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Women Underuse Life Changing Health Exercise for Common Embarrassing Condition

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Kegels underused by women says study.

A new study reports that women underuse a simple exercise they can do practically anywhere that is the solution to an embarrassing problem.

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A Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News release reports than an informative article about Kegels was recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health, that highlights women during their pregnancy and postpartum period are underusing this simple method for treating and preventing urinary incontinence.

The Kegel Study

According to the study, of the participants followed, almost two-thirds of the women experienced UI during pregnancy and a significant number experienced UI at three- and six-months post-birth. UI is particularly troublesome following a strong, sudden urge to urinate; or, when sneezing, laughing, and coughing.

However, urinary incontinence (UI) is not just an isolated problem for women during and after a pregnancy, it is also typically experienced by one in five women before pregnancy. In either case, the study reveals that too few women actively practice Kegels.

The study concluded that with so few women practicing Kegels during and after their pregnancies, that now is the time to re-initiate Kegels as a life-changing routine by changing attitude towards valuing Kegels and its effect on pelvic health.

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Health experts note that the study’s findings should encourage the need for more education and promotion on how Kegels can be life-changing for many women. In particular, the study states that letting women know that viewing Kegels as an intervention that is necessary only for women having vaginal births, is a misconception that needs to be remedied.

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“UI risk increases during pregnancy, and Kegels are something a woman can do on her own to help prevent UI and as a treatment if UI does occur. Providers should educate pregnant women on the benefits of Kegels and how to perform them correctly,” says Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA.

The study is available for free online and is not just physicians, but for women too who are encouraged to become proactive in learning how they can benefit and end needless suffering from what often causes embarrassment in public settings.

“The current study does demonstrate the opportunity for changes in practice that improve Kegel education and performance. Approaches that emphasize the role of providers in preventing, identifying, and treating urinary incontinence (UI) may improve rates of Kegel exercise, decrease rates of UI, and improve quality of life (physical and emotional) for women,” states Susan Yount, PhD, lead author of the study.

Here's an informative article from the past on why Kegels are important aside from preventing urinary incontinence.

Timothy Boyer has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. For 20+ years he has been employed as a freelance health and science writer. Today, with an eye on the latest news, Timothy continues writing about science with a focus on what you need to know for healthier living. For continual updates about health, you can also follow Timothy on Twitter at TimBoyerWrites.

Image Source: Courtesy of Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

References:

Kegels: Underused by women to treat and prevent urinary incontinence” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News release 13 Oct. 2020.

Prenatal and Postpartum Experience, Knowledge and Engagement with Kegels: A Longitudinal, Prospective, Multisite Study” Susan M. Yount et al; Journal of Women's Health Ahead of Print issue, 15 Sep 2020.

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