By Riva Preil
Women have long been familiar with the benefits of pelvic floor strengthening exercises, colloquially referred to as “Kegels,” in honor of Dr. Arnold Kegel, the individual who first described them in 1948. Almost any woman who has ever been pregnant has been told by her doctor, sister, or friend to engage in Kegel exercises to help strengthen the muscles that get stretched and weakened during the nine months of pregnancy and during labor and delivery. However, recent conversation in the International New York Times (Pelvic Exercises for Men, Too, July 14, 2014) has turned to the benefits of Kegel exercises for MEN. Author Roni Caryn Rabin describes how pelvic floor strengthening benefits men with urinary incontinence and possibly even sexual dysfunction. Research has shown that Kegels are helpful for men who experience premature ejaculation, and they may possibly help men with erectile dysfunction. Rabin interviews urologist Dr. Andrew L. Siegel, creator of a pelvic floor muscle strengthening system for men called Private Gym. The system utilizes light weights attached to a silicone band that is placed on the penis to provide resistance training to the pelvic floor muscles. Dr. Patricia Goode, medical director of the incontinence clinic at University of Alabama, participated in research in 2006 which proved that Kegels help restore continence in men after radical prostatectomy. In fact, the results are startling- the group who participated in Kegels post-surgery were ALL, on average, fully continent within 3.5 months compared to the control group (no Kegels performed), HALF of whom were not continent after SIX months. So, men, I challenge you to join your lady friends and join the Kegel club! If you have no idea how to perform a pelvic floor muscle contraction or have any questions about pelvic floor health, we here at Beyond Basics are happy to assist! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.