This useful chart, created by our physiotherapist Fiona, compares the insertable electrodes available on Pelvic Floor Exercise to help you decide which is best for you /your patient.
The main feature to look for is the width of an electrode.
You need the electrode to fit well whilst giving good contact with both sides of the pelvic floor (if using a vaginal electrode) and to fit within the anal canal when using an anal electrode
If too narrow for your vaginal width , you will lose contact , the circuit won't be complete and your machine will indicate that the current is not flowing. If this occurs CLICK HERE to learn how to check that your machine, electrode and lead are working properly.
If too wide it may be uncomfortable to insert.
As a general rule of thumb, women who have given birth vaginally will usually start with a wider electrode like the Periform.
You can do a quick self test by inserting two clean fingers into your vagina, contract you pelvic floor and if you can feel your pelvic floor muscles squeezing your fingers then you will most likely be able to use a narrower electrode like the PR-18A, if you can't then the Periform may be a better choice.
If you can't feel any movement then you should see a pelvic floor physiotherapist or your doctor for further guidance before starting with a device.
Another good test is if you use tampons - if you can't hold one in or it tends to slide sideways you may need a larger width electrode.
If you can easily hold a tampon in, and you can feel a squeeze around your finger/s when inserted, then you should be able to use a smaller width electrode like the PR-18A . BUT please check with your pelvic floor physiotherapist first because you may not need electrical stimulation treatment for muscle strengthening if this is the case.
There are other conditions that you may use a vaginal electrode for such as bladder urgency or pelvic pain. Please make sure you have been properly assessed before starting electrical stimulation treatment.