Posted: Jun 13, 2013 9:00 AM
 
Your pelvic floor muscles aren't the most glamorous muscle group to add to your fitness routine. After pregnancy and childbirth, weakness in your pelvic floor can lead to bladder incontinence and loss of sensation during sex. Consistently do your Kegel exercises and improve bladder control — and your sex life!

Feeling sexy after baby

Isolated baby blocks

In the glow of new motherhood — whether the glow comes from pure joy or the reflection of hair that hasn't been washed in approximately 17 days — the idea of rekindling your sex life may seem daunting. Your postpartum body feels different, you're discovering an entirely new facet of your relationship and all of the changes happening may not leave you feeling sexy.

Plus you might pee a bit when you cough.

Loss of muscle tone

Your pelvic floor muscles are weakened from carrying a child, birthing a child vaginally and through abdominal surgery like a Cesarean section.

Finding flattering clothes for your post-pregnancy body can help you feel more confident on your first date night, but your abdominal muscles aren't the only ones that were stressed during pregnancy and birth. Your pubococcygeus muscles — commonly referred to as your pelvic floor — are weakened from carrying a child, birthing a child vaginally and through abdominal surgery like a Cesarean section.

A flat stomach might not be high on your priority list with a new baby, but working on your pelvic floor muscles has many physical benefits for postpartum women. Kegel exercises can help strengthen and tighten your pelvic floor. Many doctors suggest all women do them, and they are definitely recommended during and after pregnancy.

The benefits of Kegel exercises

They will stop the urine leakage common after pregnancy but also because of the sexual benefits.

Dr. Jamie Brunet of Bain Complete Wellness in Tampa, Florida, is a health and fitness-focused chiropractic physician. Dr. Brunet educates her patients about Kegel exercises in part because they will stop the urine leakage common after pregnancy but also because of the sexual benefits.

Dr. Brunet says, "The inability to reach orgasm can be a stressful issue that can lead to lack of sexual desire and sense of closeness with your partner. Kegel-strengthening exercises not only intensify the pelvic floor's ability to contract, making orgasms easier and more intense, but also increase vascularity, which means enhanced blood flow and resulting sensation."

^ 3 Steps to better sex

  1. To identify the Kegel muscle, stop urination mid-stream. This action is controlled by the Kegel, or pelvic floor, muscle.

  2. With an empty bladder, lie on your back and tighten your pelvic-floor muscle. Do five squeezes in a row first. Next, squeeze and hold for five seconds. Repeat this five times.

  3. Finally, hold the squeeze for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. If possible, do these exercises three times a day.

As with any exercise program, you should start with less reps and less time, and build up as you get stronger. Dr. Brunet's patients who perform Kegel exercises as directed for eight to 12 weeks experience significantly less frequency of urine leakage and report improved sexual response.

More about improving your sex life

40 Beads to improve your sex life
Sex during your first trimester
Don't let stress make you forget about sex

Topics: