Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in stress urinary incontinence (SUI) where there is loss of urine with increased pressure exerted onto the bladder. Pressure can result from coughing, sneezing, jumping, running, or laughing. The urethra is the tube through which your urine passes as it leaves your body.. The muscles of the pelvic floor are not able to contract around the urethra with enough strength to counteract the pressure exerted onto the bladder, and the result is the loss of urine. The amount of urine loss can depend on how full the bladder is and the type of activity that is being performed. Weak pelvic floor muscles may also contribute to prolapse of organs such as your bladder and uterus.
Typical treatment for weak pelvic floor muscles is performing contractions to strengthen the muscles. Research shows that by performing the exercises and improving the strength of the muscles, you can have decreased episodes of urinary incontinence. So, when should you use vaginal weights?
Vaginal weights (sometimes referred to as vaginal cones) are used to help facilitate the muscle contractions. They provide proprioceptive feedback to the pelvic floor muscles during contractions by providing some resistance. Proprioceptive feedback helps you be able to sense or feel your pelvic floor muscles. Sensing these muscles is important if you have a difficult time performing your exercises and using the correct muscles when you do a kegel.
The Joy ON kegel weight system has 7 weights ranging from 0.9 oz to 5.3 oz (25g to 150g) that allows you to progress as a weight becomes easier. Using the Joy ON kegel weights may be beneficial if you have been performing pelvic floor muscle contractions and had minimal improvement in your urinary incontinence symptoms. Vaginal weights may also strengthen your muscles more efficiently in 10-15 minutes than in performing up to 100 kegel contractions per day.
Joy ON kegel weights may also be beneficial if you find that you are having difficulty performing a contraction. You can insert the weight while lying down then gently pull on the tail of the weight and try to contract your muscles you feel around the weight to attempt to keep the weight inside your vagina. As you contract your pelvic floor muscles you should feel the weight move more deeply into the vagina. If it moves out of the vagina you are using your abdominal muscles and need to concentrate on using your pelvic floor muscles only.
It is important to remember to relax those same muscles after working them out to prevent them from becoming overly tired or painful. Follow the instructions that come with the weights to progress your program. Stop using the weights and contact your physician or pelvic health physical therapist if you have pain.
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