Why a pelvic floor exerciser makes strengthening your pelvic floor easier
Why is a pelvic floor exercise device worthwhile?
Dr Kegel, the originator of the kegel (or pelvic floor) exercise program, did not intend his exercises to be conducted on an empty vagina. The original exercise device that he developed was very close in design to the perineometers in use today (like the PFX2 and PX-IQ).
But through the years, his message has been lost and women have been encouraged to try unassisted exercising. For many women, this has resulted in poor outcomes, with studies showing that 45% - 51% of women are not able to produce effective normal pelvic floor contractions with verbal instructions.
It is increasingly clear that this is not the best way for many women, and that better results can be achieved with the assistance of pelvic floor exercisers.
This has now been confirmed by
research from around the world.
Studies have looked at a range of pelvic floor exercise devices, including vaginal cones, vaginal balls, electronic muscle stimulators, and others. Women in study groups usually already have pelvic floor weakness, with symptoms like incontinence. Many of these studies find that women using these devices show a better improvement than control groups.
So for women who either
- cannot commit to regular visits to a health professional for financial, geographical, or time reasons, or
- prefer to try self-help methods
an exercise device will usually produce a notably better result than trying to do pelvic floor exercises on an empty vagina.
Read more about the role pelvic floor exercisers can play in overcoming incontinence, enhancing sexual response and strengthening the pelvic floor after childbirth.
What types of pelvic floor exercisers are available?
Many pelvic floor exercise products are sophisticated measuring devices intended for use by health professionals to diagnose and treat patients suffering from incontinence or other symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor. They often use electricity or complicated measuring mechanisms, and are specifically designed for use in a treatment setting. This type of device is generally not suitable for home or personal use.
However there are other pelvic floor exercise products on the market that are appropriate for a woman to use at home, and indeed have been designed and manufactured for just that purpose. They are an excellent option for a woman who wants to deal with early symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor.
Pelvic Floor Exercise brings together a range of these pelvic floor exercise aids, along with the information that allows women to make an informed choice.
Read about the different types of pelvic floor exercisers, how they work, and who they are best suited to.
How do pelvic floor exercisers help to build muscle strength?
There are three main ways in which an exerciser can help. The exact advantages to be gained depend on the type of exerciser:
- Pelvic floor exercisers can provide "resistance"
This is really commonsense. Body builders do not build strong biceps by repeatedly contracting their arms in the air; they do it by using weights or other devices that provide resistance. Which of our products provide resistance?
- Pelvic floor exercisers can provide feedback that the exercise is being done correctly
Many women find it extremely hard to do pelvic floor exercises correctly, especially when they first begin, so they benefit from using devices that confirm - either through a measuring gauge or by movement - that the correct muscle is being exercised. This feedback helps to confirm that the pelvic floor muscles are being contracted correctly, and also that the contraction is being fully held for maximum benefit. Which of our products provide visual feedback?
- The presence of a pelvic floor exercise device can stimulate the muscle
Exercisers inserted into the vagina can provide a powerful sensory feedback which makes the pelvic floor muscles contract to retain the device. Some products act to stimulate a muscle response simply by their presence, and others use a safe electrical current to create the stimulation. Which of our products stimulate the pelvic floor muscles?
How do pelvic floor exercisers encourage women to continue an exercise program?
Many women don't keep up a pelvic floor exercise program because it is too hard to fit exercises into daily life and because they are uncertain about whether they are exercising correctly, particularly in the early stages.
Others become discouraged if they exercise for weeks with little improvement, and so begin to doubt whether the exercises are working.
The use of exercisers helps to overcome these problems and encourage women to continue their pelvic floor exercises. Feedback devices reassure a woman that she is exercising correctly. Weighted inserted devices work on strenghtening the pelvic floor while a woman goes about her normal activities. Electronic stimulators harness the proven effects of electrical current to build muscle strength.
Most importantly, many women find that pelvic floor exercise devices produce better results than unassisted exercising. They are encouraged by this discernible improvement and therefore persist with their exercise regime.
What is the best pelvic floor exerciser for me?
The answer depends on your needs and circumstances. Some women prefer exercisers that can be inserted and left for a while. Others prefer the certainty of an exerciser with a dial that allows them to track their improved performance as they exercise regularly. Still others prefer an exerciser with a more "fun" image. And some are prepared to commit to using an EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) device.
Your choice will also be affected by the current state of your pelvic floor muscles. Vaginal cones or EMS devices are more likely to be suggested by physiotherapists when a woman is unable to contract or feel her pelvic floor muscles for herself. Whereas perineometers are generally more appropriate for women who can already contract their pelvic floor muscles but wish to increase muscle strength.
If you are in doubt about what to choose, we encourage you to follow our Five Steps to making a choice. For more information about the benefits and features of each exerciser, browse in our online shop or compare the features of our products.
Why should I buy an exerciser from Pelvic Floor Exercise?
Many good pelvic floor exercisers have been available for sometime but are often hard to track down, particularly for women who want to exercise independently at home. Exercisers have usually only been available direct from the distributor or from a health professional. Many of these stockists keep only one type of pelvic exerciser, so it's impossible for a woman to compare the features of the best products on the market and make an informed choice.
Pelvic Floor Exercise fills this gap by bringing together the very best pelvic floor exercisers available on the Australian market, to make choosing and buying easier. We use our criteria of quality, effectiveness and value so you can be sure of what you are buying. Whatever your motivation for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, we provide information to help you choose the best product for the purpose.
Of course, the information we provide is not a substitute for discussing your specific needs with a health professional, such as your gp, a women's health physiotherapist or gynaecologist.
Browse through our unique product range.
Compare the features of the exercisers in our product range.