We all know the importance of pelvic floor strength. But how many of us are doing anything about it? Or if we are, are we actually fixing the problem?
Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence (UI), is not awesome and it’s problem millions of women experience particularly after childbirth or menopause. It affects 1 in 3 women worldwide.
After birthing two boys, my pelvic floor is more like a pelvic doona. I’m mid-forties and have been starting to experience some ‘leakage’ from sneezing (URGHHH HIDEOUS!!!) and frankly I’m looking down the barrel of a public weeing incident and having to leave the party with my jumper tied around my waist. Running distances over 5km is starting to feel like a high risk activity and I’ve contemplated buying some incontinence surfboards for parkrun. And jumping on the tramp with the kids is something I won’t even contemplate (and not just because I’d end up wearing my giant boobs as a hat).
I haven’t officially been diagnosed with anything but I’ve been to physio and had doctors talk to me about the importance of doing my kegels. I’d go home all fired up and do the exercises. But I couldn’t feel too much and would never know if I was doing them properly, so I’d get bored and give up.
Then along came my PeriCoach. I was offered a PeriCoach to trial and to see if it would work for me. I have a lot of conversations with women about the whole “peeing our pants” thing, so I thought I should give it a crack.
PeriCoach is the first training device, web portal and smartphone app to take the guesswork out of pelvic floor muscle training. You can tell straight away if you are doing your exercises properly! Basically it’s a device you wack (gently) into your vajayjay (don’t worry it’s small) to monitor your kegels. It has sensors on it which detect the strength of your muscle contraction. It feeds the data into the app and you can see immediately and over time what is happening.
When I received my PeriCoach device in the mail I was slightly overwhelmed as there is a lot of information. Plus it looks like a weird sex aid thing. But there’s a great little QuickStart guide which steps through everything. You charge up the device first, then you download the app and connect the device through bluetooth. From there you need to calibrate the device, so you have to basically do a bunch of muscle contractions so the device can tell what is happening in your downstairs department.
You can do the exercises lying down or standing. When you are calibrating you need to choose which way and it seemed sensible to me to do them lying down. What I realised was that it’s much quicker when you’re in a rush to just to do them standing up, so if you’re busy (hah, who isn’t) I would recommend the standing option. That way you can do them in the bathroom with the door locked. I know it seems weird to stand up with a device in your woohoo and do kegels, but if you’re like me you’ll be open to anything that increases efficiency!
What I love about the PeriCoach:
- I immediately know whether I am doing my kegel right. The app tells me exactly what is happening. There is no other way that you can be so sure you are getting the exercise right and I love that.
- I love achieving a level and going on to the next one. You start at Beginner level and move on from there, and you feel like you are kicking some serious goals. I really like having a program to work to that clearly shows your results and your improvements.
- It’s a small device and doesn’t feel like a violation in any way! I was a bit worried at first but it’s made of soft rubbery stuff and doesn’t hurt at all so although it’s a bit unusual, you get used to it quickly.
- It takes 2 minutes per day. TWO MINUTES. Absolutely nothing and easy to quickly fit in while you’re getting ready for your day. I do mine in the bathroom before my shower, away from prying eyes.
- I am feeling results in a short time. I feel more secure that I’m not going to pee my pants. Which is a winwin for everyone.
What I don’t love about PeriCoach:
- I found it hard to turn on. You have to squeeze it in three different places and being a bit of a dimmie with baby hands, I had a lot of trouble at first. You need to hold it for around 5 seconds.
- The calibrating was a bit of a process, I wasn’t quite sure what I was meant to be doing and I started getting a message I was holding the contraction too much in between. Once I got the hang of it, it all made sense.
- It takes 2 minutes per day! I haven’t done it every day despite it only taking 2 minutes. I’m not incredibly disciplined in this way at the best of times, but I’m trying to keep it up.
The facts on PeriCoach:
- The PeriCoach device is for women who regularly follow doctor-recommended treatment for urinary incontinence (UI).
- The PeriCoach was designed with help from professionals in the pelvic health field, to ensure the programs are beneficial in the privacy of your home or with assistance from a clinician.
- Medical Technology Association of Australia have announced Chelsea Cornelius, engineer for PeriCoach as the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award. This award recognises an individual who has contributed in a significant and outstanding way to the development of medical technology that improves patient outcomes and excellence.
- PeriCoach has officially been classified for use to improve sexual function and satisfaction by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). Studies have found that sexual complaints, from low libido to problems with sexual arousal and inability to achieve orgasm, are common among women with pelvic floor disorders
- Leslie Rickey, MPH, MD, Associate Professor of Urology and of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences says, “Home pelvic floor training support with PeriCoach can help improve pelvic floor muscle and strength and sexual function at ANY age.”
- Women’s health physical therapists would recommend PeriCoach for pelvic floor strengthening after trying it themselves. 10/10 PT would recommend PeriCoach to their clients.
Buy a PeriCoach for a discounted price:
Well my beloved weeing friends, if you are looking for a surefire way to know that you are exercising your pelvic floor, PeriCoach are currently offering PeriCoach devices for $229 for Bladder Health Month PLUS they have kindly offered Champagne Cartel readers a further 10% discount – simply enter CCPC16 at the checkout. Head over to the PeriCoach website for more information and to buy.
This is a product trial and I was given a PeriCoach ($298 RRP) to test. All my opinions are my own.
So tell about about your downstairs department? Are you having any issues yet?
Have you had problems with bladder leakage from childbirth or menopause?