Could This Be the Kegel Inspiration We Need?

I should be doing kegels. One hundred of them a day, I’ve heard, but I don’t. And it turns out l’m not alone. In a survey done recently by minna, a San Francisco start-up specializing in beautifully designed sexual health products, it was found that most women are not doing kegels, and many of them, about 50% either don’t know what they are, or don’t know if they are doing them correctly.

The survey asked 310 women, a random sample across age groups and cultural backgrounds, what they knew about strengthening their nether regions. Not very much! They asked who benefited the most from doing them: most said women 60+. On the embarrassing, yet super important topic of incontinence, 80% of the group reported that they don’t suffer from incontinence, yet 54% said they did experience “unexpected leakage while coughing, running, laughing or sneezing”– a.k.a. incontinence! I thought of my friend, who had just jokingly told me about the “stop, cross, and sneeze” maneuver she employs.

There’s a clear disconnect here! Is it that we think kegels are for someone else, someone older, and “incontinent”? Or is it that we’re too busy and that kegels are too boring? Or that we forget to do them at traffic lights? Or that we no longer stand in line at the bank so that exercise spot is out? Or maybe just as according to the survey, we just don’t know how they should feel so it’s hard know where to begin. The thing is, most women who have been pregnant and given birth, either vaginally or through a C-section, could benefit from kegels. Both things can cause strain, if not outright damage to the pelvic floor. If you’re having any leaking, need to rush to the bathroom, or experience vaginal pain, chances are you can benefit from some pelvic conditioning.

If you’re aching to try one right now, and need some prompting in the right direction, try this: Go sit on the potty and start peeing. Stop midway. The muscles that you just used to stop your peeing are your pelvic floor muscles. You just did the most basic kegel. You can get fancier by trying to slow down or speed up the movement of these muscles, but it’s not easy to control them and taking the kegel to this level can be a little frustrating.

This is where minna is happy to help. They’ve made a pelvic floor exerciser called k-goal. It’s bright blue and smooth. It has a USB port for recharging. It can inflate and deflate depending on the size of your vagina. It has vibrational feedback, letting you know how hard you were able to squeeze (yes, perhaps pleasurable, and yes, you can turn that part off it’s not your thing). It also has a smartphone app that you can use in conjunction with the k-goal to show you how hard you are squeezing. It gives you graphs, goals, and games(!) to help make your exercising more interesting and satisfying. After learning all this, I blurted to my husband, “k-goal’s like an iPod for your crotch!”

I’ve yet to try one, but I’m intrigued. I definitely need some inspiration. At $149.00, it’s not cheap inspiration, but then neither are iPods.

Have any of you tried one? If so, how was it??