The problem with Kegels

When’s the last time you sneezed, leaked pee and thought “Shit, I keep forgetting to do my Kegels! I have to remember to do my Kegels!!”?

That’s what I call Kegel guilt - guilt resulting from the perception that you're not doing enough Kegels. It comes from the cultural myth that if you would just do your 200 Kegels a day, you wouldn’t have sneeze pee.

The strength of your pelvic floor does not depend on you doing 200 Kegels each day.

You've been inundated with messages that a strong, well functioning pelvic floor requires religious doses of Kegels. You must Kegel at red lights, stop signs, or when you're in line at the grocery store.

These messages are selling you short. These messages are taking a multi-faceted, whole body issue and dumbing it down to give you the Flintstones vitamin version of a fix when what is really required is so much more.

You didn’t come into this world deficient in Vitamin Kegel! In fact, sometimes Kegels contribute to the very problem you’re trying to fix if you already hold too much tension in your pelvic floor or unknowingly do them incorrectly.

If it's not Vitamin Kegel deficiency, what is it?

Here's the thing, over the years, while living your life, you have unknowingly done many things that have compromised the function of your pelvic floor (and no, I’m not just talking about giving birth, because there are many women with pelvic floor challenges who have not given birth).

What are these “things” that I speak of?

  • sitting a lot
  • sucking in your stomach all. the. time.
  • wearing positive heeled shoes
  • lack of walking
  • walking exclusively on flat and level terrain
  • not using your glutes, resulting in what I call FAS aka "flat ass syndrome"
  • clenching your pelvic floor because your nervous system is stuck in fight/flight

The problem with Kegels

While Kegels are marketed as The Solution for sneeze pee, cough pee, trampoline pee, pregnancy pee, urinary frequency, childbirth preparation, prolapse, and on and on, the many (many!) factors that are at the root of your pelvic floor challenges go unaddressed.

“Just do your Kegels!” you’re told. "You’re not doing enough Kegels!"

Can we please, oh please move beyond “just do your Kegels”?

Your pelvic floor is not an island

There is no part of your body, even your pelvic floor, that is an island unto itself. Your amazing, incredible body is not a bunch of pieces patched together. Everything works together, for better or for worse.

And while taking your Vitamin Kegel at every red light is super convenient, I’m going to remind you that you didn’t come into this world with a Vitamin Kegel deficiency.

What you can do

At the root, most pelvic floor challenges are the reflection of a movement nutrition deficiency and there is no one “vitamin” that’s going to magically fix it.

But you can start with learning how to stand well.

And you can start with learning how to sit well (even if you aren’t pregnant).

Want more?


Photo credit: walknboston / Foter / CC BY