Pelvic floor stimulation device
Electrical stimulation for pelvic floor muscles - does it work?
Urinary incontinence, a lack of feeling in the vagina and prolapse may be signs of weakened pelvic floor muscles. Is electrical stimulation the right choice for treating these conditions? Read on and find out!
What is a pelvic floor stimulation device?
A pelvic floor stimulation (often referred to as PFS) device is designed to strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor muscles and to help treat stress urinary incontinence. These muscles are found between the coccyx and pubic bone of the pelvis, and are there to support the uterus, vagina, bladder and bowel. If the pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you might have difficulty controlling urine, faeces for flatulence. With slight, controlled shocks, electrical simulation from a pelvic floor device helps to tighten those pelvic floor muscles.
A weakened pelvic floor muscle may be due to a number of factors, including pregnancy, vaginal childbirth (as opposed to caesarian births), obesity, chronic constipation and prostate cancer treatment (in males). The most common symptoms of weakened pelvic floor muscles are faecal and urinary incontinence during coughing, sneezing or performing strenuous activities, numbness or a lack of feeling in the vagina, and tampons that continue to dislodge.
Aside from a loss in bladder control and anal incontinence, there may also be sexual difficulties caused by the lack of feeling in the vagina, as well as prolapse, which is caused by internal organs surrounding the uterus collapsing onto it. This creates a bulge on the vagina and may also cause vaginal aches.
If you have any of the abovementioned symptoms, it is recommended that you speak with a medical specialist to get properly diagnosed. You may be encouraged to lose excess body fat, go on a strict diet (usually consisting of high fruit, vegetable, fiber and water intake if you’re dealing with recurring constipation), regularly perform kegel exercises and make use of a pelvic floor stimulation device. Kegel exercises focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles in order to hold in urine and faeces and should only be recommended by a doctor or physical therapist, as this exercise might do more harm than good. This type of exercise is similar to having to pretend that you’re urinating and suddenly having to stop - the pelvic floor muscles are tightened during this time. In order to properly perform a Kegel exercise, you must sit or lie down and have an empty bladder. Next, focus on tightening your pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds, relaxing, and then tightening again for a total of around 10 repeats.
How does a pelvic floor stimulation device work?
Just like Kegel exercises, pelvic floor stimulation devices help work the pelvic floor muscles. Instead of having to rely solely on tightening exercises, these devices create electrical stimulation that help to contract these muscles - similar to how any other muscle works during exercise. These pelvic floor electrical stimulations are created at the end of the device, which is inserted either in the vagina or rectum. In most cases, this treatment is conducted by a medical specialist who may provide feedback after a number of sessions - although this kind of therapy might be too embarrassing for most people, it’s a much less invasive and less risky approach than going with surgery.
Using these floor stimulation devices should be done in moderation, especially if you’re new to them. Exercises should be done for at least 10 minutes a day when you first begin and should be stopped if you’re feeling muscle strain. If everything is going well, you ought to gradually increase the intensity of the electrical stimulation. Most people see the first results of improved pelvic floor muscle strength within a few weeks.
What are the different types of pelvic floor stimulation devices?
When it comes to pelvic floor electrical stimulation devices, it’s important to note that they are intended for both men and women - although women tend to require them more, as they’re more prone to weakened pelvic floor muscles caused by childbirth and pregnancy. Pelvic floor devices usually come with two detachable ends, either for rectal or vaginal insertion, however, there is also a noninvasive option which uses sticky pads instead of probes for generating electrical stimulation. Almost all of these devices have lithium ION batteries and include a charger and may also come with a number of features, mainly focused on the intensity of the electrical shocks. More advanced models have built in sports programs, pain-therapy TENS programs and a number of custom program options. Before purchasing your own device, it’s crucial that you first consult with your doctor and see if your condition requires this form of treatment. And if your doctor agrees that a pelvic floor stimulation device may help strengthen your pelvic muscles, then you can find a number of reliable devices and additional attachments in our store.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
1. Can men use pelvic floor stimulation devices?
Yes - devices with rectal probes can be used by both men and women
2. How often should I use this device?
Each device comes with instructions on how long it should be used, however, in most cases, you should use this device for up to 5 minutes a day, or until you begin to feel muscle strain.
3. Why do these devices differ so much in price?
Floor muscle stimulation devices range in price from around $100 to a few hundred dollars. They vary based on the brand, reading accuracy and the number of additional features.