Dr Kegel, the originator of kegels, or pelvic floor exercises, did not intend his exercises to be conducted on an empty vagina. The original exercise device he developed was very close in design to the perineometers and biofeedback devices we use today.
But through the years, his message has been lost and women have been encouraged to do unassisted exercising.
For many this has resulted in poor outcomes, with studies showing that 45% - 51% of women are not able to do a pelvic floor contraction properly from verbal or written instructions.
Studies have looked at a range of pelvic floor exercise devices, including vaginal weights (cones and balls) electrical stimulation, and biofeedback devices.
So for those who :
- cannot commit to regular visits to a health professional for financial, geographical, or time reasons
- prefer to continue their program at home
- need some feedback that you are doing your exercises correctly
an exercise device will usually produce a better result than trying to do pelvic floor exercises by yourself or on an empty vagina.
We always recommend an assessment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist, continence nurse or gynaecologist first to ensure you are correctly diagnosed and also cleared of any conditions that may require treatment other than pelvic floor muscle strengthening.
What types of pelvic floor exercisers are available?
Health professionals may use sophisticated measuring devices in the clinic to diagnose and treat pelvic floor dysfunction.
To continue that treatment yourself, you may be advised to buy a device designed specifically for home use which is where our website Pelvic Floor Exercise can help as we bring together a full range of pelvic floor exercise or kegel devices for you to choose from along with the information that allows you to make an informed choice.
How do pelvic floor exercisers help to build muscle strength?
There are 3 main ways an exerciser can help to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles:
- RESISTANCE - Bodybuilders do not build strong biceps by repeatedly contracting their arms in the air, they do it by using weights or other devices that provide resistance
Which of our products provide resistance?
- FEEDBACK - that the exercise is being done correctly, either via visual feedback or movement to confirm the correct muscles are being used in the correct way and for how long.
Which of our products provide visual feedback?
- STIMULATION - some products use an electrical current to artificially stimulate muscle contraction until it is strong enough for you to contract yourself.
Which of our products stimulate the pelvic floor muscles?
How do pelvic floor exercisers encourage women to continue an exercise program?
Many women don't keep up a pelvic floor exercise program because it is too hard to fit exercises into daily life and because they are not sure whether they are exercising correctly, particularly in the early stages.
Others become discouraged if they exercise for weeks with little improvement, so begin to doubt whether the exercises are working.
It can also be difficult to remember to do them.
The use of a pelvic floor exercise device helps you to overcome these problems and encourages you to continue your pelvic floor exercises.
Feedback devices reassure you that you are exercising correctly.
Weighted inserted devices work on strenghtening the pelvic floor muscles as well as giving some feedback.
Electronic stimulators use an electrical current to build muscle strength especially if you are having difficulty activating your pelvic floor muscles at all if they are very weak or damaged.
Most importantly, many women find that pelvic floor exercise devices produce better results than unassisted exercising and give you valuable feedback about your progress.
It is also not just all about muscle strength. A well functioning muscle or muscle group like the pelvic floor, needs to also relax well between contractions, and also to work with the other muscles around the pelvis and the abdoment to give optimum results.
Feedback devices in particular can help you to learn to co-ordinate the function of your pelvic floor with intra-abdominal pressure and breathing.
What is the best pelvic floor exerciser for me?
The answer depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Our first suggestion is to make an appointment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist who can properly assess you and guide your treatment.
Your choice will also be affected by the current state of your pelvic floor muscles and what symptoms you may have.
A pelvic floor that isn't working as well as it should can give a range of symptoms from urinary incontinence, prolapse and bladder or bowel urgency to painful sex.
See more about all of these symptoms on our pelvic floor conditions pages
If you are in doubt about what to choose, we encourage you to follow our Five Steps to making a choice
Why should I buy an exerciser from Pelvic Floor Exercise?
Pelvic Floor Exercise is firstly owned by Fiona, a physiotherapist with over 35 years of experience, 20 of those years working in the field of pelvic health. All of the information on the website has been written by Fiona using her many years of expereince. Secondly, Pelvic Floor Exercise only stocks quality products that have some research evidence that they work.
We bring all of these products into one website, a one-stop shop of eplvic floor devices, resources and information.
Pelvic Floor Exercise is the website trusted by health professionals and hospitals across Australia.
We use our criteria of quality, effectiveness and value so you can be sure of what you are buying.
Of course, the information we provide is not a substitute for discussing your specific needs with a health professional, such as your GP, a women's health physiotherapist or gynaecologist.
The material presented here is intended as an information source only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters presented herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of the advice of a health care provider. Pelvic Floor Exercise does not accept liability to any person for the information or advice provided , or for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon the material contained herein.
©Pelvic Floor Exercise all rights reserved