National Incontinence is America’s source for bladder control products.
Research demonstrates that urinary incontinence can be eliminated or drastically improved by systematically exercising the supportive pelvic floor muscles. Just like other muscles in the body, these muscles can be strengthened through exercise.
Although it is well documented by numerous researchers that pelvic floor strengthening improves urinary incontinence, it is also documented that the majority of women do not know how to isolate these muscles and do Kegel exercises correctly. In fact, Bump and colleagues found that 50% of women given verbal instructions about how to perform a pelvic muscle contraction were unable to correctly do so. One fourth adopted a technique that could actually make their incontinence symptoms worse. Because the action of these muscles is not visualized like biceps or triceps might be, many women perceive that they are exercising correctly when in fact, they may be working the wrong muscles. Abdominal, inner thigh or buttock muscles are often activated instead of isolating and working the pelvic floor muscles.
If your health care provider suggests that pelvic floor strengthening exercises will reduce your incontinence symptoms, there are some easy-to-use kegel devices that may aid you with your "work-out."
Kegel devices that help
Several types of aids are available to help you learn to control and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
A method of strengthening muscles is through the use of StepFree weights. These vaginal weights are specially designed to be hygienic and easily inserted into and removed from the vagina. As control over the pelvic floor muscles is achieved, the weight of the cone is gradually increased. Kegel weights are best used while moving around in the upright position and are less effective when used while lying or sitting. Simply insert the weights into your vagina and carry on with your activities, gradually working up to 15 minutes twice a day.
Another effective pelvic floor strengthening device is the Kegelmaster, a progressive resistance vaginal exerciser. This device is best used in the reclining position. The plastic device is inserted into the vagina and springs are adjusted according to the amount of resistance that the user develops. As the pelvic floor muscles strengthen, the unit opens and closes more fully and the springs can be adjusted to provide more resistance. Three sets of thirty movements are recommended.
Hard work pays off
These pelvic floor exercisers help to localize the correct muscles, outline exercise regimens and monitor results. Different products work best for different people. Take into consideration the position that you plan to use, the time that you have to set aside to use the kegel device and the type of learner that you are. The strongest motivator for compliance is often the perceived value of the outcome. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles will make a difference!