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Taipei City Hospital

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What women can do with urinary incontinence – Kegel exercises can help

       A 39-year-old female, after more than a year of her postpartum, experienced a painless vaginal cyst and went to the hospital. This patient was examined with a weak contraction of the transverse perineal muscle, which resulted in the dilation of the vaginal opening and the extroversion of the urinary tract, and therefore diagnosed with the relaxation of the vulva and the bulge of the urinary tract. With no other clinical symptoms, the patient was recommended to do the Kegel exercise, manage her weight and follow-up after three months.

       “Normal pelvic function relies on the coordination of the pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles and the diaphragm.” said Dr. Yu-Wen Yin, a gynecologist at the Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch, “The pelvic floor muscles are divided into the superficial muscle groups, which are involved in sexual functions, and the deep muscle groups, which mainly support the stable function of the intestines and the bladders as well as serving as the weight-bearing tissue structures during pregnancy. Abdominal muscles consist of three groups of muscles, in which the rectus abdominis muscle enables the abdomen to contract and support the abdominal organs to prevent displacements and physiological dysfunctions. Relaxed and damaged abdominal muscles not only deforms the body but also causes unstable pressure conductions in the abdominal cavity, which increases the incidence of pelvic cavity disorders.”

       The Kegel exercise, also known as the pelvic floor exercise, was created in 1948 by Dr. Kegel, an American gynecologist. The benefits of the exercise is to increase fibrillar muscles, increase the blood flow and the nerve supply to the pelvic area, restore the vaginal muscle tension and improve the health condition of the vagina.

       If you experienced the involuntary urine leakage, vulvar tumors, vaginal opening dilation, increase of vaginal secretions, the wet vulva, or urine leakage while lifting something heavy or sneezing, you should seek for medical advices. Thus, Dr. Yin suggested, “It is recommended that if you have the above symptoms, you should consult with a gynecologist as you performed the annual pap smear in order to have early treatments.”