Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the vaginal muscles have been the time honoured method for reducing the embarrassing results that can result from a sneeze, a cough, a hearty laugh or even a light jog. Trouble is that they’re pretty boring and it’s easy to forget to do them regularly.
So what are these mysterious Kegels? Put simply, they’re a muscular contraction. Basically, muscular contractions of the pelvic floor brought about by exercise. The pelvic floor muscles, which stretch from the anus to the urinary sphincter, hold your internal organs in place. Forget wetting yourself, keeping those muscles strong can prevent some serious health issues.
Enter Mimi De Luxe founder Elle Black, who says having some fun with sex toys can help women exercise and strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, or, as they are sometimes referred to, their ‘love muscle’.
How to strengthen your pelvic floor
Having strong pelvic floor muscles do not only help incontinence caused by weak muscles, but also give women more powerful orgasms and extra assistance while giving birth. These muscles are located above and around the vaginal opening, and control the contraction and relaxation of muscles around the uterus, bladder and urethra.
Women who have given birth, are overweight, over the age of 50, or have worked in a profession such as retail or hospitality where they have to ‘hold on’ for long periods of time can be particularly prone to incontinence. Stress and anxiety can also sometimes play a role.
“Pelvic floor muscles can become weakened by many things – e.g. after pregnancy, childbirth, surgery and through ageing (i.e. menopause). But you can prevent against this weakening,” Elle says.
“With regular use of sex toys for Kegel exercises, women should notice benefits after eight to 12 weeks. If you are being very consistent and working that love muscle every day, or a few times a week, that’s a lot of orgasms, ladies! And the benefits are many.”
The following are signs that could indicate a pelvic floor problem:
- Accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
- Needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
- Constantly needing to go to the toilet
- Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
- Accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
- Accidentally passing wind
- A prolapse (In women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping)
- Pain in your pelvic area
- Painful sex
There are many different types of sex toy that strengthen and tighten pelvic floor muscles in a pleasurable manner. These include Luna Beads, which are entirely body safe, so they can be inserted for longer periods of pelvic floor training. There are also vibrating Kegel balls that come with a wireless remote control, which means you can change the vibration speed as your pelvic floor gets stronger. You can also track the progress of your training with an app if you invest in the Elvie pelvic trainer – fun with a purpose!Last modified: August 7, 2019