Kegel Exercises

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.


In 1948, Kegel exercises were first described by Arnold Kegel for pelvic floor muscle strengthening. The perineometer, also called the vaginal manometer, has been designed to record the contraction strength of pelvic floor muscles and can be used to guide the participants to conduct the exercises correctly. Dr. Kegel’s study showed that the exercises could help to prevent cystocele, rectocele, and urinary stress incontinence. Ashton-Miller et al. indicated that urethral sphincters and supportive systems in females could prevent urinary incontinence and genital organ prolapse. The supportive systems are composed of the pelvic floor muscles, the vaginal wall, the arcus tendinous fascia pelvis, and the endopelvic fascia. The pelvic floor muscles (PFM), which consist of the levator ani and coccygeus muscles, are crucial for supporting pelvic organs. The levator ani muscle comprises three portions: the puborectalis, pubococcygeus, and iliococcygeus muscles. The puborectalis muscle forms a sling around the anorectal junction. By contracting the puborectalis muscle, the urogenital hiatus closes during physical activities. The pubococcygeus muscle runs from the pubis to the coccyx, and the iliococcygeus muscle is the most lateral part of the levator ani muscle. They form a flat plate called the levator plate, helping stabilize the pelvic organ. However, the pelvic floor muscles may become weakened by aging, pregnancy, vaginal delivery, surgery, etc. As a result, the patient will suffer from urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapses.

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  • Study Guide