Tried & tested: pelvic floor products
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.
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
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.
‘Pelvic Floor Secrets‘ by Jenni Russell
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.
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
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.
Tone it up
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.