Are Kegel Exercises Good for Men Too?
Initially, I thought that Kegel exercises were only for women. As a healthcare professional, I had first became aware of the benefits of utilizing Kegel exercises in the elderly population. However, in my view, I have found that these exercises are helpful for men as well.
Experiencing urinary problems
I began to personally experience the signs and symptoms of urinary dysfunction within a year of my Parkinson's disease diagnosis. My symptoms became more severe when I lifted heavy packages or had a good laugh. They also frequently occurred when I coughed.
Consequently, I started experiencing signs of urinary incontinence, along with frequent urinary urge sensation, and overactive bladder issues. The flow would start out as a dribble. However, it would progress more and more, until I was unable to control my bladder function.
In addition, my urinary tract infections (UTIs) also gradually increased. Bladder leakage was a very personal issue and I developed increased anxiety. I also felt embarrassment, depression, and issues with socializing while dealing with my symptoms.
This lead me to visit my medical doctor. He prescribed me a medication to help alleviate the UTIs and he also gave me a sheet of information on Kegel exercises that was put together by Harvard Medical School.
Regaining bladder control
I began to frequently practice these exercises and they helped me regain more control over my urinary issues. The Harvard University Medical School's recommendations helped me locate my pelvic floor muscles and I was able to find and feel where the weakened muscle was in my body.
In their step-by-step guide, they suggested pretending you are trying to avoid passing gas. While urinating, they suggested trying to stop the urine stream.1
Ultimately, the instructions explained that if I could locate the right muscles, I would be able to feel the contraction more in the back of my pelvic area rather than in the front.1
My exercise regimen
I also practiced some of their other suggested exercises. For example, contracting and relaxing my pelvic floor muscles. I usually hold and then relax for about 3 to 5 seconds each. Then I repeat the cycle about 10 times.1
As I continued to practice, I would extend the amount of time I held each contraction and relaxation. I try to do at least 30 Kegel exercises every day. I will also spread them out throughout the day.
Talk to your doctor
To summarize, Kegel exercises are not just for women. In my personal experience, I have found that Kegel exercises worked to improve my symptoms. When I when practiced frequently and correctly, they aided in reducing my urinary discomfort.
Surprisingly, Kegel exercises can be practiced discreetly several times throughout the day. Most importantly, I recommend that you first discuss the use of Kegel exercises with your physician. They will help to make sure that Kegel exercises are right for your personal medical condition.
Has your doctor ever recommended you try Kegel exercises? Share your experience in the comment section below!
Do you participate in a support group for PD?