Pelvic-floor exercises are known as Kegel exercises after California gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel, who in 1948 outlined a comprehensive exercise program for women with urinary incontinence after childbirth because of weak pelvic-floor muscles. Using Kegel balls, also known as Ben-Wa balls, increases the effectiveness of Kegel exercises.
Pelvic-floor muscles have two types of muscle fibers: slow-twitch fibers that assist in muscle endurance in slow contractions, and fast-twitch fibers that assist in strong and powerful contractions. Muscle inactivity, aging or nerve damage decreases the amount of fast-twitch fibers and hampers pelvic-floor muscles, causing urinary and bowel incontinence or pelvic-organ prolapse. Doing pelvic-floor exercises regularly can help.
(Suzanna McGee @ www.livestrong.com)