• Fri, Aug 10 2012

I Know They’re Useful, But I Hate Kegels

Let’s just talk about sex all day long, shall we? It’s Friday after all. And there’s a new study about the amazing benefits of Kegels. Just in case Cosmopolitan, your girlfriends and the French haven’t already convinced you that Kegels are essential for the survival of your vagina, we have new reasons to get squeezing.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology monitored 855 pregnant women for a study about the effects of Kegels. Half of the women were randomly assigned to normal prenatal care that did include suggestions to do pelvic floor strengthening exercises. But the other half actually took a weekly exercise class that included things like Kegels. They were also given “homework” to do additional pelvic floor strengthening at home.

The results were pretty conclusive. On every level, the women who took the exercise class had less problems with urine leakage both before and after their pregnancy. After 12 weeks, 11% of the exercise group had problems with  incontinence while 19% of the control group experienced urine leakage. Lead researcher Signe Stafne concluded, “The results from the present trial indicate that pregnant women should do pelvic floor muscle training to prevent and treat urinary incontinence in late pregnancy.”

And we all have to admit, it would be nice to not worry about dribbling a little when you sneeze or laugh.

So I should be all for Kegels! Yay Kegels! Right?

Except there is something about the whole “pelvic floor strengthening” business that just… annoys me. Don’t try to tell me that you can do them at your desk and no one will notice. You have to be the best actor in the world to keep a straight face while attempting to squeeze the muscles of your vagina. I would most likely be staring down at my abdomen like we were deep in conversation. And it had just obliterated my point of debate.

I realize that these things keep mothers from wearing panty liners for the rest of their lives, but I just feel like we could use another name for them. Or switch up the exercise. Squeeze, release. Squeeze, release. Squeeze, release. I have to pee just thinking about it.

Maybe I’m just resentful. Maybe it’s just obnoxious that my husband can reproduce without possibly damaging his equipment for the rest of his life. I might feel better if he had to do some one-armed push-ups just to avoid peeing his pants for the rest of his life. Yes, that arm. YouTube it. Not from work though.

I’m just saying, I appreciate that Kegels are here to help us. I know that it’s probably in my best interest to have a strong pelvic floor. But that doesn’t make me resent the push to sit around flexing muscles I can’t see any less. It doesn’t make me a Kegel fan. And I’m not sure if there’s a study out there in the world that could.

(Photo: Tamara Kulikova/Shutterstock)

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