Post # 28 Bluetooth My What???
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
In Episode #23 of the Podcast, Karen tell us all about what Bluetooth can really do for you!
Sources: https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/09/kegel-bluetooth-devices-stop-incontinence-better-sex.html, www.elvie.com,https://www.squeezyapp.com/what-are-kegels/, https://www.mobihealthnews.comwww.pericoach.com, www.intimina.com, https://womanshealthmag.com/health/a19938350/kegel-tools/, www.minnalife.com
Do you track your steps with your FitBit? Your Apple Watch? Well, enter the fitness tracker for your vagina! If, after having kids, do you pee when you sneeze, laugh or jump? Well, you are in luck because there are now several devices designed to help us work out our pelvic floor and prevent that pesky (and embarrassing) incontinence. These devices not only track the amount of pelvic floor exercises that you do, they come equipped with Bluetooth and promise to train you to properly perform your pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, and remind you to do them in the first place.
What Exactly is the Pelvic Floor?
When you complain to your Dr that you tend to pee every time you sneeze and she recommends that you exercise your pelvic floor or says to “do your Kegels”, she’s referring to the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. These layers of muscles stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back, to the pubic bone in the front and they support the bladder, uterus, and colon. Peeing when you sneeze isn’t the only symptom of pelvic floor issues (or pelvic-floor dysfunction as it’s often referred to). You can experience pain and pressure in the vagina or rectum, a frequent urge to pee, pain when you pee, muscle spasms, bowel problems, and an overall feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area.
What Exactly is a Kegel?
What is a Kegel and is it different from pelvic floor muscle exercises? No, they are exactly the same! According to Shannon Palus of Slate.com, it’s just another term that’s used mostly in the United States. Kegels are called Kegels because they are named after Arnold Henry Kegel, who was an American gynecologist and the first to really define pelvic floor exercises. He was searching for a way to help his postpartum patients whose pelvic floor muscles had weakened during childbirth. He wrote his paper on pelvic floor exercises in 1948, but it’s said that these exercises have actually been around for a long time. They were taught to new mothers by midwives in South Africa, and done in ancient India, Greece and Rome. Kegel’s paper just gave them the modern name.
What is a Vaginal Bluetooth Device??
Well, there are now Bluetooth enabled Kegel trainers! It’s official. Everything has Bluetooth capabilities! These products are designed to go inside the vagina and register the strength of your pelvic floor lift and give you feedback about your form and strength of contractions. They’ll also conveniently remind you to “work out” and track your progress for you.
There are quite a few trainers on the market and here are a few of the most popular:
The Elvie Trainer $200
One of the most popular vaginal Bluetooth devices is the Elvie. It has a high rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and for $200, it promises to give you “better bladder control, faster postpartum recovery, and enhanced intimacy with results in less than four weeks”. According to Shannon Palus of Slate.com, “you insert the device into your vagina and squeeze. In the app, the squeezes are represented by a cartoon gemstone, which floats up with contractions and downward as the muscle relaxes”. So, basically you are trying to bounce this gemstone up and down on the screen and the device informs you via the app whether or not you are doing your Kegels correctly. Kind of like a vagina video game. The Elvie has a patented sensor system that detects whether or not you are pulling up (which is good) or pushing down (which is bad). Apparently, if you don’t get it together and perform your Kegels correctly, the app will suggest you go to a physical therapist or doctor.
The PeriCoach $299
This device is FDA approved and has a couple of studies backing it up. It works on the same premise as the Elvie and promises if you use it 5 minutes a day with the tracking app you will get results in 8 weeks. You can also send your information to your Dr. And, if your Dr. is not interested in helping you through this, you can find a new one on the PeriCoach website.
The Intimina KegelSmart $98
The same premise as the rest of the devices. Claims to automatically set the exercise level and uses vibration to guide you through your Kegels. This is a stand-alone product with no associated app. According to an article on womenshealthmag.com, you push a button on the side, stick it inside you, and squeeze when you feel it vibrate. After you pull it back out, it lets you know how your progress and what level you’ve achieved via a flashing light on the side of the device.
The KGoal by Minna Life $149
Very similar to the KegelSmart in that it vibrates, but it also connects to an app and gives you real time feedback. As you squeeze, a line moves on your screen, similar to the Elvie. It’s been reported that this particular smart device has some side-benefits due to the placement of the vibrating handle. Maybe that’s a built in incentive to use this device for your Kegel workouts!
Do They Work?
Yes, they work because Kegels work! Just like with any other exercise, they work if you stick to it. These products can help you strengthen that pelvic floor, keep track of it, keep your Dr. in the loop and keep you from peeing your pants when you laugh too hard. Pelvic floor defunction can be a terrible thing to live with and with all things related to women’s health, it doesn’t the attention it deserves. These devices are affordable and worth a try. Also, think of all of the money you’ll save on not having to buy all those Depends later in life!!