The term Kegel muscle is derived from Kegel exercises which strengthen the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. Thus, the Kegel muscle is the PC muscles which are being exercised and strengthened during Kegel exercises. These Kegel muscle is necessary when trying to strengthen the pelvic floor.
The Kegel muscle forms a double loop in the form of a figure eight in women on the floor of the pelvis around the anus and vagina. When the Kegel muscle is contracted, urine flow is controlled and so are the anal sphincter contracts. In men, the Kegel muscle assists with erections, ejaculations and the control of urine as well.
For women, the Kegel muscle is important because pregnancy and child birth stretch the Kegel muscle. When it has been stretched, the Kegel muscle becomes loose and difficult to contract. Some women then suffer from urinary and bowel incontinence and lowered sexual pleasure. Some abdominal organs can protrude through the pelvic floor, once the muscles become loose.
Age, excess weight gain or loss and certain types of abdominal surgeries affect the Kegel muscles’ strength. This means that both women and men can greatly benefit from Kegel exercises which aim to strengthen these muscles. The simplest Kegel exercise is to act as though you are stopping the flow of urine. This can be done anytime and anywhere, so it is quite a convenient and beneficial exercise. With time, the strength and tone of the muscles are restored regardless of what would have caused them to become loose.