Recently I met a woman who told me her privates had personal trainer; yep you heard right.
As you could imagine, it was a weird conversation at first. She began telling me how she used to be a runner, but after 20 hours of labour with her first child and a forceps delivery, it ruined her desire to run. In other words, she peed her pants when she picked up the pace!
But on that proud day when she met me in the park for our mother’s group, she had decided to give it a go, having had a renewed sense of strength in her (you know what) from a little device called a PeriCoach — her pelvic floor’s very own personal trainer!
She told me how the discrete sensor device inserted in her (you know where) helped her monitor her Kegel exercises by giving her updates on her phone, just like her very own coach.
She would train while watching television, brushing her teeth or cooking dinner — basically, wherever and whenever the time arose and she could practice her pelvic floor exercises, with the PeriCoach there to spur her along.
This lady is now jumping, trampolining, sneezing and taking on other bladder challenges with ease, and without the worry of a rush to the bathroom for a quick change in underwear.
We laughed, but truth be told, full blown incontinence is no laughing matter, and if you’re relating to this story then you should know you’re not alone.
In fact, more than a quarter of all Australians experience bladder or bowel control issues. Women account for eighty per cent of all urinary incontinence sufferers, one in eight women suffers faecal incontinence and one in three who’ve had a baby experience some form of urine leakage.
Pretty rough statistics for us women. But fear not! Like my friend, the pelvic floor is a muscle of forgiveness and, with a little bit of attention, it can build strength and stamina.
Many prestigious health bodies recommend Kegel exercises as the best treatment for strengthening your pelvic floor, but speaking from experience, we women are terrible at remembering to do them, knowing how or even what’s happening when we do.
Do we squeeze? How long for? How many times a day? What is it meant to feel like? How do we REALLY know it’s working? All these questions arise and then the task becomes too hard, we forget or are too lazy, and we carry on the way we were.
That’s where the PeriCoach is perfect, taking the guesswork out of exercising your pelvic floor. It comes with its own exercise programs, which have been designed in consultation from women’s pelvic floor health specialists. It is also listed on the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) as a medical device, so you know it’s the real deal.
After the birth of her two boys, Stay At Home Mum founder Jody Allen admitted to experiencing the common side effects of a weak pelvic floor: “I’ve wee’d myself every time I’ve jumped on a trampoline, sneezed or laughed a little bit too hard,” she says.
“I actually do my pelvic floor exercises, but not very often. Actually, the truth is I forget all the time. My husband knows when I’m doing them because my eyebrows go right up. The wonderful world of the internet says that you should do them every time you open the fridge. But unless I put a big notice up on the fridge, it doesn’t happen. And so I wee a bit more every time.”
Jody has been using the PeriCoach System since December 2014, and feels, like my runner friend, a renewed strength in her pelvic floor ever as a result.
“The PeriCoach System acts sort of like a personal trainer for your pelvic floor, providing real-time bio feedback and motivation to get those exercises done. I like to think that it will encourage me to keep up my pelvic floor exercises and I use it to measure how I am doing. I want to improve my pelvic floor strength, as it is embarrassing… the things kids do to you!”
Indeed, the things we do for kids. But, as my runner friend has shown, we don’t need to feel embarrassed about losing control of our bladder anymore, and starting the conversation can be easier as well — you just need a little personal trainer to get you started.
I’ll be giving PeriCoach a try; will you?
10 signs of a weak pelvic floor:
- Leaking small amounts of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or running
- Failing to reach the toilet in time
- Uncontrollably breaking wind when bending over or lifting
- Tampons that dislodge or fall out
- A distinct swelling at the vaginal opening
- A sensation of heaviness in the vagina.
- A bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
- Pain in your pelvic area
- Painful sex.
HOW TO EXERCISE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
Sit, stand or lie down with your legs slightly apart and relax your thighs, buttocks and abdomen muscles.
Tighten the ring of muscle around your front and back passages drawing the pelvic floor muscles up inside.
Try to complete up to 10 slow squeezes and 10 fast squeezing exercises.
Repeat these exercises 4-5 times every day.
Where to Find More Information:
Check out Pericoach for yourself online where you can find more information and purchase your own device www.pericoach.com. You can find out more about the system and see what others are saying about their vaginal exerciser through Facebook or Twitter. And, if you have ever tried the Pericoach, please please please share your experience below – we would love to hear from you!