Tried & tested: pelvic floor products

Journalist and mum-of-two, Lucinda Van Der Hart, trials the best products on the market for strengthening those vital muscles

1 of

Ad break

  • Are you struggling with a leaky pelvic floor during pregnancy or following childbirth? Well, you’re not alone!

    It’s not only pregnant women and mums who suffer with this embarrassing ailment – incontinence affects one in three women at some point in their lives and half of all athletes.

    The best way to prevent and treat a weak pelvic floor is with daily targeted exercise, and there's a whole host of products that can assist you.

    Lucinda Van Der Hart, a journalist and mum-of-two, reviews some of the best products out there.

  • Swot up...

    Reading around the subject of pelvic floor health, before you have a problem with pelvic floor weakness, is worth the effort. You’ll be equipped to look after that all-important pelvic floor muscle and be able to do your exercises correctly.

    'Hold it Mama: The Pelvic Floor and Core Handbook for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond' by Mary O’ Dwyer

    Price: £15.99

    The Australians are reputed for having an advanced understanding of and ability to treat pelvic floor weakness. This comprehensive (yet very readable) guide to pelvic floor health through pregnancy and beyond, complete with instructions on how to exercise, has been written by a renown Australian women’s health physiotherapist. Recommended reading for any pregnant woman.

    Rating: 5/5

  • Learn more...

    'Pelvic Floor Secrets' by Jenni Russell 

    Price: £15.99

    This book has been written by holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach Jenni Russell who runs a pelvic floor clinic on Harley Street.

    Russell promises to make you confident, continent and sexually satisfied in six weeks, and her book will educate you – in an accessible way – on all things pelvic-floor-related.

    Rating: 4/5

  • Manual exercisers

    The next two products reviewed are known as ‘manual exercisers' and are not suitable for use in pregnancy.

    However, used correctly after childbirth, you may see benefits to your pelvic floor strength within weeks. 

    Aquaflex weighted vaginal cones

    Price: £25.99

    Stored in a neat turquoise container, the Aquaflex weighted vaginal cone (made by Neen) resembles a slightly larger-than-normal plastic tampon. It can be unscrewed and has a small metal weight that's inserted into its centre. As your pelvic floor  develops with use, you can challenge your muscle strength by increasing the weight inserted into the cone.

    How easy is it? Easy to use, although changing the weights is a bit fiddly. Everyone’s internal shape is different, but for me these weren't particularly comfortable.

    Rating: 3/5

  • Continue slideshow >

  • Tone it up

    Kegel8 Cones

    Price: £29.99

    Kegel8’s cones are like the Aquaflex ones but rather than needing to insert a weight, they come in a set of three different sizes. The idea is to progress onto a heavier weight as your muscle tone improves.

    How easy is it? Very simple to use. Made from soft silicone and ergonomically designed, they're very comfortable. Not suitable for use during pregnancy.

    Rating: 5/5

  • Electronic Pelvic Floor Stimulation

    Several companies make pelvic floor exercisers that claim to do the hard work for you – using an electric current to stimulate the pelvic floor.

    ‘We can do the exercises manually, but if there's a device that can do the hard work for us, that’s often an appealing option,’ says Stephanie Taylor, founder and managing director of Kegel8.

    Again, these products should not be used during pregnancy.

    Sensatone Pelvic Floor Stimulator

    Price: £45.80

    The Sensatone Pelvic Floor Stimulator (PFS) is small, transportable, and comes with a handy pink bag for storage. It offers four programmes; urge incontinence, stress incontinence, mixed incontinence and aftercare.

    How easy is it? Extremely simple to use, but not suitable until 12 weeks after birth.

    Rating: 4/5

  • Splash out

    Kegel8 Ultra

    Price: £125.99

    The Kegel8 Ultra is the Ferrari of pelvic floor exercisers with 11 pre-set programmes, as well as three customisable ones. It has a handy belt clip so it can be attached to your clothing and do its work while you focus on something else.

    How easy is it? Easy to use, although the extensive range of programmes available can initially seem overwhelming. It's main downfall is the price.

    Rating: 3/5

  • One last thing...

    Incostress

    Price: £29.99

    The Incostress is a pelvic floor support – otherwise known as a vaginal pessary. It resembles a silicone tampon, and can be worn up to eight hours at a time, day or night, to help support the bladder and control stress incontinence.

    It's not a pelvic floor exerciser, but can help you locate your pelvic floor muscles and exercise easily.

    How easy is it? Very easy; pop it in and leave it there. It helps you manage stress incontinence but in order to improve your pelvic floor strength, you'll need to do your exercises too. Not suitable for use in pregnancy.

    A helpline offering instructions on how to do pelvic floor exercises and general advice on pelvic floor health is offered by the makers of Incostress, C&G Medicare Ltd: 0871 218 1233.

Comments

Daily deals from top retailers