In online forums and subreddits related to premature ejaculation, people often suggest kegel exercises as a way to last longer in bed. Kegels are a way to strengthen your PC muscles. Those muscles, located between the anus and the testicles, play an important role during ejaculation. It makes sense to think that gaining a better control of those muscles can help men last longer. However, contrary to what some internet posters may imply, kegels aren’t a magic treatment against premature ejaculation.
Preliminary studies suggest that pelvic floor therapy can help men last longer. However, these studies didn’t focus on strengthening the PC muscles through Kegels exercises, but on improving the relaxation, support and control through a technique called biofeedback. In this article, we’ll dig deeper into what those studies show us about the link between PC muscles and ejaculation. We will also see how exactly kegels might help us last longer, to what extent, and what are their limitations.
What Are PC Muscles?
Before we dive into the role kegels might have in ejaculation control, we need to better understand the roles of the PC muscles.
The PC muscles (pubococcygeal muscles) are a series of muscles situated between your pubic bone and coccyx. It’s the muscles that sit between your anus and your testicles.
They are used, among other things, to control your urine flow. If you try to stop peeing once it started, that’s your PC muscles at work. If you have difficulties stopping your urination, it’s probably because you have weak PC muscles.
What’s The Link Between The PC Muscles And Ejaculation Control?
Researchers discovered that some PC muscles (principally the bulbocavernous and ischiocavernous muscles) show a significant increase in electromyographic activity during ejaculation. When a man ejaculates, his PC muscles contract. By doing so, the muscles facilitate sperm emission. Since the PC muscles contractions are one of the signs of ejaculation readiness, some researchers theorized that relaxing those muscles during sex could potentially delay ejaculation. The studies cited below suggest that it’s indeed the case. Men who can learn to relax those muscles can gain better ejaculation control and last longer in bed.
What Are Kegel Exercises?
We know that the goal is to learn to relax your PC muscles during sex. But what’s the link between PC muscle relaxation and kegels? To answer the question, we have to understand exactly what kegels exercises are.
The Origin of Kegels
We’ve already established that PC muscles can be used to stop the flow of urine when you pee. Besides urination, PC muscles are also solicited during childbirth. And that’s a euphemism. By solicited, we mean incredibly forced! Some women suffer from urinary stress incontinence (SUI) after giving birth because their PC muscles have been too stressed out.
So, a gynecologist named Arnold Kegel developed some exercises to help women who suffer from post-childbirth SUI. Kegel’s exercises are a form of training to strengthen the PC muscles. It consists of the voluntary tension of the pelvic muscles.
How to perform Kegels
- Identify your PC muscles. The best way to do it is to consciously stop your urination flow midstream. By doing so, you’ll learn which muscles are solicited.
- When you’re ready to start your kegel session, you have to tighten those muscles for at least 3 seconds, and then relax the muscles for the same amount of time. When you do so, be careful not to use your abdomen, your thighs or your buttocks, but only your PC muscles. Other muscles need to be relaxed.
- Repeat between 10 and 15 times
- As time goes, your muscles will strengthen and you can increase the length of each contraction. Instead of tightening the muscles for 3 seconds, you can try 4 or 5 seconds.
Kegels for Men
As we saw, the main function of kegel, for both men and women, is to treat incontinence. Beyond its original purpose, kegels also show other benefits for other women’s sexual health issues.
Kegels’ benefits for male sexual health have also been theorized. For example, you can find information online about how Kegels might help you gain stronger erections or how it can possibly help with erectile dysfunction. Examining those claims is beyond the scope of this article; this text will only analyze its impact on premature ejaculation.
How to Do Kegel Exercises to Last Longer in Bed
As we saw, the PC muscles contract during ejaculation. This doesn’t mean that stronger PC muscles will help you last longer. The link between ejaculation control and the PC muscles is more a question of awareness and relaxation than strength.
Micheal E. Metz was one of the first sex therapist specialized in premature ejaculation to suggest that premature ejaculators should learn to relax their pelvic floor muscles. He developed a variation of the Kegel exercise that is specially designed to gain a better ejaculation control.
Metz’s exercise goal is to develop better control and awareness of your PC muscles. The focus isn’t on strength. However, Metz’s reasoning is that since those muscles aren’t contracted/relaxed consciously, you first need to train them if you want to learn how to relax them during sex.
In his book Coping with Premature Ejaculation, Metz suggests starting by performing a series of regular kegels. You need to contract for 3 seconds your PC muscles, and then relax it for another 3 seconds. Metz advises doing a series of 10 contractions/relaxation three times a day. Then, when you have good control of your PC muscles, you have to control the level of contraction of your muscles.
You need to be able to pass from a level of 0/10 (completely relax) to 5/10 (mid-contracted) to 10/10 (fully contracted) easily. The aim is to be aware of how contracted your muscles are during sex. The more relaxed they are, the easier your ejaculation control should be. So, by learning to consciously relax your PC muscles, you’ll be able to delay ejaculation.
Reverse Kegels are another variation that is often reported to help with ejaculation control. As its names indicate, the reverse Kegel is the opposite movement of a kegel. A regular kegel is a contraction of your PC muscles, the reverse kegel is an extension.
Here again, the goal of the exercise is to learn how to consciously decontract the muscles during sex. By extending the muscles, you’ll perform the opposite movement of a contraction. This should help you relax the muscles when you need to.
By repeating series of reverse kegels, you will be able to perform it during sex when you feel that your PC muscles are tensed. By doing so, you can relax your PC muscles and delay ejaculation.
Do Kegel Exercises Really Work for Premature Ejaculation?
Pelvic floor rehabilitation has been studied for a potential treatment of PE by two different studies. Those studies show similar results. Around 60% of the men gained a better control of their ejaculation after the treatment. Those men were lasting, on average, around 30 seconds before treatment. After treatment, it was on average around 150 seconds. However, it’s important to note that those patients didn’t only perform kegel exercises on their own.
The PFM rehabilitation protocol used in the studies wasn’t a regular kegel routine that you can do at home. It consisted of physio-kinesiotherapy and biofeedback sessions with electro-stimulation. An electrical device stimulated directly the pudendal nerve to help the patients gain better awareness of their muscles. Each patient was accompanied by professional therapists.
The only research that studied the impact of kegels in a setting that could be reproduced at home showed less impressive numbers. This 2019 study shows an increase of 1 minute for the median post-treatment ejaculation latency. The treated group lasted around 1 min before treatment, and 2 minutes after.
The sample size of the study was very small, and there was now follow up measure to make sure that the increase lasted in time. So, even if we do have reasons to believe Kegels can help you last longer, compared to other treatment, their effect is modest.
To recap, kegels can help some men (probably around 60%) to last longer. However, their impact on ejaculation control is still up to debate. Preliminary data seems to indicate that their effectiveness is less than most other treatments. Still, since pelvic floor exercises are free and easy to perform, it’s still something that is worth trying for anyone who wants to improve their ejaculation control.
Kegels Vs Other Premature Ejaculation Treatment
Since premature ejaculation causes are diverse, it’s not surprising that some men don’t respond to pelvic floor rehabilitation. For some men kegels won’t make any difference. This is also the case with most premature ejaculation treatment. No treatment, or no coping method works with all men.
As for effectiveness, other forms of treatments show similar or better results. You can find here a list of the most studied treatments and how effective they are based on recent studies.
Behavioural Therapies (at-home Exercises)
Behavioural therapies was the premature ejaculation standard treatment for years. You probably heard of the stop-start method or the squeeze techniques? Those are the foundation of behavioural therapies developed by sex therapist over the years.
A behavioural therapy consists of masturbation exercises that will help you better understand how your arousal works, and how to modulate your arousal to last longer.
Initial reports showed a large success rate for behavioural therapies, but more recent studies paint a different portrait of the situation. A more recent study conducted in Montreal did showed an impressive increase in ejaculation latency. However, when we look at a 2015 systematic review of all behavioural therapies, the results are more mitigated.
The meta analysis concludes that there is limited evidence that physical behavioral techniques can make men last longer. That doesn’t mean that masturbation exercises don’t work, but there is not enough data to confirm that it works beyond the placebo effect. Of all the studies that this analysis included, some show good results, othen show no effect at all. Overall, there is not enough data to show a statistically significant conclusion.
Just like kegels, masturbation exercises have some advantages. While they might not be a bulletproof way to last longer, they are easy to perform and they are free. That’s why it’s still something that is worth trying. It’s just important to manage your expectation before you start.
If you want to learn more about those exercises, you can read our post on how to edge to last longer. If you want to have access to a behaviroual treatment plan designed by a certified sex therapist, you can take a look at the Between Us Clinic.
Speaking of certified sex therapy, professional sex therapis often use the same behavioural techniques combined with a cognitive approach. On top of masturbation exercsies, the sex therapist will work on on negative thoughts that might contribute to your premature ejaculation. That’s what we call a cognitive-behavioral therapy. You can find more information on sex therapy for premature ejaculation on our dedicated page.
Behavioural Therapies with Masturbatory Aid
Different studies show that using a masturbatory aid (a sex toy) can increase the effectiveness of a behavioural therapy. This masturbatory aid can take the form of a vibrating device, a male masturbator, or a combination of both.
Some studies shows that masturbating with a vibrator, or using a male sex toy can make men last longer. Two different companies developed their own products based on those findings.
The first one is called Prolong. It’s a vibrator that comes with a behavioural treatment plan. If you want to learn more about it, you can read our Prolong review.
The second product is MyHyxel. It’s both a mobile app and a vibrating masturbator. Similar to a Fleshlight, it has been developed as a therapeutic device. MyHixel treatment plan also focuses on the relaxation of your PC muscles through their exercises included in their mobile app. You can read our MyHixel review for more information.
Delay products are other alternatives that can be combined with kegels, behavioural therapy, or simply used on its own. Delay products contain a desensitizing solution that can temporarily numb your penis nerves. By doing so, it will block your penis signal to trigger ejaculation and make you last longer.
Available in different formats, like benzocaine pe creams, delay condoms or lidocaine pe sprays, most delay products are available over the counter. You can find more information on each type by clicking on the links below, or read or Promescent review, the most popular delay product.
Finally, the most effective treatment for premature ejaculation is medication. Different drugs can make you last longer. Those drugs require a prescription and can have adverse effects. That’s why if you consider this option, you absolutely need to consult your doctor first. You can find more information on different drug effectiveness on our page on pharmacological PE treatments.
Are Kegels Good or Bad for Premature Ejaculation?
Some people wonder if Kegels can worsen or cause a premature ejaculation problem. As we saw, training your pelvic floor can help you gain a better control of these muscles. This control will help you relax them during sex and potentially help you last longer.
However, like any muscles, your PC muscles can be overtrained. There are some reports of people who overdone kegels and started to ejaculate quicker. Although the phenomenon hasn’t been extensively studied, it’s something that is reported in some bodybuilding forums.
The principle makes sense. Since PC muscles contract during ejaculation, hyper trained PC muscles can be more easily triggered and therefore make you ejaculate more rapidly.
Kegels, Dry Orgasms and Multiorgasms
Another popular method of coping with premature ejaculation is to induce a retroejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation is the phenomenon where your semen is redirected to your bladder instead of expelling it via your urethra. The semen will then end up in your urine and the men will orgasm without ejaculation. That’s sometimes referred to as a dry orgasm since no sperm is ejected.
If retrograde ejaculation happens without conscious efforts on your part, it can be a symptom of a serious condition. You should seek medical attention from a specialist. However, some people induce the retrograde ejaculation by squeezing the urethra at the base or applying pressure to the perineum shortly before orgasm. Some men do it with their fingers, but others train their PC muscles with Kegel to be able to achieve dry orgams handsfree.
Dry orgasm has been used as a primitive form of birth control, but also in some spiritual beliefs. One of the perks of dry orgasm is that, unlike after a regular ejaculation, men generally keep their erection. The man will then enter his refractory period, but will keep his erection. He will then be able to continue his sexual activities and potentially reach a second orgasm.
Most men can last longer during a second round. Since a dry orgam lets you keep your erection after a first orgasm, it’s useful for people who suffer from premature ejaculation. However, the technique can be difficult to master. Failing to induce the retroejaculation will end up with the man ejaculating normally and losing his erection. Also, even if you keep your erection after a dry orgasm, you will lose your arousal. Therefore, a lot of men prefer to gain better control over their ejaculation with other techniques, or use other forms of premature ejaculation treatment.
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