Stress urinary incontinence, the most prevalent form of incontinence among women, affects women of all ages. In the US alone, 17% of women over 18 have overactive bladder (OAB) and an estimated 12.2 million adults have urge incontinence. Even if this is the case, many women are not actively doing simple exercises—in this case, Kegels—that can help prevent bladder leaks.
In a new study conducted by Always, a popular brand of menstrual hygiene products, 85% of women are aware that exercising their pelvic floor muscles or doing Kegel exercises, can help prevent or improve leaks, but over 34% admitted that they still don’t do them. One might believe that bladder leaks are only a concern for older women, but in reality, 64% of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced leaks.
It also happens that the younger generation are mostly the ones neglecting to do Kegel exercises the most. 51% of women included in this age group admitted to having never exercised their pelvic muscles, even though the majority understand the benefit it brings, as well as how general exercise contributes to improving their well-being.
Furthermore, 54% of people are under the misconception that being fit and healthy means that you won’t experience leaks—67% think the same of having a strong core. In many cases, high-intensity workouts and over-exertion are the culprits behind many leaks.
There’s no hard and fast rule that dictates when one should start doing Kegels, but it’s recommended that women should do it sooner rather than later. With strong collagen levels and a healthy amount of estrogen, young women tend to not experience any symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, but there are also many cases when they suffer from controlling continence.
If you’re young and unsure when to start doing Kegels, now is a good time as any. Training your pelvic floor as early as you can help you prepare for later life.
For instance, Kegels are important in pre-pregnancy and post-natal preparation. Having a strong pelvic floor can help support the weight of the baby, as well as aid your bladder during pregnancy. After you give birth, you may find yourself relying on your pelvic floor muscles far more often than before, so it’s important that you know how to keep them strong throughout the entire process.
Experts say that finding the time to do pelvic floor exercises is a must for women of all ages, but only a small percentage (8%) remember to do their pelvic floor exercises every day. To perform Kegels, here is a quick guide recommended by the Mayo Clinic:
If you’re grappling with incontinence, prolapse, and reduced intimacy, performing Kegel exercises is the way to go. To make your Kegels more effective, you may want to use Kegelmaster, a vaginal exerciser that’s specifically designed to strengthen and tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor. Check it out.