The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Kegel exercises

Does a Kegel a day keep the transvaginal mesh away?

I don’t honestly know. I just thought it sounded catchy.

Not that you want anything to sound “catchy” when you’re talking about vaginas, but you get my drift.

Wait.

Can I start over?

(This is why I don’t do more sponsored product reviews.)

Starting over, NOW.

Hello lady friends. Do you or someone you love suffer from urinary incontinence or sexual dysfunction?

Then you might have weakened PC (pubococcygeus) muscles. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in our pelvic organs. The weakening of these muscles is a natural part of aging due to gravity, pregnancy, childbirth, and the axis of evil.

Don’t panic. You’ve got choices.

1.) Spend the rest of your life changing your bulky pee-pee pads or adult diapers every time you laugh or sneeze.

2.) Have surgery and hope the transvaginal mesh they use to hoist up your goodie bag doesn’t get recalled a few years later.

3.) Tone up your PC muscles with a regular Kegel routine.*

4.) There are probably other options, but I only have so many hours a day to devote to my vagina-related research.

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally going for the prize behind door number three, Monty. And I might possibly be the laziest woman on Earth, so that’s saying a lot.

Speaking of sexual dysfunction and laziness, this is my idea of “doing it doggie style.”

Sad but true.

Anyhooo.

I’d like to pause right here and remind you that I’m not a health expert in any way shape or form. Please do your research before embarking on any exercise or treatment program. 

I’ve been doing Kegels and teaching my friends about them for a long time, but I’ve recently suspected that my little “Kegel at stop signs and red lights” trick may not be enough to make a difference in my long-term health. Apparently that’s like doing three sit-ups during a Here Comes Honey Boo Boo commercial break and then going to refill your ice cream bowl.

Sorry, but I take my vagina more seriously than that, and you should too. (Your own vagina, that is—not mine. Thankyouverymuch.)

The folks at The Medical Center for Female Sexuality think Kegels are so important that we should be doing them for a minimum of 5-10 minutes every day! And they’ve created a way to help us do just that.

They sent me a copy of their Kegels Anywhere CD to review and I’ve been using it religiously for about two weeks.

The CD is designed so that you can gradually increase your workout as your PC muscles grow stronger. There is a four-minute Beginner Circuit, two five-minute circuits, and two ten-minute circuits.

Regardless of the amount of time you choose to devote to your daily Kegel workout, you can choose the type of background music to squeeze to: “Piano Dream” or “Smooth Jazz.” Personally, I prefer the “Piano Dream.” The “Smooth Jazz” tracks remind me of Kenny G and I don’t really want to be thinking about him when I’m rhythmically pulsing my lady junk. (No offense, Kenny G.)

The beginning of the CD has a very informative introduction. I think the voice-over artist speaks a little fast, but after you hear her spiel a couple of times, you don’t really need that part anymore.

One word of warning, take it from me and DO NOT listen to the Introduction or “How To Do Kegel Exercises” track in the car if your kids are with you. There’s a part when the speaker explains where the PC muscles are and suggests you can find them by “inserting a finger into your vagina.”

Long story short, Bucket Head is probably telling his Kindergarten teacher things like “My mommy does exercises with her bagina,” and “A bagina is like a pocket! You can stick things IN THERE! You shouldn’t stick things in your penis though. A penis is not a pocket like a bagina.”

(Sadly, that’s not even the weirdest conversation we had all week.)

Like any exercise CD, the voice-over guides you through each routine. The thing I like about it is that I can just follow her lead and not think about timing or repetitions. The five or ten minutes actually flies by and unlike my Jillian Michaels’ DVDs, I’m not looking at the clock and muttering a pox on her the whole time.

I’m pretty excited to report that over the past two weeks I have gradually increased my workout from the four-minute Beginner Circuit to the ten-minute circuit. A couple more weeks of this and I’ll be able to open beer bottles with my lady cave. I just don’t want to bulk up my vag muscles too much; that could lead to my vagizness wearing a muscle-tee at the gym and pounding protein shakes between reps. I draw the line, you know?

Please visit the website of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality for more information about Kegels or to purchase your own Kegels Anywhere CD.

-Leslie

*Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and this is a sponsored post. Please do your own independent research before choosing a treatment plan for your aging lady bits. I also will not be held responsible if we find out ten years from now that Kegels are the Anti-Christ. I’m just sharing a potential resource. What you do with that information is up to you. 

How to Improve Your Health, Sex Life, and DMV Record SIMULTANEOUSLY

So I’m sitting there this morning, trying to enjoy my morning cup o’ joe and catch a few minutes of the news, when all of a sudden, I’m assaulted with two different television commercials about class action lawsuits involving victims of prescribed medications or medical procedures.

The first commercial was urging people who have taken the popular acne drug Accutane to contact Such-and-Such-Ambulance-Chaser-and-Son if they suffer with Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is frightening. I know several people who used that drug for help when they were teenagers. And what with my daughter, Mini-Me, on the precipice of puberty… knowing that she’s one fun-sized Kit-Kat away from an auto-shipment plan of Zit Buster Plus from the As Seen on TV store. Sigh.

And my heaven-sent but hypertensive husband, The Gatekeeper, wonders why I’m so negative about prescription drugs and big pharmaceutical companies. This is why. Because these magic beans may appear to lessen symptoms today, but at what long term cost? Who really knows? Certainly not that doctor who was taken to Ruth’s Chris for a big steak dinner last night by that Big Pharma Rep with the nice rack. I’ll pass, thank you.

Which brings me to class action lawsuit commercial number two, aimed at ladies who have had surgeries to correct a prolapsed uterus. That’s the fancy term for when your uterus starts to hang out of your hoo-hoo. This can occur for a variety of reasons including:

  • Pregnancy/multiple childbirths with normal delivery through the vagina
  • Weakness in the pelvic muscles with advancing age
  • Weakening and loss of tissue tone after menopause and loss of natural estrogen
  • Conditions leading to increased pressure in the abdomen such as chronic cough (with bronchitis and asthma), straining (with constipation), pelvic tumors (rare), or an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Being overweight or obese and its additional strain on pelvic muscles
  • Radical surgery in the pelvic area leading to loss of external support
  • Excess weight lifting

Hey, it’s not as uncommon as you might think. Dr. Oz did a whole hour a couple weeks ago on “the hidden shame” associated with having your lady junk drop. In the spirit of Just the Tip Tuesday, I’m here today with advice on how to possibly avoid having this happen to you.

First let me just say, I’m not a medical doctor. I’m more of a domestic doctor… who got her temporary license through a non-accredited foreign correspondence course. But I do have a vagina and I did give birth the old fashioned way to three ginormous babies (the smallest was 8 lbs. 5 oz., the biggest was 9 lbs. 11 oz., the third was somewhere in between, but who can remember with all these babies underfoot.)  So, needless to say, I know a thing or two about war-torn lady parts.

I’m also a graduate of The Bradley Method and therefore I have logged many many hours learning about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Having a strong pelvic floor (the “hammock” that supports the uterus) is integral to being able to push your baby through that ring-of-fire. I actually didn’t know that the first time I was pregnant and it was a very difficult labor and delivery. That’s why I went looking for a better experience my second and third time around and chose The Bradley Method. But I digress.

A strong pelvic floor is also critical for the rest of your life… not just for giving birth. Having strong pelvic muscles will not only keep all your reproductive organs from coming out to say hello, it will also dramatically improve the quality of your sex life (and not just because your husband won’t have to push your uterus back up in there in order to have sex). The stronger those muscles are, the more intense your orgasms will be. In addition, your male partner will benefit as well from the increase in muscle tone. In other words, the stronger your pelvic floor, the more jewelery you’ll get on Valentine’s day.

The good news is that you can do simple exercises that will keep your pelvic floor as fit as a fiddle. And they are free. You don’t need any special equipment, a gym membership, or a fancy legwarmers+headband outfit reminiscent of the Olivia Newton John Let’s Get Physical phase. You won’t even break a sweat doing these moves. But like any exercise, it only works if you do it.

It’s called The Kegel.

You probably already know what it is and how to do it, don’t you? If not, just google it. I have to finish writing this before Scooby Doo is over.

The catch is this: knowing about Kegels, and doing them regularly are two different things, aren’t they.

So here’s where my tip comes in and it is a winner! Ready?

Any time you are in a car (as the driver or passenger) and you stop at a stop sign or red light, do your Kegel exercises.

How easy is that?!

I like to do three quick one-second pulses at every stop sign… it actually helps me to be a better driver and not roll through stop signs. Isn’t that fabulous?! An exercise that can tighten up your tingly parts and help you be a better driver?! Whoot!

At red lights, I do the advanced version. It’s called “the elevator.” This is when you pretend your vagina is an elevator shaft and using only your pelvic floor muscles you move an imaginary elevator from the ground floor, slowly, up to the first floor, then to the second floor, and finally to the third floor, where you hold hold hold (while all the passengers hop out and a new group of passengers gets on), and then slowly lower the elevator back through all the floors to the ground floor. This is really hard to do; don’t kid yourself. Sometimes my elevator will crash to the floor and violently kill everyone inside of it. Other times, my elevator operator is like “Uh, sorry… they’re doing some remodeling upstairs… you’re gonna have to hold your conference in the lobby today, lady.”

In conclusion… do your Kegels. Do them when you drive, or ride in a car, or for you city gals, do them on the subway. Just do them. Your uterus will thank you, your partner will thank you, fellow drivers will thank you, and you won’t have to hire an ambulance chaser to get you your fair share of a class action lawsuit someday when there is a recall of the medical supplies used in the repair of your prolapsed uterus. Phew, that’s a mouthful. (That’s what he said.)

Slowly, and with hopefully improving pelvic control,

-Iris

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