Many women have heard about Kegel exercises – simple contract and release exercises for the pelvic floor muscles – but do you know where the word Kegel comes from? It’s the name of the doctor who proved the efficacy of pelvic floor exercises for recovering the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, hence Kegel exercises. Now, let us proudly introduce this pioneer in pelvic health to you.
Dr. Arnold Kegel (1894-1981) was an American gynecologist who noted that women’s pelvic floor muscles were weakened by childbirth. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that act like a hammock, extending from the front of the pelvis to the coccyx. They’re responsible for supporting the bladder, bowel, and uterus. When these muscles are weakened, women may experience urinary incontinence (urine leaks), loss of sensation in the vagina, and even vaginal prolapse, when the pelvic organs can bulge into the vaginal canal.
Dr. Kegel observed the effects of pelvic floor exercises on thousands of women to demonstrate that the pelvic floor muscles could be exercised like any other muscle in the body. In his research papers, he called the pelvic floor muscles the most versatile in the human body, and discovered that they could recover their strength even after years of disuse.
After 18 years of research, he published ‘A Nonsurgical Method of Increasing the Tone of Sphincters and their Supporting Structures’ in 1942. The paper noted that diligent patients usually begin to notice symptomatic relief from urinary incontinence after 2 to 4 weeks of resistive exercises.
In follow-up examinations with patients who followed his Kegel exercise routines, Dr. Kegel even discovered an exciting ‘side-effect’ to the treatment: patients doing Kegel exercises regularly were achieving orgasm more easily, more frequently, and more intensely.
Dr. Kegel also invented the perineometer, an instrument for measuring the strength of the pelvic floor muscles in a doctor’s office. For at home exercising, women were instructed to continue exercising using a resistance exercising aid to ensure effective recovery and strengthening of the correct muscles.
Dr. Kegal’s work brought the world’s attention to the benefits of exercising the pelvic floor muscles, and in doing so directly improved the lives of millions of women. Since 1942, studies conducted around the world have confirmed and built upon his findings, showing that Kegel exercises offer tangible benefits to women of all ages. We consider him a hero of women’s intimate health and strive to honor his vision for pelvic floor strengthening with our line of innovative Kegel exercising aids that stay true to his original technique.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.