These exercises were developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel (Kay-Gill) to help women with problems controlling urination.  The exercises are designed to strengthen and give voluntary control of a muscle called the pubococcygeus, or P.C. for short.  Since the P.C. muscle encircles the urinary opening as well as the vagina, some of Dr. Kegel's patients found that doing the exercises had a pleasant side effect- increased sexual awareness.

Identifying the P.C. Muscle

Sit on the toilet. Spread your legs apart. See if you can stop and start the flow of urine without moving your legs.  That's your P.C. muscle, the muscle that starts and stops the flow of urination.

The Exercises


Tighten the P.C. muscle as you did to stop urination.  Hold it for a slow count of three. Relax it.


Tighten and relax the P.C. muscle as rapidly as you can.


Pull up the entire pelvic floor as though trying to suck water into your vagina.  Then push out or bear down as if trying to push the imaginary water out.  (This exercise will use a number of stomach muscles as well as the P.C. muscle) At first, do 10 of each of these exercises (one "set") five times every day. You may notice at first that the muscle is hard to control, or that it starts to feel tired.  Just take a few seconds to rest, and start again.  In a week or two you will probably be able to control your P.C. quite well.  Each week increase the number of times you do each exercise by five (15, 20, 25, etc.).  Keep doing five "sets" every day.You can do these exercises any time during daily activities which don't require a lot of moving around: driving your car, watching television, doing dishes, sitting at your desk, lying in bed.  A good way to check your progress in strengthening the P.C. muscle is to insert one or two fingers into your vagina as you tighten the muscle and note the amount of pressure on your fingers.

Revised   2/08


ŠTed A. Tobey, M.D., Inc. ~ All Rights Reserved