WE SPEND so much time at the gym working out, but there’s one muscle that many of us are forgetting about.
Weak vaginal muscles and incontinence affects more than 40 per cent of Australian women. But let’s face it — pelvic floor exercises are pretty boring and can easily slip out of our daily routine.
The founder of online sex toy shop Mimi de Luxe, Elle Black, claims some sex toys can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Ms Black believes women should introduce kegel balls – small weighted balls inserted into the vagina for sexual stimulation – into their everyday “workout” routine.
“It’s literally like doing weights for your vagina,” Ms Black told news.com.au. “The muscles are holding the weights in place and when you move around your muscles have to work to keep the balls there.
“It’s usually a progressive system – you start with the lightest weight and you move up to the heaviest,” she said.
Ms Black claims women who perform these exercises should notice a difference after 8-12 weeks.
“Having strong pelvic floor muscles is not only important to your overall health, but to your sexual and sensual health,” she said.
Mimi de Luxe isn’t the first sex toy company to advocate using kegel balls to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
Earlier this year, sex tech company OhMiBod won an award at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for its insertable Lovelife Krush device, which allows users to monitor the effectiveness of their pelvic floor exercises through a smartphone app.
The Lovelife Krush measures the pressure, control, endurance, and grip of your pelvic muscles.
The app linked to the device has voice-guided training programs which tell you when to squeeze, relax and breathe.
OhMiBod claims the device will strengthen muscles, help prevent incontinence and deliver better orgasms.
But pelvic floor physiotherapist Samara Nanayakkara, from BeActive Physio, says these toys shouldn’t be the first point of call for women who suffer from incontinence or want to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.
She argues the devices may even cause more harm than good.
“Depending on what the problem is, these devices may make the problem worse because they don’t know if the woman needs strengthening or weakening,” Ms Nanayakkara told news.com.au.
“There’s no research to support these devices, or even medical stimulation devices. You should be having a proper medical examination to find out what the problem is before looking at buying these items.”
Ms Nanayakkara says the sex toys may give you readings that aren’t an accurate reflection of your pelvic floor strength.
The devices often respond simply to downward pressure, so they may not be reading a proper contraction.
“My advice would not be to run out and buy a device, because you don’t know what the cause of pelvic weakness or incontinence is. Get a proper assessment,” she said.