Reasons Men Should Do Kegels (Including Better Sex for Both of You)

He works out the rest of his body—so why not his penis?

When women visit the ob-gyn because of urinary problems or a sexual issue relating to arousal or orgasm, their healthcare provider might advise them to start a regimen of kegel exercises (exercises can help make the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel stronger). These moves strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can lose tone due to age or pregnancy. Stronger pelvic floor muscles lead to better bladder control and more sensation during sex.

But it isn't just women who can benefit from doing kegels; men can gain advantages as well. "Both men and women have these muscles," said James Dupree, MD, an assistant professor of urology at Michigan Medicine. "A kegel exercise is the name given to any exercise strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. For guys, those are the muscles supporting organs like the penis, prostate, and rectum."

Curious as to how kegel exercises can benefit men, how they can do kegel exercises, and how they could have an impact on your sex life? Here's what you need to know.

Help Him Stay Harder During Sex

Kegel exercises strengthen the shelf of muscle supporting the penis. Stronger muscles in this area can mean improved blood flow when your partner gets an erection—similar to the way working out any muscle gives circulation to nearby organs a boost. The result: stronger erections. While it's normal for a guy to occasionally experience erection issues, if he has regular trouble getting and staying hard, it can have an impact on your sex life, said Dr. Dupree.

Prevent Premature Ejaculation

These small-but-powerful moves can also give men more control over ejaculation, helping the pelvic floor muscles lengthen and contract appropriately. That helps him last longer in the bedroom. Dr. Dupree points to a small 2014 study published in Therapeutic Advances in Urology which showed that pelvic floor strengthening helped 82% of study participants (age 19 to 46) improve their premature ejaculation issues.

Boost Bladder and Bowel Control

For men, kegel exercises can also help improve bowel control (jokes asides, it's not the kind of leakage anyone wants to deal with). They can also make it less likely they will experience stress incontinence, or accidentally dribble a little urine while pumping iron at the gym or on a run, for example. Strengthening those muscles is especially useful if, for instance, a man "laughs, sneezes or lifts a heavy box" and leaks a little pee in the process, said Dr. Dupree.

How Can Men Do Kegels?

Pretty much the same way women do them. The first step is to find those pelvic floor muscles. "When a man is standing to urinate, those are the muscles he'd use to abruptly stop mid-stream," said Dr. Dupree. "On a separate note, you can think of tightening the muscles you'd use to hold in gas."

Once the right muscle group has been identified, Dr. Dupree advised to "hold for three seconds, relax for three seconds." Do this 10 times in a row, twice a day. "You can do them anywhere, really," said Dr. Dupree. "Sitting at a desk, in the bathroom. It should only take a few minutes."

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A Word of Caution

Prior to your partner embarking on a kegel exercise routine, said Dr. Dupree, they should first talk to their healthcare provider about any potential underlying medical problems that might be behind their symptoms. For instance, it's normal to have drip a tiny bit of pee after emptying the bladder; it's not normal to be leaking urine between trips to the restroom. "For urinary issues, we'd want to check for UTIs or neurologic problems," said Dr. Dupree.

If you're dealing with problems in the bedroom, your partner should also bring that up with their physician before jumping right into kegels. "For erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, it's an issue that can be an early sign of what could eventually become heart disease, so we'd want to check out things like cholesterol," said Dr. Dupree.

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