How to tighten vaginal muscles: Kegel Exercises

Question: I have just given birth to my first child and feel that my vagina is not as tight as it used to be. Every time I have sex, I am so self-conscious because I think my husband is not enjoying himself but do not have the courage to ask for his honest opinion. Are there ways in which I can make my vagina tighter without using herbs such as “tseke tseke”? Please help!

Answer: Gynaecologist Joyce Munthali cautions against putting anything up your vagina as this may cause infections and possibly cancer

“The first thing you should try is pelvic floor exercises, popularly known as Kegel exercises.

Some women recommend washing your vagina out with cold water but Munthali says this will only work if you do it in conjunction with the Kegels.

“Cold water helps the vaginal muscles contract but cannot be effective on its own. If your vagina is too loose, you may opt for a surgical procedure to make it smaller.

“We advise patients that have had this procedure to give birth through caesarean section so it is best to have this when you are done having children, advises Munthali. She says her clinic offers this procedure, as does other hospitals in Malawi.

How to do kegel exercises

Insert a finger inside your vagina and try to squeeze the surrounding muscles. You should feel your vagina tighten and your pelvic floor move upward. Then relax your muscles and feel your pelvic floor return to the starting position. You can also try to stop the flow of urine when you urinate. If you succeed, you got the basic move. Dont make a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream, though.

Doing Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.

Pelvic muscle exercises can be done in many different ways. We will give you instructions on how to do the type of exercise described by Dr. Kegel.

These exercises can be done anywhere and at any time.

Initially – Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for count of six and relax for six seconds. Each contraction cycle should last 12 seconds or 5 contractions a minute. Repeat 25 times. Do this 3 times each day.

Week 2 – Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for 6 seconds every 12 seconds (5 per minute) for 10 minutes, 50 contractions. Do this 3 times each day.

Week 3 – Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for 6 seconds every 12 seconds (5 per minute) for 15 minutes, 75 contractions. Do this 3 times each day.

Weeks 4-24 – Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for 6 seconds every 12 seconds (5 per minute) for 20 minutes, 100 contractions. Do this 3 times each day.

After 24 months – Continue maintenance at 10 minutes three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day, total of 150 contractions a day.

You may notice some soreness in the pelvic muscles and around the vaginal opening once you start exercising regularly. Do not worry about this – it is only soreness associated with increased muscle activity. The benefits of these exercises will continue ONLY as long as you do them! You should expect to have to do these exercises regularly for three months before you notice an improvement in your urine loss. At six months of regular exercise you will get maximum effect.

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