I just wanted to quickly post to correct info that I posted yesterday regarding an article titled: "Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice for Women and Men" that included info by biomechanist Katy Bowman, and advocate AGAINST doing kegels under any circumstances.
I spoke to my pelvic floor PT about this after another member asked what was wrong with having a tight or "toned" pelvic floor, this is what she had to say--basically she says kegels are not okay for tight pelvic floor muscles or weak AND tight pelvic floor muscles but if you've been assessed by a professional and diagnosed as having just weak or overstretched pelvic floor muscles, which can cause prolapse, kegels are appropriate and she does recommend them to patients herself.
Here is her complete answer, sorry for any confusion I may have caused!:
A toned muscle is not a bad thing, you're correct. Unfortunately, if you 'over-do it' with your pelvic floor muscles, they do not just rest and relax. If you over-strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and they become too tight they often become dysfunctional and begin to cause symptoms. When this happens, people often need to see a pelvic floor physical therapist to return these muscles to a normal tone to eliminate the symptoms. Your pelvic floor muscles are the only group of muscles in the body that never get to rest, ever. If they completely relaxed we would be incontinent. They are working all the time, to maintain continence, to support our pelvic organs, and contribute to our posture. Therefore, they are 'working out' all the time. We do not need to treat them like other muscles in our body. This is why the pelvic floor muscles do not need to do extra strengthening, like Kegels, unless something has happened that has overstretched them or injured them in some way that has made them truly weak, not tight and weak. Your pelvic floor muscles can become overstretched and weak after childbirth, around menopause, and after some gynecological surgeries. It's important to note though that many postpartum women can actually have tight pelvic floor muscles so any woman who thinks she needs to do Kegels should absolutely get an evaluation by a trained physical therapist to make sure that is indeed what she needs to do. If you start a pelvic floor strengthening program when you actually have a tight pelvic floor, you will create more problems, I promise you. So, I'm sorry I have to disagree with you, but, unless you've been evaluated by a pelvic physical therapist and told you have a weak, not tight, pelvic floor, do not continue to do Kegels.
There are many experts in the pelvic floor field that will strongly agree that doing Kegels are appropriate only when pelvic floor muscles are overstretched and weak. There are many articles in medical journals that support this.