Kegels

Dr. Arnold Kegel
Kegels.

You've got to love them...or not.

Kegels have been touted as the Female Panacea. They strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They prevent or reverse incontinence and, as we all know, they enhance sex, particularly for your male partner. No wonder doctors (most of whom are male) promote Kegels for women.

Hummmmm....

But are they really all that they are *ahem* "cracked up" to be? Why is it that Wise Woman who have got "kegels of steel" still confide in me that they are leaking urine when they laugh or having uterine prolapse problems? Perhaps the answer lies here.

Turns out that kegels may not be so great for us Wise Women after all. And that makes sense. Because kegels don't occur naturally as we move throughout our day, nor have they throughout the ages. Squatting, on the other hand, does.

But let's be honest. There is a time and a place for Kegels and, for many, that is in lovemaking, both for self pleasure and to please our partners. Ultimately, we do need to incorporate both into our lives but I suggest that we do this in very natural ways. When we were once told to "practice our Kegels at red lights," while driving and so on, I would say that we should now put that same sort of effort into squatting. Squatting is a great daytime activity, especially for those of us with young children. Squatting gives us an opportunity to "get down to their level" and really communicate with our kids. It also is a great way, instead of bending over at the waist, to pick things up off the floor and do other sorts of cleaning or chores that come up in our day to day life. If we make an effort to replace our bending forward and over with squats then we will reap the benefits that squatting brings (provided that squatting is an appropriate movement for you).

And of course, then we can focus on Kegels at night. :)


And that is the part I'd like to talk about with you now. You see, Kegels in lovemaking can be very natural and fun, but some Wise Women don't know what they are or how to do them properly. This is one issue. But the next issue is what interests me, personally, as a practitioner of FAM. And this is the Semen Emitting Technique (SET), which is detailed in the book TCOYF. Basically, author Toni Weschler, MPH recommends using Kegels as a way to expel the semen from the vaginal canal post-coitus.This is done so that you can check your cervical fluid the following day without confusion about whether or not you are seeing your husband's semen or your own cervical fluid. This is a very important part of using FAM so it is critical that women know how Kegels are done and when to do them after intercourse.

Image by Alice Brickner

For me, the main issue is trying to explain to a woman over the phone or via webcam or even in my office about how to do them. Often times, we are told to practice stopping and starting the flow of urine while using the toilet to isolate the muscles which are utilized in Kegels or SETs. This is helpful, but I've been looking for some other options to assist women in learning the technique.

One great way to practice this is during lovemaking. The woman will squeeze her vaginal muscles around her husband's penis. It's great if you have the sort of relationship with your partner where you can ask him how this feels and work together to isolate the muscles that are used and how to use them. But for many this may be embarrassing, impractical or simply place them under too much "performance anxiety" pressure. Some women may choose to practice this privately while using her fingers or sex toys to grip and close around and this is also a possible solution, but many women are simply uncomfortable with this as well, which should also be respected. This is why I began to look into the "Kegel weights."
Image courtesy of Intimina


Kindly, Intimina (maker of the Laselle Kegel Exercisers) offered to allow me to test their 1oz. Kegel weight for review and I must say, the results were surprising.

Firstly, I was impressed by the pretty, pink color and satin carrying bag that came with the weight. Made from silicone and tied with a string (for easy removal) it did not look threatening, which I think is very important for women who are not comfortable with other similar products. The weight itself is a very smooth ball of moderate size which contains the actual "weight" within. This weight is loose to allow for the feeling of movement or vibrations when you have squeezed it with the appropriate muscles. Though, I must confess, that for me this was only of minimal help. Intimina suggests that this weight can be worn throughout the day while going about your daily chores but try as I might, I simply found it too distracting and too, er, stimulating to have in throughout the day. I did find, though, that when I could keep one hand on the attached string (which hangs outside of the vaginal opening) and lay down on my back, I was able to feel, via the movement of the string, exactly what my vaginal muscles were doing and how they worked. The benefit to this, of course, is that one does not need to put her own fingers inside of her vagina to feel this, if this is something that makes her uncomfortable or feel put under pressure. And, of course, you can do this in the privacy of your own room, completely alone, to teach yourself the technique.

Overall, I found the Kegel weight to be unnecessary for women who are comfortable with kegels and using other methods of checking that they are indeed using the correct muscles when applying the technique. But, for those women who are uncertain or unfamiliar with how to correctly perform a kegel and are not comfortable using their husband (and his penis) or their own fingers or other sex toys as a guide or for practice, the Laselle Kegel Excerciser is an excellent choice, in that it is both non-threatening and feminine in appearance and function. For those women who are using FAM and are having difficulty charting their cervical fluid due to retained semen in their vaginas, this is also a great way to practice the technique so that SETs may be performed effectively. And truly, this can make all the difference in their charting ability and comfort level.




And now, as a special gift to you, Intimina would like to offer one lucky Wise Woman Fertility reader her own free gift of a Laselle Kegel Excerciser and Feminine Moisturizer.

To enter, you must first head on over to Intimina's Facebook Page and "like" them.

Then you must both follow this blog and "like" the Wise Woman Facebook Page.

Earn a bonus entry for sharing the link to this blog on your Facebook, Twitter or other social networking page.

Finally, leave a comment here letting me know that you have completed all of the steps. Be sure to include an email address where I can reach you, in the event that you have won.

A winner will be chosen using www.random.org on Feb. 5, 2012

Good Luck and Enjoy!

11 comments:

erin said...

Want! Great article J! Liked it all, bookmarking and following too!

-erin

Emily said...

I want :) Maybe would help with my charting... Liked Intima and I already liked your WW long ago...

HavaNargila said...

Would definitely give it a try! : )

sassy said...

I think it would be interesting to try.
I already like both pages and follow your blog, have for a long time!

Cathryne said...

Really interesting article. Liked both and following :) Thank you!

Zucchini Breath said...

"To enter, you must first head on over to Intimina's Facebook Page and "like" them.

Then you must both follow this blog and "like" the Wise Woman Facebook Page."

I did these things.

"Finally, leave a comment here letting me know that you have completed all of the steps. Be sure to include an email address where I can reach you, in the event that you have won."

My Email address is onewetleg at geemail dot com

Thank you for the opportunity to win this fine product :)

Jan said...

I have liked Intimina's Facebook Page.

I follow this blog and already liked the Wise Woman Facebook Page.

I have shared the link to this blog on my Twitter page.

my email address is: jmbally@ntlworld.com

Thanks! :)

faliciagayle said...

Done done and done! Yay!

newshiny said...

done!

Becoming Wonder Woman said...

Completed all the steps!!

Anonymous said...

I have heard great things about these! after having 4 children....sure would be helpful!
e-mail:aplessner1@comcast.net