So… there are some things on the market that can be really beneficial for women, but they aren’t the kind of things that you discuss in everyday conversation or across the table at a dinner party!
So here at Baby Hints and Tips we are revealing 3 items that are healthy for your vagina (but that you would probably be too embarassed to ask anyone about!!)
To start off with, these devices mainly help a woman in the pelvic floor region of the body. What on earth is your pelvic floor you may ask? Sounds expensive and you might decide to keep the lino in the kitchen … not quite….
The pelvic floor is a muscular band that runs underneath the pelvis. Both men and women have a pelvic floor . For women, it is an extremely important muscle because it supports the uterus, bladder and intestines. It also facilitates a baby to move into the birth canal. When you carry a baby, this area is like a big elastic band. It does stretch under the weight of the baby growing in the uterus, so it doesn’t matter if you have a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section, this area will be weakened either way.
If the pelvic floor is weak it can lead to urinary incontinence (wetting your pants, often when under some kind of stress, for example sneezing or jumping), pelvic prolapse (where the pelvic organs such as the uterus protrude into the vagina) and even rectal prolapse and severe constipation.
It’s not all bad news when talking about the pelvic floor. This muscle can be re-strengthened to regain its elasticity, therefore preventing these awkward problems. But what are these exercises, and how on earth do you do them and know that you are doing them correctly? The exercises are called Kegal exercises or (suprisingly) Pelvic Floor Exercises. The Royal Womens Hospital recommends that all woman exercise their pelvic floor muscles every day throughout life! You don’t necessarily need any equipment to do pelvic floor exercises, but some people might find them beneficial.
So onto some of the devices that are available to help you out….
1. The EPI-NO Childbirth and Pelvic Floor Trainer
This device has two uses. The first is to stretch the perineum (the skin between the vagina and anus) so that it doesn’t tear during childbirth. It has a balloon and a pump which you insert into the vagina and gradually increse in size each day to stretch the area. The good thing about perineal stretching is that not only does it decrease your risk of a tear during childbirth, it also promotes better blood flow to that area. This means that if you do have a tear or episiotomy (a cut) then the area will heal faster after childbirth. The stretching exercises can be started from 36 weeks pregnant.
The second use for this device is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. A strong pelvic floor helps to support the weight of the baby inside whilst pregnant and also provides more control when delivering. This device acts as a sensor to push against when doing kegal exercises, basically so you know that you are doing them correctly. These exercises can be done whilst pregnant, and can then recommence 4-6 weeks after you have your baby. It can then be used indefinitely to help with pelivc floor muscle training, decreasing the risk of weak bladders, incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
More information about this device can be found here.
2. The Pelvic Educator Device for Correct Kegal Exercises
This is a feedback device that lets you know if you are doing your pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly. The device is a small balloon shape that is inserted, with a long stick that sits outside the vagina. When you squeeze the correct muscles the stick moves down, thus letting you know that you have achieved a correct pelvic floor contraction. If your exercise is incorrect the stick moves up.
This system is an inexpensive and simple way to correctly and effectively learn how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises, and is recommended to improve pelvic floor function.
3. Lelo Luna Bead System
These balls have taken off in popularity since their appearance in the 50 Shades of Grey series! However people don’t realise they they are actually a beneficial device to improve your pelvic floor (and as a follow on, also improve your sexual pleasure!) and not just something you need delivered to your house in discreet packaging.
This system consists of four weighted balls and a silicone holder. The weight of the balls is gradually increased as your pelvic muscles improve. These balls are inserted into the vagina one or two at a time, and then pelvic floor exercises are commenced. The weight of the balls once inserted also creates a resistance exercise for your pelvic floor. These beads increse vaginal pelvic floor fitness and intensify muscle tone and strength. They are not a sex toy, but they do increase sexual satisfaction when used due to the increase of muscle tone in the area.
These balls aren’t recommended for use during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth, but they are something you could consider to increase your pelvic floor function later after childbirth.
So there you have it, a few devices that can increase the muscles in your pelvic floor, and help to prevent any awkward bladder situations! Probably not things that come up in everyday conversation, but possibly something you have been wondering for a while. Remember to keep doing those pelvic floor muscle exercises!
* Please note that advice and suggestions contained in this article are of a generalised nature and do not replace advice given to you by your medical practitioner or physiotherapist. If you have any questions in regards to your own pelvic floor discuss them with your own health care provider.
* From talking to many women and health care providers over the years I have found that these devices mentioned above have been recommended frequently. I am not paid to endorse or promote them.
This article was written by a qualified midwife. So her small children don’t google her on the schools computers and find their Mum’s name describing sexual satisfaction and vaginal balls we agreed to let her write this anonymously.