50 Shades of Grey certainly contributed to a rise in interest in LELO Luna Beads – a version of a pelvic floor exercise device made popular by the racy read.
I am often asked by clients and friends what my thoughts are on vagina weights or kegel balls. Here is what I have to say…
Before you invest in any pelvic floor training device, see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to determine if the gadget will help or hinder. While the world has gone kegel crazy, a kegel weight or other device is not always the right solution for women hoping to improve their pelvic floor function, and in some cases it may actually make things worse.
Pelvic floor physiotherapists have specialized training in the pelvic floor. They assess a part of our body we can’t see to determine the function of the muscles, work through any scar tissue that may be inhibiting ideal function and they help us learn how to properly contract and relax their pelvic floor.
These days many women have hypertonic pelvic floor muscles, which (in very basic terms) means their pelvic floor muscles are always in a state of ‘contraction’ and as a result they become weak due to overuse. When a woman with a hypertonic pelvic floor uses a kegel device that requires her to grip to hold it inside her body, it only serves to exacerbate the overuse.
Once you have learned how to contract and relax your floor I recommend you bring kegels into movement - yep - into your workouts! The 28 Day Kegel challenge is changing the way women workout AND many report being leak free in their workouts by day 14!
If you want to explore the world of Kegels 2.0 here are some tips to help you choose the device that is best for you.
If you love apps, your smartphone and screen time then one of these products may be right for you. They are all similar in that there is a sensor-packed device that is inserted into the vagina and a corresponding screen (could be their own screen or could be your phone screen) that allows you to see your pelvic floor working. Some offer games to add an element of competition to your training.
If you would rather ‘feel’ instead of ‘see’, these low or no technology options may offer you what you are looking for. The balls can be inserted and worn during activity (ideally for short duration activities). But remember, a gadget is not required – your own fingers can be used as can your partner’s fingers or penis.
Technology offers us amazing things but if you are going to invest in your vagina, my suggestion is to opt for pelvic floor physiotherapy instead.