Pelvic Floor Stimulators and Incontinence
Healthy, fit and strong pelvic floor is important to men and women. Weak pelvic floor can give rise to many unpleasant health conditions and lead to deterioration in quality of life. It is important to be aware of your pelvic floor and seek guidance on how to maintain its optimum status for the duration of life. Use of pelvic floor training devices, such as the Nu-Tek Levator Mini, SensaTone for Women and SensaTone for Men may be recommended.
Pelvic floor problems that arise from pelvic muscle weakness are implicated in the development of incontinence and male and female sexual dysfunction.
In men, weak pelvic floor muscles can exacerbate symptoms of erectile dysfunction and post micturition dribble.
In women, weakened pelvic floor can contribute to incontinence with the light and mild stress incontinence developing gradually into serious and debilitating continence problems and even a genital prolapse. Female pelvic floor can be weakened by events such as pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and the menopause during which the levels of female hormone oestrogen drop. First signs of weakened pelvic floor are little leaks of urine, when coughing, sneezing or running. Loss of sexual sensitivity and libido can also be observed.
Incontinence is frequently addressed with electrical stimulation treatments. During electrical stimulation, a tiny current passes through the pelvic floor muscles, contracting and relaxing them repeatedly, thus simulating the effects of muscle exercise. This passive exercise is entirely effortless and painless. The exercise tones and strengthens pelvic floor muscles and reduces the symptoms related to the muscles weakness.
Electrical stimulation is safe and effective. It can be used alone as a single therapeutic modality to strengthen weak pelvic floor and treat incontinence and to address other pelvic floor weakness related problems, such as sexual dysfunction. Electrical stimulation can also be used together alongside other therapeutic modalities, such as medication, Kegel exercise or relevant surgical procedure. Electrical stimulation is frequently prescribed after pelvic floor assessment, which enables clinicians (i.e. physiotherapists, gynaecologists, etc.) to correctly assess and diagnose the magnitude of the problem.
Devices that deliver electrical stimulation are called electrical stimulators or electrical neurostimulators. Examples of electrical stimulators are Nu-Tek Levator Mini and SensaTone.
Women and men can use electrical stimulators independently by choice to supplement daily pelvic floor exercises (i.e. Kegel exercises) with an effortless and effective option of pelvic floor workouts to develop optimum fitness of pelvic floor muscles and maintain it for life, preventing sexual dysfunction and problems with continence.
Pelvic Floor basics
Pelvic floor consists of muscles, fascia and ligaments that form a platform supporting pelvic organs - bladder, uterus and intestines. Pelvic floor prevents these organs from falling down through the lower bony pelvic outlet. Pelvic floor muscles are endurance muscles that help to prevent urinary and faecal leakage caused by the increase in abdominal pressure during coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or vomiting. During childbirth, pelvic floor relaxes and stretches to enable the baby to be born. It is important to strengthen the muscles and restore them to their optimum strength by performing regular exercises called pelvic floor or Kegel exercises. As all other muscles in human body - pelvic floor muscles grow stronger and fitter with exercise!
Pelvic floor muscle strength is of great importance not only for life long continence, but also when considering male and female sexual health. An added benefit of having strong pelvic floor muscles is improved sexual function. Pelvic floor muscle exercises help to strengthen pelvic floor, whilst at the same time improving, restoring and maintaining good sexual functionality.
Male pelvic floor related problems include erectile dysfunction and post-micturition dribble.
How to keep your pelvic floor healthy and fit
Both men and women should ensure that they perform regular pelvic muscle exercises - otherwise known as Kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises - to prevent pelvic floor weakness from developing or to address and reverse any existing weakness. The goal always has to be to maintain strong pelvic floor for life. In women - strong pelvic floor muscles prevent incontinence and increase sexual responsiveness. In men - strong pelvic floor can prevent erectile dysfunction and post-micturition dribble from arising.
Awareness and basic knowledge are the key to successful prevention, eradication or effective management of incontinence. “Being in control” is the personal continence goal for everyone - it can be successfully achieved through appropriate awareness and knowledge. In much the same way - sexual health and sexual satisfaction are achievable at any age - even after menopause!
You can do many things to improve your pelvic floor muscles. You can ensure that you stay continent for life and enjoy your sexual life, too!
Things you can do for your pelvic floor
1. Understand your pelvic floor
You should do your Kegel exercises regularly. Pelvic floor muscles are just like all the other muscles in our bodies! Exercising them regularly makes them stronger, tighter and healthier. There are books and posters to guide you in your pelvic floor exercises efforts - look for Pelvic Floor Health Self Help Guides here or on Womens Waterworks page.
2. Perform Kegel exercises every day
You can perform supported Kegel exercises, using pressure pelvic floor trainers with biofeedback to keep you informed on your progress. Following devices can help you to perform supported Kegel exercises and get Biofeedback on your progress:
- PFX2V Pelvic Floor Exerciser with Biofeedback and Vaginal Probe
- PFXA Pelvic Floor Exerciser with Biofeedback and Anal Sensor
- iEase Pelvic Floor Exerciser with Biofeedback
- KegelSmart Vibrational Pelvic floor Trainer
- Laselle Kegel Routine Balls
- AquaFlex Cones and Weights
3. Use pelvic floor stimulator for effortless Kegel exercises
You can select your electric stimulator from the most advanced user friendly stimulator Nu-Tek Levator Mini to compact simple stimulators, such as SensaTone for Women or SensaTone for Men.
- Nu-Tek Levator Mini (suitable for Women and Men)
- SensaTone Pelvic Floor Stimulator for Women
- SensaTone For Men
4. Visit your continence physiotherapist for pelvic floor assessment
You may wish to measure the strength of your pelvic floor muscles using a biofeedback muscle assessment device. You can perform assessment of your pelvic floor prior to embarking upon a regime to improve your pelvic floor and re-assess your progress periodically as you progress with your Kegel exercise programme. Your physiotherapist will guide you through the therapy program designed to rehabilitate your pelvic floor and reduce the symptoms related to pelvic floor weakness.
- Nu-Tek Maxi Plus1
- Nu-Tek Levator Elite
- Nu-Tek Maxi Plus2
- Peritron Perineometer
5. If you have pelvic organ prolapse - seek medical help and wear the V-Brace by Fembrace Prolapse Support Garment
If you already suffer genital prolapse, you may wish to learn about a support garment called the V-Brace by Fembrace that can provide you with some daily comfort and relieve the bothersome feeling caused by your condition. The V-Brace can even help you to enjoy your normal daily activities with lesser discomfort and trepidation. Learn about the V-Brace by Fembrace here.
- V-Brace by Fembrace
6. If you suffer stress incontinence try incontinence pessaries to stop daily urine leaks and seek medical help with pelvic floor rehabilitation
If you suffer stress incontinence you can use IncoStress Stress Incontinence Control Device or the Contiform Incontinence Device that stop urine leakage and improve your quality of life by allowing you to participate in normal activities from which your stress incontinence may be stopping your enjoying or participating in.
- IncoStress Incontinence Pessary
- Contifom Incontinence Pessary
Whatever is your age or gender, vest your time and efforts in your pelvic floor to prevent debilitating and incapacitating problems of incontinence.