The pelvic floor plays an important role in the body’s well-being. Everyone has pelvic floor muscles which control continence (urination and bowels) and sexual function. These muscles help keep pelvic organs in place, which include the bladder, rectum, and intestines. In women, these also include the vagina, cervix, and uterus. If a woman has pelvic floor dysfunction where her muscles become too loose or weak, conditions like a female prolapse can occur.
To keep these muscles in shape, there are pelvic floor exercises women can do under the care of an expert and at home. There are also some useful devices women can use to maintain a healthy pelvic floor exercise routine. Keep reading to learn about some of the best!
Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions
According to Dr. Allyson Shrikhande, Chief Medical Officer of Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine and board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, pelvic floor dysfunctions fall under two main categories:
Hypotonic pelvic floor: pelvic muscles are loose and weak.
Hypertonic pelvic floor: pelvic muscles are in spasm but also weak.
Ideally, you should get an evaluation from a pelvic floor expert to know what condition your pelvic floor muscles are in. If that type of care is unaffordable, it might be tempting to just purchase a pelvic floor device on Amazon. But try to get at least one consultation and ask your doctor if it’ll be helpful. Since pelvic floor conditions aren’t always one or the other (sometimes, certain muscles can be hypotonic and others can be hypertonic), using a device without medical guidance can make dysfunction worse.
What Weakens the Pelvic Floor?
About one in four women have some type of pelvic floor disorder. Weak, loose, or hypercontracted pelvic floor muscles can happen as a result of:
Chronic strain (constipation, heavy lifting)
Fortunately, many resources are available today for doing pelvic floor exercises at home. Women can take the lead in their pelvic floor wellness with the use of at-home practices.
Enjoy the full episode on At-Home Pelvic Floor Exercisers for more information and pelvic floor resources.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
If you can, always get an exam from a pelvic floor rehabilitation specialist before attempting any strengthening or relaxation exercises at home. A pelvic floor physical therapist can properly identify which exercises will be best for your health.
What is a Pelvic Floor Exerciser Device?
At-home pelvic floor devices can be worn on the body or inserted into the vagina. They encourage kegels, which are exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Remember, depending on the type of pelvic floor dysfunction you experience, the type of exercise you need to practice will vary. Pelvic floor dysfunction relaxation exercises, such as massage or myofascial release from a doctor or physical therapist, can be beneficial for those with a tight pelvic floor.
Home Biofeedback Devices for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor biofeedback devices “train” you to control the contraction and release of muscles in your pelvis. Biofeedback lets you learn how your body works with the use of direct, observable feedback. In this case, an internal sensor is placed inside the vagina and linked to an app or handheld device that guides you through different exercise routines. It lets you learn your contraction and release patterns and tracks any progress you make as you use it.
Here are some of the best biofeedback devices for pelvic floor.
Elvie is a pelvic floor training app that helps you strengthen and recover your pelvic muscles. It’s small, safe, and comfortable for women who need to work on tightening those internal muscles you can’t see.