Kegel exercising is advocated by NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as the first-line treatment for pelvic floor weakness and incontinence, and research shows Kegel exercising to be an effective way of treating these conditions. However, many women struggle with manual pelvic floor exercises as itâ€™s not always easy to locate the correct muscles and by exercising incorrectly and â€˜bearing downâ€™, you can actually weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Whatâ€™s more, if a womanâ€™s pelvic floor muscles are particularly weak, it is possible that she may not be able to relax and contract these muscles independently.
To locate the correct muscles, you should slowly tighten your muscles starting at your anus (just as though youâ€™re trying not to pass wind, because the biggest part of your pelvic floor is found here), then tighten the muscles around your vagina, then squeeze and lift as hard as you can. The â€˜liftingâ€™ part is just as important as the squeeze so donâ€™t forget! Thatâ€™s when you know that you have found the correct muscles.
Vaginal cones, or pelvic exercise cones, are small weighted cones used by women to strengthen and train the muscles of the pelvic floor and offer an effective way to strengthen the PC muscles quickly and efficiently.
Using vaginal cones locates the correct muscles because to keep a cone in place, you automatically use the right muscles. This is known as â€˜passive contractionâ€™ meaning that your pelvic muscles automatically work to retain the cone, rather than a â€˜voluntary contractionâ€™ which takes place when you manually exercise. Pelvic exercise cones, such as the Kegel8 Cones, come in graduated weights and sizes so that you can progressively make your exercises harder as your pelvic floor muscles become stronger. The majority of women see a marked difference in their incontinence episodes within approximately three months, but most women start to notice a difference within approximately six weeks.
Exercising with vaginal cones is an easy and effective way to Kegel. To start with, simply insert the largest and lightest cone and hold it in place for as long as you can. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, this may just be for a few seconds, and if your muscles are very weak, then you may have to carry out a â€˜voluntary contractionâ€™ to keep the cone in place. However, you will find that the more frequently that you exercise, the longer you can hold it in place. You can then progress to a smaller and heavier cone as your pelvic floor muscles become stronger.
Exercise with vaginal cones should be performed while standing up and walking around the house, because your pelvic floor muscles have to work harder to retain the cone this way, which boosts the efficacy of the exercise.
Vaginal cones can also be used to aid with manual Kegel exercises. By providing a weight to exercise against, vaginal cones add a degree of resistance to your pelvic floor exercises to make them even more effective.
A stronger pelvic floor means that you can prevent and treat conditions such as stress incontinence (SUI, â€˜laughter leaksâ€™), urge incontinence, faecal incontinence, mixed incontinence and even pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Strong pelvic floor muscles give you greater control over your bladder and help you to regain confidence and take control of your life again.