Growing Organically | Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor with Elvie
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Mary Alice Martin is a birth and postpartum doula in Houston, Texas. She is currently studying to be a midwife (hatching 2018!). Academically, she studies documentary films and their effect on our perceptions of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood in the United States. She is passionate about women’s health, yoga, and evidence-based birth!
I received this product as a trial in exchange for an honest review. Read our policies page for more information.
You know, I don’t love to exercise. It’s really the motivation that’s lacking in my life. Objectively, I am aware of the benefits. And when I actually do it I can see them, but it’s just not enough to get me to crave working out the way that some people seem to. But, you know what would motivate me to work out? If I knew that the results would help with my lower back pain, lift and hold my core, and (most importantly) improve my sex life?!? Okay, really I care most about the last one.
Ladies, I’m talking about Kegel exercises for pelvic floor strength. You know, that nagging, little exercise that you can and should be doing on the reg. It’s easy, it’s discreet, it doesn’t involve (cute) fancy yoga pants or an expensive gym membership. There are no intimidating group classes for Kegels. So why aren’t we doing them? I only remember to Kegel when someone mentions them in conversation. My internal dialog goes as such:
“Ooh Kegels! I should be doing those. Okay, ready? 1 . . . 2. . . 3. . . SQUEEZE! Oh my gosh, everyone knows I’m doing this right now. Shoot, this is hard! My pelvis is shaking, it must be shaking, I don’t think I can hold it anymore. Oh, phew, glad that one’s over. Did I pee a little???? Okay, time for another and SQUEEZE! Everyone knows I am doing this right now; it’s on my face. I look like I’m trying to poop. In public. This was a terrible idea. My bottom is tired. I’m weak, my pelvic floor is weak. I am a failure. If I’m this weak does that mean I’m not having good orgasms? Man, if I had a strong pelvic floor, I wonder what those orgasms could be like!!!”
If you relate to this at all, I have the PERFECT product for you. When I heard about Elvie I actually turned to Nina and said, “I MUST GET ONE OF THOSE.”
Elvie is a product developed in the United Kingdom by women, for women. It is a small, medical grade silicon pelvic floor exercise tracker that syncs with an app to help you strengthen and train your pelvic floor. The Elvie app teaches you how to strengthen your pelvic floor correctly through targeted, interactive games and activities.
So many women aren’t sure if they are doing their Kegels correctly. The Elvie takes out the guess work.
How It Works:
You insert Elvie into your vagina. (There are detailed instructions, and, don’t worry, there is a little tail so it’s easy to pull out.) Find a comfortable position either standing or laying down.
Open up the Elvie app on your smart phone, and follow the calibration instructions. Be sure your Bluetooth is turned on, as that is how Elvie communicates with your phone.
Once you open the app, you’ll see a little circle, and when you squeeze your pelvic floor, the circle will move up and down. Every time you exercise with Elvie, you’ll squeeze and set goals for the session. I find that some days I have a perineum of steel, while on others it looks as though I can barely get the ball off the ground.
As a beginner, you’ll be led through a series of two exercises: lift and pulse.
Lifting requires you to hold the ball (squeeze your pelvic floor) at a certain height for several seconds while pulsing is more of a quick squeeze and release. You know, it might just be me, but the pulsing is REALLY FREAKING HARD. I had zero agility when it came to my pelvic floor. I told my pelvic floor to squeeze and it took its sweet time. Then I asked politely that it release, and several shaky seconds later I was finally relaxed. Hitting the targets within seconds of each other was impossible, and I thought for sure that I would never move on to the next level. But check out my results after several weeks of exercising 3x a week:
A little over a month later and I am hitting 10 pulses Every. Single. Time. Check out the rest of my progress:
In all honesty, exercising with Elvie is actually FUN. Nina and I both had the opportunity to try it out and we’ve been having competitions in the office. And, ya know, I’m definitely experiencing favorable results late at night (or in the morning, or the middle of the day, or whenever 😉 )
Benefits beyond my own selfish reasons for strengthening my pelvic floor:
In all seriousness, pelvic floor strength is a women’s health concern that is not being addressed with the attention it deserves. 1 in 3 women experience physical problems due to weakening of these muscles, and this is as high as 50-80% in pregnancy and after childbirth. As a student midwife and doula, I have seen women struggle post-baby with bladder control and prolapsed organs due to weakened pelvic muscles. I am constantly recommending pelvic floor exercises to clients postpartum. However, many women feel as though they aren’t doing them effectively. Elvie guides you step-by-step, making it easy and fun to strengthen these essential muscles.
Have you tried Elvie? Let us know! We want to know what your experience was and if you’ve been experiencing the benefits. 😉