Will Doing Kegels Mean I Have Better Sex?

We often hear and read that pelvic floor exercises (kegels) can improve sex but what is this based on and is this really true?

Firstly, let’s consider the definition of ‘good sex’.

‘Good sex’ depends not just on physical factors but is also dependent on what’s going on in our minds and in our relationships. 

Secondly, the assumption that pelvic floor muscles will improve sex assumes that the definition of ‘sex’ is ‘a penis inside a vagina’. This focuses the attention on male pleasure – rather than female pleasure – and also excludes queer people. Why should there be a focus on penetrative sex?? 

Lastly, what does the research show? The evidence base is actually very limited with low numbers of participants with mixed results. Let’s look at this in more detail.

The theory is that increased pelvic floor muscle strength may help with:

  • Vaginal receptivity 
  • Vaginal responsiveness
  • Vaginal sensitivity 
  • Increased awareness of the pelvic floor muscles 

Some research papers demonstrate no difference in sex after doing pelvic floor exercises and others demonstrate that pelvic floor strength is associated with sex function*.

Our conclusion is this: a stronger pelvic floor MAY improve sex (especially if you’ve just had a baby as pelvic floor exercises will most likely help) BUT remember that most of your sexual pleasure and enjoyment comes from your mind, the circumstances you are having sex in, or how you feel about the person/people you are having sex with, so consider a wider definition of ‘good sex’ for maximum results!

To make an appointment to see Sarah, click here.

By Sarah Wolujewicz, Pelvic Health Physio at The Havelock Clinic

*Chambles et al, 1984; Lara et al, 2012; Kanter et al, 2015

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