Why is intimate wellbeing important for your health?
The feelings and moods that stem from interacting with others can have a positive effect on us. Thus, our welfare is invariably connected to the bonds we create. A 40-year follow-up study has shown that intimacy is a key factor of our general health.(1) Intimate wellbeing refers to the quality of the closeness between two people in relation to overall quality of life. Of the different kinds of intimacy, physical intimacy points towards sex that is both satisfying and fulfilling. Sexual health has long been seen as a key component in health.(2) The many benefits of a healthy sex life include an increase in life satisfaction (3) and better relations with the partner. (4) Given how vital sex is to one’s wellbeing, it is important to prepare the body to ensure an optimal sexual response.
How is intimate wellbeing related to the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor muscles sit at the lowest part of the pelvis and run from the pubic bone, located in the front, to the tail bone in the back. A part of their functions include adding support for reproduction and sex. Muscles that cover the pelvic floor, particularly the pubococcygeus and iliococcygeal muscles, have been seen to cause the contractions during female orgasm.(5,6) Thus, healthy sexual intercourse is dependent on a pelvic floor that is able to function properly.
Why strengthening the pelvic floor can improve intimate wellbeing?
With pelvic floor integrity linked to sexual satisfaction, intimate wellbeing can be made better through exercises that focus on the pelvic floor. Current research suggests that changes to the muscles in the pelvic floor will alter the sexual response, leading to an increase or decrease in sexual satisfaction.(7) Multiple studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle exercises have increased sexual satisfaction in postpartum women.(8) Based on these, in strengthening the pelvic floor, intimate wellbeing can be made better through increased sexual function.
What are the best Kegel exercises to enhance intimate wellbeing?
The key to properly executing Kegel exercises is by identifying the target muscles. As if trying to prevent midstream urination, bowel movement or passing gas without the contraction of the glutes, abs, or inner thigh muscles without any upward body movement.(9,10) Placing a hand on the abdomen or buttocks while doing the exercises to watch out for contraction of the non-pelvic floor muscles is a good practice to develop perfect technique. Some people start by lying down or sitting. Inhale deeply with relaxed pelvic floor muscles, then exhale while contracting the muscles and holding the contraction for 3 to 6 seconds. Inhale again and relax the muscles for 6 to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
How can Perifit improve intimate wellbeing?
For those who are just starting with Kegel exercises, and even for women who have been exercising their pelvic muscles for some time, Perifit provides accurate monitoring of the pertinent characteristics of the pelvic floor. By offering comprehensive information, including the state of both the superficial and deep pelvic muscles during exercise, Perifit gives the user the needed confidence, motivation, and instruction towards a robust pelvic floor and, ultimately, a boost in intimate wellbeing.
1 Sneed, J. R., Whitbourne, S., Schwartz, S. J., & Huang, S. (2012). The relationship between identity, intimacy, and midlife well-being: Findings from the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study. Psychology and Aging, 27, 318-323. doi:10.1037/a0026378
2 Meltzer, A. L., Makhanova, A., Hicks, L. L., French, J. E., McNulty, J. K., & Bradbury, T. N. (2017). Quantifying the Sexual Afterglow: The Lingering Benefits of Sex and Their Implications for Pair-Bonded Relationships. Psychol Sci, 28(5), 587-598. doi:10.1177/0956797617691361
3 Schmiedeberg, C., Huyer-May, B., Castiglioni, L., & Johnson, M. D. (2017). The More or the Better? How Sex Contributes to Life Satisfaction. Arch Sex Behav, 46(2), 465-473. doi:10.1007/s10508-016-0843-y
4 Meltzer, A. L., Makhanova, A., Hicks, L. L., French, J. E., McNulty, J. K., & Bradbury, T. N. (2017). Quantifying the Sexual Afterglow: The Lingering Benefits of Sex and Their Implications for Pair-Bonded Relationships. Psychol Sci, 28(5), 587-598. doi:10.1177/0956797617691361
5 Lowenstein L, Gruenwald I, Gartman I, Vardi Y. Can stronger pelvic muscle floor improve sexual function? Int Urogynecol J 2010; 21(5):553–556
6 Piassarolli VP, Hardy E, Andrade NF, Ferreira NdeO, Osis MJD. [Pelvic floor muscle training in female sexual dysfunctions]. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet 2010;32(5):234–240Portuguese
7 Darski, C., Barbosa, L. J., Paiva, L. L., & Vieira, A. (2016). Association between the Functionality of Pelvic Floor Muscles and Sexual Satisfaction in Young Women. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet, 38(4), 164-169. doi:10.1055/s-0036-1580708
8 Sobhgol, S. S., Priddis, H., Smith, C. A., & Dahlen, H. G. The Effect of Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise on Female Sexual Function During Pregnancy and Postpartum: A Systematic Review. Sex Med Rev. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2018.08.002
9 Pelvic Floor Muscle (Kegel) Exercises for Women to Improve Sexual. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/pelvic-floor-muscle-kegel-exercises-women-improve-sexual-health
10 Kegel exercises: A how-to guide for women. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises/art-20045283