Kegels! You’ve heard of them. You might even have tried them.
But are they working for you...
And how can you tell?
Well, there are a range of devices on the market that can help improve the strength of your pelvic floor, but how do you know if you really need one?
What is a pelvic floor exercise device?
A pelvic floor exercise device can be used to help you perform Kegel exercises. Basic pelvic floor exercise devices typically offer biofeedback; this allows you to see when you are performing a pelvic floor muscle contraction correctly. A more advanced option is an electronic pelvic floor toner, which can work your pelvic floor muscles automatically.
Why YOU Need a Pelvic Floor Exercise Device
1. You’re not exercising correctly
Just like all our other muscles, our pelvic floor muscles need exercise too. However, it’s not as easy to notice if you’re exercising these internal muscles correctly. Lifting weights strengthens our biceps – we know this because we can see the change in muscle tone over time. But, with the pelvic floor muscles inside of our body, it’s hard to tell if we're exercising them correctly and effectively.
50% of women perform pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. Rather than pulling their pelvic floor muscles up towards their navel, some women push downwards, causing even more stress to the muscles. The best way to learn how to use your pelvic floor muscles correctly is through biofeedback. Using a biofeedback device (like vaginal cones with an indicator tail) can help you to see whether you are exercising your pelvic floor muscles correctly or not.
2. You’re already suffering
Whether it’s little leaks when exercising or sneezing (stress incontinence), rushing to the toilet (urge incontinence), or even pelvic organ prolapse – it’s safe to say that your pelvic floor needs help, and it needs it fast.
So, if you’re already suffering and can’t perform an effective pelvic floor muscle contraction or, you've seen a physiotherapist that specializes in women's or men's health and are struggling to do your exercises at home correctly and regularly or you're struggling to squeeze in the time to maintain the Kegel workout, you've done with your physio, within your busy day then, an easier option worth considering is an electronic pelvic floor toner.
Electronic pelvic toners/exercisers use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to target, exercise, and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This isn’t as scary as it sounds! Your body actually uses electrical signals all of the time to tell your muscles when to work and relax – NMES toners replicate this action.
3. You’re thinking about having a baby
Pregnancy and childbirth take a huge toll on your pelvic floor – and your pelvic floor muscles play a huge part throughout the journey.
During pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles help to support the weight of your baby in the womb.
In childbirth, your pelvic floor muscles actually help to move your baby into an effective birthing position.
That’s why it’s important to recognise the importance of your pelvic floor before conception.
Hence, strengthening your pelvic floor before and after pregnancy is vital. There are numerous TENS machines on the market. However, the Kegel8 Mother Nurture Electronic Pelvic Toner & Labour TENS Machine can help you to do this and more. It combines the Kegel8 pelvic floor exerciser (to prepare your pelvic floor for pregnancy and retrain your muscles after childbirth) with a labour TENS machine to provide natural pain relief during labour.
Although, an electronic pelvic toner which uses NMES is important for strengthening your pelvic floor prior to conception and after birth, however this kind of electrical stimulation cannot be used during pregnancy.
4. You already have a baby
If you’ve already had a baby, chances are your pelvic floor has been to hell and back.
Around 1 in 3 women suffer from urinary incontinence postpartum. But over 75% of women who were incontinent after childbirth are still incontinent 12 years later! This doesn’t have to be you! Take control of your bladder health and start your Kegel exercises today!
However, it’s important that you allow your pelvic floor muscles to rest following childbirth. So, we recommend that you wait until your postpartum check-up until you begin exercising your pelvic floor again.
Once you begin your Kegels remember, relaxing the pelvic floor is also an important factor. Over-exercising your pelvic floor muscles can lead to weakness – so make sure you know how to properly relax them.
5. You’re peri/menopausal
If the hot flushes and night sweats aren’t bad enough, there’s another concern to add to your list of menopause symptoms. During the menopause, your oestrogen and collagen levels plummet significantly. This is bad news for your pelvic floor. The change in hormone and protein levels mean that the pelvic floor loses a lot of its strength and flexibility in a short amount of time. This sudden weakness can bring on a whole host of pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. That’s why, during the menopause your pelvic floor muscles require crucial attention.
Even if you presently don’t show any signs or symptoms of pelvic floor weakness, you still need to practice Kegel exercises every day to maintain your pelvic floor strength.
If you do, or begin to, suffer from pelvic floor weakness, make sure to take action immediately. The menopause is a challenging yet wonderful period of change – don’t let your pelvic floor make even more challenging.
How Can Kegel8 Help You?
If you're looking for a simple, affordable yet effective biofeedback option to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. The Kegel8 Vaginal Cones are a clinically proven pelvic floor strengthening system. And with the addition of the unique indicator tail clip, the cones allow you to see in real time, if you are contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly. As you pull up and perform a Kegel, the tail of the cone will wave downwards.
It’s that simple!
The best-selling Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner has 20 clinically-proven programmes, developed with Specialist Physiotherapists, that target a variety of common pelvic floor related issues.
An electronic device, such as the Ultra 20, is a great choice for those who cannot correctly contract their pelvic floor muscles, or those who are already suffering the effects of a weak pelvic floor, e.g. little leaks or even pelvic organ prolapse!
Once you have been given the go ahead after your postpartum checkup by your doctor - the Kegel8 Mother Nurture Electronic Pelvic Toner & Labour *TENS Machine (with 8 specialist programmes) will allow you the correct amount of 'Work' to 'Rest' ratio that is needed, in each phase of the programme that you select, to ensure that your pelvic floor is properly cared for.
*TENS = transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Original article: Kegel8 Website