A Guide to Choosing Kegel Trainers and Exercisers
Maintaining a strong and healthy pelvic floor is essential for overall well-being, particularly for women. However, factors such as childbirth, ageing, and certain medical conditions can weaken this vital group of muscles. Fortunately, the use of kegel trainers or exercisers has gained popularity as an effective aid for improving pelvic floor tone.
In this blog, we will delve into the importance of pelvic floor health, the benefits of kegel exercises, and how Kegel trainers can assist in strengthening these muscles.
Understanding the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor refers to a network of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that form a supportive hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. This group of muscles plays a crucial role in supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum, as well as maintaining bowel and urinary continence.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to a range of issues, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and diminished sexual satisfaction.
The Power of Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, named after the gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel who first described them in the 1940s, are a series of pelvic floor muscle contractions and relaxations. These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles responsible for controlling the flow of urine and supporting the pelvic organs.
The benefits of Kegel exercises extend beyond enhancing pelvic floor strength. They can also improve sexual function by increasing vaginal tone and sensitivity.
Furthermore, Kegel exercises have been found to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence or light bladder leakage and pelvic organ prolapse, particularly in women who have undergone childbirth or menopause.
Kegel Trainers or Exercisers
Kegel trainers or exercisers are devices specifically designed to assist individuals in performing Kegel exercises more effectively.
They offer additional resistance and feedback, making the exercise routine more targeted and efficient but it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one to choose.
Kegel trainers fall into two main types: weighted devices and electronic pelvic floor trainers.
Type 1: Electronic pelvic floor trainers
These devices provide a more advanced approach to Kegel exercises by incorporating technology.
Typically, electronic trainers consist of a device that is inserted into the vagina, which then emits electrical impulses to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. This stimulation helps in both identifying the correct muscles to target and ensuring optimal muscle engagement during the exercise.
Some electronic trainers also offer biofeedback and personalise a routine for you.
Electronic trainers are usually more costly than weighted trainers due to their smart technology however many people find they have more success with improving their pelvic floor strength using them as they provide feedback and track your progress.
Type 2: Weighted kegel exercisers
Weighted devices are small devices made of medical-grade plastic, silicone or metal. They are typically available in a set with different weights and some are designed to be interlinked to increase the weight.
To use them, you simply insert a cone or ball into the vagina and contract the pelvic floor muscles to hold it in place.
The added weight challenges the muscles, promoting strength and endurance over time. Gradually increasing the weight of the cone helps in progressing the exercise routine.
Weighted kegel exercisers generally fall into two shapes;
- Cone or tear-drop shaped: These are the most popular shape of weighted kegel trainers and there are many brands available on the market. When considering cone-shaped trainers as an option, be mindful of the size you select if you either have low cervix or particularly poor pelvic floor tone. A low cervix will cause the device to be pushed lower or in some cases expelled due to the reduced capacity of the vaginal canal. Likewise, people with poor pelvic floor tone may also find it difficult to start with a cone-shaped trainer as it may "slip" down past the pelvic floor muscles which they are trying to train. We try to include measurements and/or photos of of products in a persons hand to provide and indication of their size.
- Rounded-shaped balls and beads: Round shaped beads or ball may be better suited to beginners, people with low cervix or poor pelvic floor tone as they sit up above the pelvic floor sling better than the cone-shaped weights. Some round-shaped weights are often referred to as Ben Wa balls and may have free-roaming wights inside the outer casing which swirl around or jiggle as you move, reminding you to perform pelvic floor contractions.
- Yoni Eggs (also referred to as Jade Eggs) also fall into the weighted trainer category. They are usually made of different sized stones and perform the same function as weighted trainers however with Yoni Egg, beginners start with a larger egg and graduate to a smaller egg (which is more difficult to keep in) as pelvic floor tone increases. We offer a Guide to Choosing a Yoni Egg to assist with Yoni Egg selection.
Kegel trainers can be particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with proper muscle activation or find it challenging to perform Kegel exercises correctly. By offering resistance or electrical stimulation, these devices assist in isolating and strengthening the specific muscles of the pelvic floor.
It is important to note that while Kegel trainers can be effective tools, consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a pelvic floor physiotherapist, is crucial. These professionals can assess your individual needs, guide you through the exercises, and provide appropriate recommendations for Kegel trainers based on your specific requirements.
Taking care of your pelvic floor health is essential for overall well-being, and Kegel exercises have proven to be a valuable tool in this regard. With the assistance of Kegel trainers or exercisers, individuals can improve the tone and strength of their pelvic floor muscles, reducing the risk of various pelvic floor disorders. Remember, consistency is key when performing Kegel exercises, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals will ensure that you maximize the benefits and achieve optimal results.
- Hay-Smith, J., Dean, S., & Burgio, K. (2018). Pelvic floor muscle training for urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 10(10), CD001407. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001407.pub4
- Dumoulin, C., Hay-Smith, J., & Mac Habée-Séguin, G. (2018). Pelvic floor muscle training versus no treatment, or inactive control treatments, for urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 10(10), CD005654. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005654.pub4
- Kari, B., & Jari, P. H. (2014). Electronic pelvic floor muscle trainers: Technology update. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, 7, 241-252. doi: 10.2147/MDER.S59745
- Rogers, R., & Pauls, R. (2014). Pelvic floor muscle training for the management of pelvic organ prolapse. International Journal of Women's Health, 6, 371-378. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S39767
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.