September 25, 2017

Bring Back Your Sexy ~ The Tenth Tool

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Continuing with the 10 Tools and Power Tools for Bringing Back Your Sexy After Cancer:

#10. Pelvic Floor Strength and Health

If you’ve been doing the Vaginal Renewal Program™ described in the 9th Key, this is a good time to develop some pelvic floor strength and flexibility. A strong pelvic floor helps to have longer and stronger orgasms, may increase your libido and helps keep your pelvic organs where they’re supposed to be rather than settling down a little lower, which can be part of the reason for losing urine when you sneeze, laugh or exercise.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that forms a supportive sling in the lower pelvis. This sling, made up of 14 different muscles arranged in three layers, attaches to the pelvic bones. The pelvic floor muscles surround the urethra, vaginal opening, and anus.

One helpful way to strengthen the pelvic floor is to properly perform Kegel exercises. It’s best to do them daily, and the proper way to do them is to focus on both parts of the exercise ~ first contracting the muscles and then completely relaxing them. Many protocols advise only “pulling up” the muscles, which tighten them. Relaxing the muscles is the “stretching out” part of the exercise and helps with flexibility and the ability to relax before and during penetration. Then after the conscious muscle relaxation, take a deep belly breath to complete the relaxation.

To do Kegels, first find the muscles. There are a number of ways to learn to feel and identify your pelvic floor muscles. The best way is to insert one or two lubricated fingers into your vagina, and then squeeze your pelvic floor muscles until you feel them tightening and lifting around your fingers. It can be a subtle sensation at first, but will become stronger and easier to identify as you practice. If you feel the muscles in your vagina tighten around your finger when you contract, you’re doing the exercise correctly.

1. Lie down on your back in a comfortable place with your knees bent. Lying down takes the weight off your pelvic floor and leads to earlier success. Have your lubricant with you.
• Wash your hands first, then coat your finger(s) with lubricant. Next, insert your finger(s) about 2 inches into your vagina.
• You can also practice Kegels with nothing at all inside your vagina, or a hand placed on your perineum, to feel the muscle contract from the outside.

2. Contract your pelvic floor muscles. It will feel like you’re pulling up and in toward your belly button. Don’t push out, unless specifically advised by a health care provider. You should feel a gentle tightening around the finger. Try to keep your leg, buttock, and abdominal muscles relaxed, and remember to breathe normally throughout the exercise.

3. Hold the lift for a count of 5. Remember to breathe!

4. Relax your muscles.

5. IMPORTANT: After each contraction, take a deep belly breath. Inhale deeply and gently blow out the air while you relax your pelvis completely. This deep relaxation is just as important as the other steps, because the deep belly breath relaxes the muscles that are not under your conscious control.

6. Congratulations, you have just done one Kegel.

Start with 2 sets of 5 Kegels daily, and then gradually increase the length of the lift to 10 seconds, and the number of Kegels to 10. You can also add Kegel “flicks”, which are short contractions, the entire contracting and relaxing taking about 3 seconds. Do 20 flicks then take a long and deep breath to relax.

If you have any problems locating the muscles, or feel any pain, contact your health care provider to see what might be the issue. There are many types of pelvic floor issues that can be treated, and they require a pelvic floor therapist or advice from your health care provider.

Note: I am not a health care professional, so please consult with one if you feel the need to do so or if you think you have a problem that needs to be addressed. The Vaginal Renewal Program™ was created by A Woman’s Touch and is used with their permission.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of TPF, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for TPF without compensation.

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