- Nov 30, 2023
If you are one of the 1 in 3 women who experience a pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime, then you might have started looking at a pelvic floor trainer to see how they can help you manage your pelvic floor health and improve it moving forwards. If you haven’t, then you’re in the right place to figure it all out! Pelvic floor muscle trainers are an effective way of overcoming common symptoms that are associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. Keep reading to find the best pelvic floor trainer for you.
Why do I need a pelvic floor trainer?
If you have noticed signs of a weakened pelvic floor or a pelvic floor dysfunction, a pelvic floor trainer can help you overcome this. Where your pelvic floor muscles become weakened, it can lead to symptoms such as incontinence, low sex drive, and pelvic organ prolapse. A pelvic floor trainer teaches you how to locate the pelvic floor and strengthen the muscles, so you don’t have to endure the ongoing symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction in the future.
There are many factors that affect a woman’s pelvic floor health, such as:
As women near menopause, their hormone levels will change. A lack of estrogen in the body can cause your bladder and urethra to thin and your pelvic floor muscles that support the organs around this to weaken.
As your baby grows, your body takes on extra pressure and weight which affects your pelvic floor muscles. Also, during pregnancy your body increases the amount of relaxin hormone, which quite literally allows your muscles to stretch and relax more so to accommodate your growing baby and weaken the pelvic floor.
As your baby moves further down the birth canal, your body is contracting and relaxing the muscles in your pelvic region to allow the birth of your baby. Occasionally, when intervention is required, midwives perform episiotomies to help birth your baby. This means cutting some of the pelvic floor muscle which takes longer to recover from postpartum.
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the extra pressure that’s put on your pelvic floor. This can be managed by maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. One of the reasons women avoid exercise is due to the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction but it’s also one of the best things you can do to rectify the problem, and this is where a pelvic floor muscle trainer can help.
Once you can identify what your goal is and what you want to achieve from using a pelvic floor trainer, it will be easier to choose the right one to use.
Types of Pelvic Floor Trainers
On the market today, there are a few different varieties of pelvic floor muscle trainers to choose from. You’ll find that there are non-invasive options too, as well as pelvic floor trainers that are positioned internally to assist the muscles with contracting. Depending on the condition of your pelvic floor health, there are different options that will suit your needs best, so it’s important to do your research before picking one off the shelf.
It is recommended that you start with 5-minute sessions daily (or three times per week as a minimum) so that you start to notice a difference after 12 weeks. You can increase the length of the workout the further you progress with your exercises.
Kegel weights, balls, or cones
A popular type of pelvic floor trainer is a Kegel weight that you insert and position around your pelvic floor muscles. There will be guided exercises to try with repetitions and sometimes, the option to increase the weight, as you progress.
Kegel weighted exercise balls such as the Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weights are great for beginners to perfect their technique and strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. The medical-grade silicone has the correct grip, so they don’t slip out mid-exercise! As well as being safe to use if you’re trying to conceive, they are approved by doctors which gives you peace of mind you’re in safe hands. With practice, you can use these Kegel weights alongside other exercises such as yoga or pilates, and even try standing and walking whilst using them.
- Great option for beginners as they are straightforward to use.
- They are known to provide an effective training workout as Kegel weights use natural resistance as you perform each exercise.
- Budget-friendly for all levels of fitness.
- Portable Kegel weights that are discreet and easy to carry, making them suitable for use almost everywhere.
- Waterproof and made from silicone (Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weights).
- The Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weights also comes with an e-guide full of exercises to follow and guidance on how to locate the pelvic floor.
- They are not able to offer advanced progress tracking or biofeedback unlike other electrical models.
Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weighted Exercise Balls
If your symptoms for pelvic floor dysfunction are more severe, and standard weights or exercises are not doing anything for you, electric stimulation might be the way forward. If you have little to no feeling of your pelvic floor muscles, a gentle electrical probe can be inserted to assist the muscles with contracting and targeting the right location. Mother&Baby suggested the TensCare iTouch Sure Pelvic Floor Exerciser as users noted that they were able to slowly see results after a couple of months and they could feel their pelvic floor starting to contract.
- Great for women who have little to no feeling in their pelvic floor to use short-term.
- Easy to use, lightweight device with simple buttons to change settings.
- Can be used seated or standing.
- Be aware of allergies, e.g. nickel.
- Requires batteries.
The difference between an electrical stimulation pelvic floor trainer and a biofeedback trainer is that the biofeedback device links to a handheld device or an app which measures your progress and if you are doing the exercises correctly. If you’ve heard of Elvie’s wearable breast pump, did you know that one of their first ever products was the pelvic floor muscle trainer? Elvie Smart Pelvic Floor Exerciser and App is designed to be inserted and connects to the app via Bluetooth. One user likened it to playing video games powered by your pelvic floor!
- App shows the user advanced tracking features and tells you if your technique or form is incorrect when performing an exercise.
- Different levels and exercise programs to follow as you progress.
- Waterproof silicone (Elvie Smart Pelvic Floor Exerciser)
- Comes with a carry case, optional cover, and charging cable.
- Some users had connectivity issues between the device and the app.
- High-end price point.
On your app store you will find apps designed to help you with pelvic floor exercises. A popular, award-winning app called “Squeezy” was designed by chartered physiotherapists to help men and women with their pelvic floor health. The app sends you reminders to complete short exercise routines and guides you through each exercise, so you’re not left guessing if you’re doing it right. 78% of users said they had felt some improvement in their condition since starting to use Squeezy.
- Budget-friendly option.
- Non-invasive, simply follow the exercises mapped out within the app to learn how to perform each exercise.
- Created and recommended by physiotherapists.
- Set yourself reminders to do your daily exercises.
- They are not able to offer advanced progress tracking or biofeedback unlike other electrical models.
How much should you spend on a pelvic floor trainer?
Like with most products, the price point for each device will vary based on the features, design, and brand. To help you decide on how much you want to invest in a pelvic floor trainer, a good place to start is identifying which features stand out to you and where your pelvic floor health is right now.
If your pelvic floor symptoms are only minor, you probably won’t need to invest in an electrical device and you could gain the same or similar results with a Kegel weight or ball for less cost. There are also free and paid for apps that you can access on your phone as a cheaper way to get started and then you might choose to purchase a pelvic floor trainer to enhance the workout.
Answering some of the questions below will help you to decide on a budget for buying a pelvic muscle floor trainer:
- Identify your pelvic floor health.
- What features are you looking for in a pelvic floor trainer?
- Which brand of pelvic floor trainer do you most align yourself with?
- Is this pelvic floor trainer suitable for postpartum prolapse?
- Does the product come with postpartum pelvic floor exercises?
What features do the best pelvic floor trainers have?
The best pelvic floor trainer will have features that are tailored to your needs and will help you reach your goal. Not all pelvic floor muscle trainers have the same features or functionality, so it’s best to evaluate each product before making a purchase, to know that it’s the right option for you. When looking at the different varieties of pelvic floor trainers on the market, consider these key features:
Depending on your current pelvic floor health, you’ll need a pelvic floor trainer that has some resistance when you’re using it so that each workout is effective. The resistance level will determine how challenging the workout is, so you need to it to be set to the right level so that your workouts are effective. Some pelvic floor trainers have adjustable settings programmed into the trainer so you can increase or lessen the difficulty. With Kegel weights, such as the Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weights, the set comes with 6 different sized weights so you can start with a lighter weight to begin and work your way up to a heavier weight. Kegel weights are known to help women with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Size and comfort
A pelvic floor trainer that is too big or uncomfortable will be detrimental to your pelvic floor health and do you more harm than good. Choose a pelvic floor trainer that is the right size for your anatomy, and it is comfortable to use during workouts. Failing to get this right may also make you feel less motivated to continue exercising your pelvic floor, so if you’re not sure which size and model to get, reading reviews from customers and other users will help you make an accurate choice.
Materials and hygiene
Pelvic floor trainers vary a lot when it comes to the material it’s made from. You can get electrical devices with metal plates, Kegel weights made from medical-grade silicone, even natural stones on a string! Always read the product description for their recommended method for keeping the product hygienic and clean to use before and after each use. Some Kegel exercisers use a waterproof silicone material, which would be much easier to clean than say an electric pelvic floor muscle trainer.
Smart trackers and biofeedback trainers sometimes have apps that the device connects to during use so you can track your progress with each workout. They may also have a feature to send reminders to your phone, time each workout, or suggest exercises and visualisations to try. If you find you learn best through these methods, consider choosing a pelvic floor trainer that connects to an app or handheld device.
If you are driven and motivated by data and results, a progress tracking feature would be beneficial to your progress. Not all pelvic floor trainers have this feature but it’s useful for monitoring your improvement over time. Look for pelvic floor muscle trainers that offer features like data logging, exercise history, and performance analytics. This information can help you adjust your training regime and stay motivated.
Every individual is unique and therefore, there will never be a pelvic floor trainer that suits everyone. However, with customisation and features with adjustable settings, you can find a pelvic floor trainer that is best suited to your pelvic floor health, fitness, and overall goals.
Warranty and Customer Support
Not often, but sometimes you come across some technical issues or have a query about the product you’ve chosen. Exceptional customer support from the brand will give you peace of mind and a better user experience. A bonus is also having a warranty period from the date of purchase should you need a replacement.
You could choose an all singing and dancing pelvic floor trainer but if it’s too confusing to navigate or use to achieve your workout goals, chances are you’re not going to continue with it. When choosing a pelvic floor trainer, especially if it has smart features or progress tracking, ensure that the device and app are simple to use. A user-friendly interface will eliminate distraction and enhance your experience so you can make improvements to your pelvic floor health from day one.
Where can I find trusted reviews for pelvic floor trainers?
How many times have you bought something because it was recommended to you? Chances are, quite a lot! 93% of buyers say online reviews had an impact on their buying decisions. That’s huge!
After researching types of pelvic floor trainers, different features and price points and you’re still not sure which model to invest in, have you read any reviews? Reading trusted reviews from customers who have already used the product can give you an insight into the pros and cons of a product and learn from their experiences which will help you to decide whether it will be the right fit for you.
Trusted places to read reviews are on the brands website and social media channels, and well-known influencers as well as other shopping platforms with a high authority such as Amazon. Reviews that are posted in these places have been vetted and verified to confirm they have made a purchase, and they are not spam messages.
Can I ask my doctor about using a pelvic floor trainer?
Before starting with pelvic floor trainers, if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always best to consult your midwife or doctor before starting any type of pelvic floor exercises. You might find that your pelvic floor muscles are tight and not responding to the exercises, which means this would be the wrong treatment for you. If you’re unsure whether your pelvic floor is too tight, a healthcare professional can give you a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Pelvic floor specialists and gynaecologists will be able to advise you on the best course of pelvic floor therapy and may suggest a type of pelvic floor trainers for you to use, to get the most from it. They may also be able to suggest specific pelvic floor exercises for you to try to target the muscles that have weakened and give you a more personalised treatment plan tailored to your condition.
At Lola&Lykke, we have a few professionals on our experts panel who are pelvic floor therapists and gynaecologists. You can ask your questions using the live chat feature to get real-time answers from top experts in the industry.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is not something to endure or “put up with”. With perseverance and commitment, you can improve your pelvic floor health considerably and a pelvic floor trainer will enhance your results in the long-term. If you have any further questions about how to get started with a pelvic floor trainer postpartum, you can ask our in-house experts to ping the answer straight into your inbox.
by Lola&Lykke Team
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- Nov 21, 2023