Exercises to improve your sex life after children
The pelvic floor muscles are really important for sex. They significantly contribute to sexual enjoyment for both partners by helping to increase sexual awareness. For a woman they contribute towards orgasmic potential and indeed an orgasm involves strong contraction of the deep pelvic floor muscles. For your man, good vaginal tone equals a happy happy man.
The pelvic floor muscles form a hammock underneath your pelvis to provide support and control the bladder and bowel. The muscles attach to the pubic bone at the front, then span backwards to the coccyx (tailbone) behind. The openings to your bladder, your vagina and your bowel all pass through the pelvic floor.
A pelvic floor contraction is performed by closing and drawing up you front and back passages. Imagine you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and at the same time try to stop the flow of urine. The feeling is one of ‘squeeze and lift’.
You can do this lying, sitting or standing. You can feel the correct muscles working by placing your index finger or thumb into the vagina.
Breathe in to prepare, and perform a pelvic floor contraction. Continue to hold it whilst you breathe out and in again. Start by holding for 2 or 3 breathing cycles, aiming to build to a maximum of 10 breath cycles. Repeat as many times as you can, up to a maximum of 10.
Squeeze firmly and let go completely. Rest a second then squeeze again. Aim to build up by practising until you can do ten in a row.
Try to lift and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles in stages. Imagine a lift starting at the ground floor, rising to the first floor, then the second and the third. Hold on at the top, and then slowly lower back down again stopping at each stage on the way down.
Muscles only develop when you challenge them to work harder than normal. This will be different for everyone. Quality is important and you can also work them when practising other core exercises.
Top tip - practice a few pelvic floor exercises when you have been to the loo. Let your bladder completely empty, then stay sitting on the loo and do a few exercises! By relating exercises to a routine activity it'll soon become a good habit - Little and often through the day = a healthy pelvic floor, and a more satisfying sex.