Are they *actually* as important as everyone says?
There's a 99 percent chance you've heard about kegels at least once in your life—whether it was in Sex and the City, at a high school sleepover, or from your gyno. Kegels are a thing that every woman needs to know about, and not because it helps keep you "tight down there." Trust us—we asked Shape sexpert Dr. Logan Levkoff for the low-down on exercising your down-low.
What are kegels? Exercises created by gynecologist Arnold Kegel to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, says Levkoff. Imagine you're holding in your pee—hold that for three seconds, then release. Try 10-15 reps. Raise your hand if you definitely just tried it. (Having trouble? There's a device that actually teaches you how to do kegels correctly.)
Despite what you may have heard, kegels aren't all about staying"tight." It's important to have strong pelvic floor muscles because they can help prevent pelvic floor pregnancy issues, incontinence (the accidental loss of urine), and uterine prolapse (when the pelvic floor muscles or ligaments stretch or become weak, are no longer able to support the uterus, and it sags or slips from its normal position and into the vagina), says Levkoff. It sounds terrifying, but it's more common than you might think. In one study, the rate of uterine prolapse in women was about 14 percent, meaning about one in seven women will most likely experience a prolapsed uterus. It's more common in postmenopausal women, but not out of the question at an earlier age.
Convinced to do kegels yet? This last benefit will send you over the edge quite literally: Kegels can also enhance orgasmic quality. So file this under "things every woman need to do." (Also in that file: Peeing after sex. Really. Dr. Levkoff says so.)
Besides having all these perks, the best part about kegels is that no one can tell you're doing them! Go ahead—get your workout on during your commute, while sitting at work, and while at the dinner table. (For extra credit, add kegels to this workout routine for better sex.) The opportunities are endless. #WhereDoYouKegel?