What is the ruling regarding Kegel exercises?


What is Islam’s opinion about Kegel exercises which are done to strengthen penile tissues and to delay ejaculation while having intercourse?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

A pelvic floor exercise, more commonly called a Kegel exercise, consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, colloquially referred to as the “Kegel muscles”.[1]

Kegel exercises can help many women and men with urinary incontinence, regardless of cause or age. Kegel exercises aim to strengthen pelvic floor muscles that support and hold up the bladder.[2]  Kegels also help men to maintain their arousal, vigour and firmness during intimate relations.[3]

If one’s exercise merely consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles in the pelvic area, then this is permissible.

There are many other Kegel exercise methods which are specifically for women.  For example:

1)     Vaginal cones

These are small, plastic cones which are placed in the vagina usually twice a day for 15 minutes.  They come in different weights.  A woman uses her pelvic muscles to hold the cone in place.

2)     Biofeedback

This method involves placing a sensor in the vagina. The sensor, connected to a visual and/or sound system, lets a woman “see/hear” the contraction. A woman can thereby know, according to the colour of the light or the intensity of the sound, whether the muscular contraction is OK or not. This allows one to correct the contraction as well as enabling one to gradually intensify the effort and duration.

3)     Electrical stimulation

A small electronic probe is placed in the vagina and painless, low frequency electrical currents cause contractions of the vaginal muscles.[4]

The use of vaginal cones, biofeedbacks and electrical stimulations are somewhat disliked and discouraged.  The Fuqahā have stated that it is disliked to insert something into a woman’s private area without any pressing need.[5]

It is highly advisable to visit one’s doctor before commencing any exercise.

In conclusion, Kegel exercises consisting of mere contractions and relaxations of the Pelvic Floor Muscles without any external aids are permissible.  A woman should abstain from performing Kegel exercises which involve inserting foreign objects into the vagina.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi,

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kegel_exercise (last accessed on 30/11/12)

[2] http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/urinary-incontinence-kegel-exercises-for-pelvic-muscles (last accessed on 30/11/12)

[3] http://www.medicinenet.com/kegel_exercises_for_men/index.htm (last accessed on 30/11/12)

[4] http://www.sofeminine.co.uk/mag/mother/d2386/c60081.html (last accessed on 30/11/12)

[5]  (ويكره وضعه) أي: وضع جميعه (في الفرج الداخل) لأنه يشبه النكاح بيدها , “محيط”. (ذخر المتأهلين ص 170 دار الفكر)

وَفِي شَرْحِ الْوِقَايَةِ ثُمَّ وَضْعُ الْكُرْسُفِ مُسْتَحَبٌّ لِلْبِكْرِ فِي الْحَيْضِ وَلِلثَّيِّبِ فِي كُلِّ حَالٍ وَمَوْضِعُهُ مَوْضِعُ الْبَكَارَةِ وَيُكْرَهُ فِي الْفَرْجِ الدَّاخِلِ. اهـ. وَفِي غَيْرِهِ أَنَّهُ سُنَّةٌ لِلثَّيِّبِ حَالَةَ الْحَيْضِ مُسْتَحَبَّةٌ حَالَةَ الطُّهْرِ وَلَوْ صَلَّتَا بِغَيْرِ كُرْسُفٍ جَازَ.(البحر  الرائق ج 1 ص 193 أيج أيم سعيد)

ثُمَّ وَضْعُ الكُرْسُفِ مُسْتَحَبُّ للبكرِ في الحيض، وللثَّيب في كلِّ حال، وموضعُهُ موضعُ البكارة، ويُكْرَهُ في الفرج الدَّاخل (وفي بين السطور “عللوه بأنه يشبه إدخال اليد مع الاستغناء عنه) (شرح الوقايةج1 ص 122 مكتبة إمدادية)

ومما يتصل بهذا النوع من المسائل (32ب1) أن اتخاذ الكرسف سنّة عند الحيض، الثيّبْ يستحب لها اتخاذ الكرسف بكل حال لأنها لا تأمن خروج شيء منها فيحتاط في ذلك خصُوصاً في حالة الصلاة. وأما البكر فيستحب لها وضع الكرسف في حالة الحيض فلا يستحب لها ذلك في غير حالة الحيض. والطاهر إذا صلّت بغير كرسف وأمنت أن يخرج منها شيء جازت صلاتها، والأحسن أن تضع الكرسف. وعن محمد بن سلمة البلخي رحمه الله أنه يكره للمرأة أن تضع الكرسف في الفرج الداخل، قال: لأن ذلك يشبه النكاح بيدها.(المحيط البرهاني ج 1 ص 401-400 إدارة القرآن)

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