Pelvic Floor Devices - Tools for your Box
As education and awareness is spreading on pelvic health, there are many devices being manufactured and advertised to help with pelvic health and pelvic floor strengthening. It can be confusing to know which one to buy, and what they are even supposed to be used for! I hope to shine light on the specifics of some of the common devices out there and guide you on which could be the most useful for YOUR pelvic floor needs!
Kegel Balls/Weights - these are probably the most commonly heard of pelvic floor accessories. Essentially they are round balls, sometimes of various sizes and weight, that are inserted in the vagina and worn for a certain amount of time. Personally, this is one of my least favorite tools because the focus with them involves maintaining a constant pelvic floor contraction. When there is a pelvic floor dysfunction, it is usually thought that the answer is, “I need to be stronger.” While strength could be an issue, muscle tightness could also be a contributing factor. Constantly tightening muscles that are already tight will not fix the problem, and could even make it worse. I recommend to only use kegel weights/balls under the supervision of a pelvic floor physical therapist after an internal assessment has been performed.
Pelvic Floor Trainers - AKA “Biofeedback” - This is probably my favorite pelvic floor device. They involve inserting some type of electrode that pairs through bluetooth with your phone. The app will guide you through a series of activating and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. This is of the most beneficial because it is just as important to be able to fully relax your pelvic floor muscles as it its to contract them. Sometimes this is hard to feel, so the trainer will give you that feedback to know when your muscles are relaxing and when they are contracting. When you contract your muscles from a relaxed position, you are working the full range of motion, so you can generate more power and strength!
Pelvic Wand - the pelvic wand is a great tool for doing self trigger point release on tight pelvic floor muscles. Tight pelvic floor muscles can cause pain with intercourse, difficulty with tampon insertion, and leakage. It can be hard to reach your own deep pelvic floor muscles, so the wand will give you the extension and control to relax the muscles and release trigger points for self treatment at home!
Vaginal Dilators - Dilators are devices ranging from smaller to larger circumferences used to stretch the vaginal opening and promote pelvic floor relaxation. Some women experience inability to insert a tampon or tolerate penetration for intercourse. Dilators help to relax and open the pelvic floor muscles to improve ability for insertion.
With any device, it is important to collaborate with a healthcare professional on the proper indication and use, preferably a pelvic floor physical therapist who has performed an internal assessment on you! The more information and education you have, the smarter your choice will be on which device is the most beneficial for you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about particular devices.
Take care and be well,