We’ve all heard about Kegel exercises. We try to do them when we remember (which for most of us is hardly ever), and we’re always wondering if we are doing them correctly. I will be honest, even though I am constantly telling my clients that they need to be working on their Kegels before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and after baby, I am not practicing what I preach. The problem is that I always feel awkward when I am doing them. I ask myself, “Am I squeezing long enough? Why I am holding my breath? I’m clenching my legs and buttocks together while I’m trying to do my Kegels, so I know I’m doing it wrong.”
What I’ve discovered is that these are common questions and concerns that many women experience when working on their Kegels. You are not alone! But if you’re expecting, you probably have even more concerns about your lady bits. And I get it! When you think about your baby–who will be about the size of a small watermelon–coming out of your vagina, that can scare anyone. You’re wondering, “Is the baby going to wreck my entire pelvic floor and vagina? Will I be able to get my lady bits back to the way they were before baby? Will my husband/partner notice the changes and be disappointed?” These, too, are all common questions and concerns that mothers-to-be have.
I will be frank, your body will change in many ways after you have your baby. But when it comes to having a weaker pelvic floor, or becoming incontinent due to giving birth, there is something that you can do. Kegels. They can help prevent and even repair these types of problems.
But What Are Kegel Exercises?
Kegels are exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor. They are simple clench-and-release exercises that you can do to make the muscles of your pelvic floor stronger. Your pelvis is the area between your hips that holds your reproductive organs. Your pelvic floor is a series of muscles and tissues that form a hammock (if you will) at the bottom of your pelvis that hold your organs in place. It’s kind of important.
A weak pelvic floor may lead to a number of issues. It can cause you to have urinary and bowel incontinence issues, and it can be a huge contributing factor to chronic hip pain, lower back pain, upper back and shoulder pain, and even neck pain. Not good. Kegels are great because they can help treat these issues.
Once you learn how to do Kegel exercises, you can do them pretty much anytime and anywhere. That could be in the privacy of your own home or even while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. But then we are back to our initial question: “Am I doing this right?” This is why so many women give up on Kegels after a short time. They aren’t sure if they are doing them correctly and they aren’t able to notice the progress they are making. This is where technology comes in.
The KegelSmart from Intimina | My Experience & Review
I was having these same issues so I decided to get myself a “personal” trainer. For my pelvic floor, that is. There are now fantastic Kegel (pelvic floor) trainers available on the market that can tell you whether you’re doing your Kegels right and how much progress you’re making. This takes the guesswork out of your exercise. Just what I needed! I decided to give Intimina’s KegelSmart a try to start strengthening my pelvic floor.
The KegelSmart by Intimina is super easy to use and understand. It’s a product that you can use pretty much anytime and anywhere (not that many people would). Other personal pelvic floor trainers require you to use an app while doing your Kegel exercises, but this product is standalone. All you have to do is take it out of its packaging, place a AAA battery inside, wash it with the Intimate Accessory Cleaner, and you can get started.
Before you get ready to use your KegelSmart and do your Kegel exercises, first empty your bladder. Then you should find a quiet, private place to sit or to lie down while doing your exercises. Once you have, place a little bit of their Feminine Moisture water-based solution (if you prefer) on your KegelSmart to help with insertion. I will warn you, the solution comes out quickly from the bottle so there is no need to squeeze the bottle and force it out. Otherwise, you will get a whole lot of lube all over the place! Just trust me on this one.
After that, all you need to do is push the small button on the side, and slide the KegelSmart inside your vagina. It will take 30 seconds before it starts. You will know when it starts because it will quickly and gently vibrate three times letting you know that the workout is about to commence. Then it will begin a 3 to 5 minute Kegel workout for you, and all you need to do is squeeze your pelvic floor around the KegelSmart when you feel it vibrate and rest when it stops.
With its touch-sensor technology, the KegelSmart will measure your pelvic floor strength and it will automatically set the exercise level that is right for you. Pretty cool, right? Its technology builds a workout regimen specifically for you and your current level each time to help strengthen your pelvic floor.
At the bottom end of the KegelSmart is an attached loop so you can easily pull it to remove the device once you have finished. The loop is very thin and is as discrete as a tampon string. You could, conceivably, use it while at work without anyone knowing! 😉
I do want to mention that you shouldn’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results you want immediately. According to the Mayo Clinic, Kegel exercises may take as long as a few months to have an effect on urinary incontinence. But a pelvic floor trainer like the KegelSmart can help shorten the learning curve and improve your results.
NOTE: It is recommended that the KegelSmart should not be used during pregnancy or the early stages of recovery after childbirth unless you have consulted with your doctor.
Also, if you feel pain in your abdomen or back after a Kegel exercise session, it’s a sign that you’re not doing them correctly. Always remember that, even as you contract your pelvic floor muscles, the muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks, and sides should remain relaxed and loose.
Finally, don’t overdo your Kegel exercises. If you work the muscles too hard, they’ll become tired and unable to fulfill their necessary functions.
What I Liked About the KegelSmart
Obviously, I want to recap the rewards of having a strong pelvic floor. After having a baby, it can help with urinary incontinence, improving poor posture–since your pelvic floor is the anchor of your spine–which helps alleviate back and shoulder pain. Not only that it can help strengthen and tighten down there, it’s also said to help your sex life and give you better orgasms. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t want that! So let’s get it right and get it tight! Am I right? 😉 Here are the things that I liked most about the KegelSmart.
1. Easy to Use
What I really love is that this product is really easy to understand and use. It’s fool-proof. You don’t have to set up an app. All you need is a AAA battery and the product and you are good to go.
2. Shows You Your Progress
When you turn this product on it lets you know how well you’re progressing via a flashing LED light on the side (indicating what level you’ve achieved). This allows you to track your progress and stay motivated. They have Level 1 (the lowest) to Level 5 (being the strongest and highest). After I tried it for the first time, it flashed twice meaning that I was at a Level 2. It’s not great, but at least I’m not at Level 1! I do have a long way to go.
3. Safe to Use
The KegelSmart is an FDA cleared medical device made from 100% FDA approved medical-grade silicone with a soft-touch finish. It’s also 100% waterproof which is great for complete hygiene and easy cleaning, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
After three weeks of regularly (twice a day) using my KegelSmart I went from a Level 2 to a Level 4! There is no way that I would have results like this if I had continued to do Kegels on my own. Again, I wasn’t sure if I was doing them correctly on my own, so I wasn’t consistently practicing. Once I saw progress, I knew I was doing them right and continued to see results. 🙂