultimate goal of PC training is to learn how to integrate the exercises into situations that arise in everyday life in order to improve pelvic function and quality of life, what I call “Kegels-on-demand.”
I have written two books on pelvic health, one for gentlemen and one for the ladies. In addition to the two books, I co-created the comprehensive, interactive, FDA-registered PelvicRx pelvic floor muscle training programs designed for both genders, built upon the foundational work of renowned Dr. Arnold Kegel. These programs empower participants to increase their pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, and endurance, helping to improve/prevent urinary, bowel and sexual issues.
Male PelvicRx unveils the powers of the mysterious male pelvic floor muscles and how to harness their potential through a simple, home-based, follow-along pelvic exercise program. It is a well-designed, easy to use, interactive 4-week pelvic training DVD that optimizes the strength and endurance of the pelvic floor exercises. It provides education, guidance, training, and feedback to confirm the engagement of the proper muscles. It is structured so that repetitions, contraction intensity and contraction duration are gradually increased over the course of the program. This progression is the key to maximizing pelvic strength and endurance in order to address urinary as well as sexual issues.
Female PelvicRx pelvic training video unveils the powers of the female pelvic floor muscles and how to harness their potential through a simple, home-based, follow-along pelvic exercise program to help optimize the strength and endurance of the pelvic floor muscles.
The video is intended to complement the book: THE KEGEL FIX: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual and Urinary Health. The book provides specific programs for each specific pelvic floor issue: stress incontinence; overactive bladder; pelvic organ prolapse; sexual issues; bowel issues; and pelvic pain.
Dr. Andrew Siegel is a physician and urological surgeon who is board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro Area, Inside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community. He is a urologist at New Jersey Urology, the largest urology practice in the United States.
The content of this entry is excerpted from his new book, PROSTATE CANCER 20/20: A Practical Guide to Understanding Management Options for Patients and Their Families
Did you know there are more Google searches about penises than any other body part? For every 100 questions about the nether regions, there are 67 for the heart, 57 for the eyes and 40 for the head. Find out what exactly men are searching for!
Kegels, or pelvic floor exercises, are not just for women. Nor can they be performed any old place at any old time. Kegels are so much more than just squeezing and releasing. Explore this post as we set all the Kegel myths straight.