Many women start doing Kegels as a way to boost their sex life, recover after pregnancy, or because they notice their pelvic floor muscles are weakened, causing urinary incontinence and unpleasant sensations.
But sometimes Kegels are just boring, or you may not be seeing any results. If performing regular Kegel exercises hasn't been working, you may want to give Kegel exercisers a shot. Not sure what you should look for when shopping for Kegel exercisers?
As main options, you have a choice between Kegel balls or weights of different types and diverse electronic devices. Kegel balls are usually designed as singles or doubles, they can be made of metal or silicone; and are available in different sizes and weights, so you can find the right fit. More advanced options are Kegel exercisers using electrostimulation or Bluetooth operated connected objects with their own mobile apps. Electronic Kegel devices and trainers tend to offer more features and to be more expensive than their standard weighted counterparts.
Regardless of your preference, the use of a device can help improve incontinence, prevent prolapse, help with post-partum recovery and boost your sexual wellness. Below, explore five types of pelvic floor exercisers you should look into.
This category includes types of weighted balls as well as Jade Eggs. They tend to be the most commonly seen on the market due to their low cost. Kegel weights or balls have been used for centuries, they are inserted into the vagina and trigger your muscles to contract. You can start by using Kegel balls for a few minutes each day, then increasing for longer intervals as you get stronger.
- No need to charge, no tech
- Jade Eggs are beautiful
- May be made of unregulated metals, coatings, or porous stone without any medical control, so potentially unsafe.
- No app or feedback, so you will not be able to monitor your progress
- Bad usage guides may suggest using them for hours at a time which can lead to hypertonic pelvic muscles
The electro-stimulation tools for pelvic floor training activate the muscles, creating contractions and basically doing your Kegels for you. Don’t let the term “electrical stimulation” scare you, these devices have been around for 40 years, originally only in doctors‘ and physical therapy offices. This method can help build the muscles to a point where they start to have better control and then can kegel on their own. Electrical stimulation devices can be vaginal or external, external ones contract the pelvic floor muscles through skin. They are less invasive and may come in a form of sanitary pad, or shorts.
- The device focuses on the right pelvic floor muscles
- You don’t need to do your Kegels, the device is doing all the work for you
- Vaginal stimulation may be invasive, uncomfortable or even painful with high intensity
- External stimulation devices need to be sized right and may irritate skin
- These devices are often expensive($100-$500), even if options under $100 do exist.
- Electric stimulation is not recommended for long term use and has many contraindications.
- Not fun or engaging to use
Biofeedback solutions are among the best Kegel exercisers on the market. They work by providing feedback on muscle contraction pressure through an application or other device. They usually offer a training program to help users visualize their contractions and monitor their progress. The probe is inserted into the vagina like a tampon and are used to ensure you're contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly when doing exercises. There is no electrostimulation involved.
Thanks to their safety and precise metrics, the use of these connected devices for pelvic floor rehabilitation has rapidly become widespread. Previously used only by health professionals (midwife or physiotherapist) and expensive, they are now more affordable and available in retail and online. Devices like Perifit or Elvie Trainer help to achieve impressive results in a relatively short amount of time.
- Provides real-time feedback to the user to inform them about how their pelvic floor muscles are contracting
- Can gamify and make fun the otherwise tedious exercise
- Allows you to track your progress
- Higher cost (>$100)
- Requires a phone to complete the workout
- Most of the time, electronics need charging
There are other options besides Kegel exercisers that may stop bladder leaks, but most require doctor or physiotherapist office visits.
- Physically blocking the urethra passageway, for example with filler injections around the urethra.
- Pelvic floor physical therapy, and manual identification of pelvic floor muscles. Seeing a physical therapist is one of the most effective Kegel alternatives to address serious pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Surgery: as a last resort, the use of surgical mesh implants.
After reviewing different types Kegel exercisers, it’s important to consider which of the options is best for you. We always recommend seeing a health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your pelvic floor health.