Kegel Exercises for Bowel Incontinence
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel, or pelvic floor muscle exercises are done to strengthen the muscles, which support the rectum. This specialized group of muscles is called the sphincters and they control bowel continence.
Why do Kegel exercises?
Often the pelvic floor muscles are weak and contribute to the problem of incontinence. Doing the exercises correctly and regularly can strengthen the muscles. Stronger muscles lead to more control of bowel movements.
How do I do them?
Tighten the sphincter muscles as if you are stopping a bowel movement. While squeezing tightly, hold for a count of ten and then relax for a count of ten. This constitutes step. Repeat this exercise ten times to equal one set. You should complete 8 to 10 sets per day.
How do I know if I am doing the exercise correctly?
It is important to identify and squeeze the correct group of muscles. In the beginning you may sit on the toilet and insert your well-lubricated finger into the rectum. Then tighten the muscles of the sphincter and feel them contracting around your finger. Do not contract your abdominal, thigh, or buttocks muscles while performing the exercise.
When should I do the exercises?
These exercises may be performed any time during the day or night and while you are in any position- sitting, standing or lying down. Also since they do not require any special positioning you may do them while working, driving, eating or watching television.
How long do I have to do the exercises?
The more you do the exercises the better. Also the longer you can hold the contraction the better.
When should I expect improvement in my symptoms?
It takes from six to twelve weeks to notice a change.
What if I had surgery for incontinence?
The Kegel exercises may be safely started 3 weeks after your surgery.
Khawaja Azimuddin M.D.
Tal Raphaeli M.D.
1125 Cypress Station Dr, Suite G-3
Houston TX 77090
Tel: 281-583 1300 Fax: 281-583 1303