Pelvifly: how to use it for pelvic floor exercises

Do you have a Pelvifly?  Not sure how to use it? 

NEW: Add-on Support from Specialist Physiotherapists

The Pelvifly is a new bit of female health kit designed to help women practice pelvic floor exercises correctly.

Pelvifly has two parts, an internal device and a phone app. The K-Goal is a blue balloon probe which you put inside your vagina leaving a small handle-like antenna resting outside on your pubic bone.  The balloon part reacts to your pelvic floor squeezes and relaxations feeding information to an app on your phone.  In real-time you can watch your pelvic floor exercises with your own eyes! 

K Goal pelvifly device beside phone showing app

AND its fun! Truly. When you squeeze a butterfly moves up, when you relax it gently floats down. Getting clever you can land on flowers in an up and down pattern. Surprisingly challenging!

Pelvifly: how to use it completely by yourself

Straight out of the box, with no further costs, you sign up to the free App and Patient Portal on your phone.  There are clear instructions how to wash, insert and get started.

Pelvifly how to use

You will immediately be sent animated “muscle tests” to do.   First checking in on how well you can relax your pelvic floor muscles by breathing and keeping a butterfly still.  Then seeing your ability to squeeze your muscles very strongly, medium strength and softly, as you set your butterfly off collecting flowers.  Also it will test your ability to hold a contraction for several seconds.  

After your test sequence Pelvifly shows you graphs and gives you some data about your muscle skills.

Pelvifly chart of test results

This data is then used to send you daily challenges according to your test level.  There are 5 games with advancing levels.  Clever AI will send you the right levels.  Tasks will involve rockets flying through tunnels, basketballs into hoops and a cute octopus!  The games are designed to focus on different skillsets that pelvic floors need to learn; how to relax completely, how to contract both softly and strongly, endurance and speed training.

A path of progress will be automatically created for you with new levels & games unlocking as you improve your skills and performance.


Stuck with the Pelvifly? How to use it with online physio support 

The Pelvifly probe and free app is a fun and effective device to use DIY.  However, each person has an individual story and journey.  You may feel your problems need to be individually understood, and treatment & exercises planned according to your specific situation.  You may wish to work with a specialist physiotherapist, who has extensive post-graduate training in pelvic floor rehab, childbirth recover and care through the changes of menopause and beyond.

Work with a PelviCoach for a one off session or subscribe for a complete support package

The ideal is to find a physiotherapist local to you for regular face to face visits.  But if this won’t work for you (and this could be for a myriad of reasons other than Covid!) Pelvifly is an ideal tool to use remotely with a virtual physiotherapy service.

Who is a PelviCoach?

A PelviCoach is your personal training supervisor. In the UK Pelvifly have teamed up with the Mummy MOT network of Specialist Physiotherapists who can offer pure telehealth or hybrid virtual/clinic support, with the K-Goal for biofeedback, at the heart of your treatment package.

How can I book PelviCoach support?

  • Basic & Smart Plan users can select a PelviCoach from the list of available UK physiotherapists in the mobile app.  The PelviCach’s photo, biography and charges for a one-off consultation will be visible on the online portal. The PelviCoach will set up an online 30 minute consultation with you within 7 days. The PelviCoach will be able to see your test results, give you tips and advice about managing your issues and help you get the most from your automated programme.
  • A Care Plan subscription (£96 for one month) is also available.   You use the app to choose your PelviCoach from among a list of available specialists. You’ll receive a welcome message from them within 24 hours and make plans for a regular once a month online consultation with extra email or text support between.  On the Care Plan your PelviCoach will have the results of your tests and exercises, and access to every training exercise to tailor a unique programme for your bespoke needs.

More about Coaching on the monthly Care Plan

A PelviCoach wants your training to give the best results possible. In the first week she will organise a mutually convenient time for an initial half hour virtual or phone appointment to discuss your goals, your problems, and the results of your DIY training so far. She may also ask you questions relevant to the proper treatment of pelvic floor muscles. This includes questions about menstruation, childbirth, health problems, and sex life.

As a specialist physiotherapist she can also answer any questions you may wish to ask. She will explain what the training is like and how muscles work  &  – most importantly –  help you get started with your Pelvifly training programme. 

Exercises tailored to your needs

The muscle test which you perform when you use the app for the first time is crucial to your training plan. Your PelviCoach can see graphs of your results:

Pelvifly with a pelvicoach how to use

This really important information serves as the basis to determine the right level of exercise difficulty taking your capabilities into account. For example it may appear that it is not the contraction force of your muscles that needs your attention, but the endurance of your muscles. Your physiotherapist can set up  bespoke practice sessions using the full variety of games available so that you work on the skill-sets that will help you make the best and quickest progress.  

Monitor your progress

Through your first month your physiotherapist will keep in touch with you by email to make sure you are getting on well. You can use the message facility to contact them too.

At then end of the month your PelviCoach will send you a second test to help you both to analyse your progress.  Then each month thereafter, that you are subscribed to the Care package, you will arrange another virtual session to monitor, encourage and support you to progress towards your goals.  

Its not only about Pelvifly

Mummy MOT Physiotherapists have a wealth of skills and knowledge to share with you.  If you struggle with your pelvic floor technique, or want further face to face clarity or help with other issues they can arrange an additional face to face appointment with you or with a local colleague from the Network.

Pelvifly with a pelvicoach how to use

Supported by smart algorithms

Apart from the support of your PelviCoach, you’ll be also able to take advantage of additional in-app support. You’ll have access to motivating summaries with your training statistics and results of the performed exercises and muscle tests.

You’ll stay motivated to exercise systematically thanks to the path of progress featured in the app. It consists of 36 tasks which will help you achieve the best results possible if you complete them. By exercising on a regular basis and collecting points during your training sessions, you’ll be moving up the levels, from easier to more difficult ones. You’ll be going through three phases – consciousness, control, and improvement.

The benefits of the Pelvifly CARE plan

To sum up, the Care Plan is £96/month & includes:

  • individual supervision by a PelviCoach
  • a preliminary interview with a specialist
  • an analysis of the muscle test and a monthly comparison
  • a personalized training plan
  • exercises without vibration and with 20Hz/50Hz vibration, biofeedback
  • analysis of training sessions performed in a month
  • access to a PelviCoach by email or text
  • a history of exercises and training sessions – including results
  • reports summarizing your training periods
  • a progress path consisting of 36 tasks to enable you to achieve your goals and monitor your progress

Pelvifly is available in the UK from Pioneer Medical priced £130 (VAT exemption available)

Author: Amanda Savage MCSP MSt (Cantab) Specialist Physiotherapist

vaginal probe

Which electrical stimulation probe is right for me?

Do you need an electrical stimulation probe for either the vagina and anus? These are used with pelvic floor electrical stimulation machines and also biofeedback devices. I hope I can help you decide which one would best suit your needs.

This is one of the topics Kegel8 founder, Stephanie Taylor, asked me about in some video Q & A sessions about the Kegel8 Ultra 20 machine. She is passionate about helping their customers get value and success from a purchase.

IN THIS VIDEO:

  • The different shapes and sizes
  • Which type to use if you have a nickel allergy. 
  • Electrodes designed for rehab of the anal sphincter

Watch here (or read the adapted transcript below). In this video we are discussing the vaginal and anal electrodes available to use with a machine called a Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner. Other models of machine in the Kegel8 range and others available elsewhere are very similar. The electrodes we discuss all have “pigtail” connectors and will be compatible with most machines. The principles are the same for all electrical stimulation machines. Even if you don’t have a Kegel8 you might find this video helpful to understand how your own-brand of machine and electrode works too.

Q: can you tell us a bit about the different probes and electrodes that the Kegel8 uses and how women might find a different probe would be better for them. 

Can you see how similar they all are?  They are all trying to do the same thing. Their job is to deliver the electrical current as close to the belly of the muscle as possible. This current will stimulate the nerves that make the pelvic floor muscles work. They conduct the electricity to your muscles through the metal bars, side to side.  They all look quite similar because the shape of the vagina as you go in goes wider rather than higher and the belly of the muscles is mainly on the sides.

Periform Plus Intra-Vaginal Probe
Periform Plus Intra-Vaginal Probe

Periform was the first one designed (by a physiotherapist), when there was a move from very big long probes to smaller ones, about 30 years ago.

It’s simple, the bars are on the side.  I like that it is easy to tell you have it the right way up.  It’s the one you usually get form the hospital as it is the cheapest one.  The cables should be coming up the top or from the bottom, not side to side.  It has a nice hook to help put it in and out which is nice if your hands struggle to hold things.  They left a hole in the top to keep it light.  But if you have a prolapse of the anterior or posterior vaginal wall some people find it can pinch a bit when taking it out.  There are other very similar probes with a filled in middle available.

You can tell which way up to put it in by feeling the hilt to have a smooth surface up and groove bits to the side. It has a nice hilt so that you can tell if it is in the right distance inside. Something to notice here is that the bars are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great conductor but contains a little nickel. So if you know, from jewellery, that you have a nickel allergy this might not suit you.  

Kegel8 Glide Gold Vaginal Probe
Kegel8 Glide Gold Vaginal Probe

The Kegel8 Glide Gold has been designed to tick all the boxes.  It has gold plated electrodes, which are less allergic, and would be your choice if you had a nickel allergy.  The middle is filled in but is still light weight. It has a flatter structure, so that you could put it more comfortably under a prolapse, and its a bit less bulky than the others.

Kegel8 Super Slim Vaginal or Anal Probe

This Kegel8 Super Slim probe is to use for stimulation of the anal sphincter through the back passage.  So for someone with faecal incontinence or if you had a 3rd or 4th degree ter. When you know that the anal sphincter needs some rehabilitation as well.  It has a hilt that moves so that once you know how far in to put it you have this guide to help you.  The bar near the hilt is designed to exercise the anal sphincter, the slightly deeper bar is to stimulate the levator plate (the pelvic floor muscles) further in. 

Because it is nice and slim we also sometimes use this if we have someone with a very small vagina, or who has had a lot of pain and feels that the vagina can’t stretch.  This is slimmer and friendlier to use for vaginal stimulation.  The problem is that it could move about more.  You would need to be quite small and keep your knees together.  More friendly if you are not sure about the other sizes.  It can be used in either vagina or anus whereas you can’t put the Periform or Glide in the back passage as they are the wrong shape.

Perisize Nickel Free Vaginal Probe
Perisize Nickel Free Vaginal Probe

The Perisize Vaginal Probe has a bar that releases so that you can narrow it to put it in but once it is in then it widens. Very ergonomic, as this is the shape of the vagina – the opening is quite small but then it widens.  This probe is good if you don’t feel you are getting enough side to side contact. It is the widest probe. 

You will also see that it has more cables.  This is because it is acting like two electrodes.  Each side is independent of each other.  If internally you have one side that is more sensitive or uncomfortable then you might want to have this one on a lower amplitude.  With Periszie you can choose the settings for each side separately which you can’t do with the standard probes.  It is quite specialist. It might be something your physio guides you towards.  Or you have used the basic first and decided you want something wider.  It is not needed as a first choice probe.

Q: if someone doesn’t want to use an anal or vaginal probe – what’s the option for them

Stimulation to exercise the muscles

Muscle stimulation to exercise the muscles is best delivered as close as possible to the muscle, where the nerves are.  Since the invention of discreet & comfortable vaginal and anal probes, physiotherapists would generally choose this internal method of application as the most effective way to create a contraction of the muscles using stimulation.

However, if you cannot use an internal electrode it would be worth trying a surface application to see if you can activate the muscles, but it can be difficult to truly reach the muscles through the body’s layers of tissues. Before these internal probes were invented, stimulation was delivered using surface electrodes (sticky skin pads).  You can put them where the nerve starts (in the spine) so they can be positioned around the sacrum, the very low bit of the spine. It doesn’t matter if they are placed higher, the nerves below will still be affected.  You can do this with 2 or 4 surface electrodes.  The machines come with instructions about where to put the electrodes.  The key thing is that there must be a gap between them.  You don’t want the electricity to jump from one pad to another – you want the electricity to go through the body and stimulate the nerves on the way. Leave a gap of an electrode size between the electrodes.

Stimulation for neuromodulation (to calm the bladder or nerves)

There is a type of stimulation for overactive bladder syndrome.  This type of stimulation does not exercise the muscles, it rather calms the nerves by sending lots of sensory sensations.  Therefore this can successfully be done through the vaginal electrode, or through sacral placed electrodes, or by putting it near your tibial nerve, down by your ankle, or a combination.    The choice is about comfort, finding out what works for you and whether you feel your getting some benefit from the stimulation in your chosen place.

Have you tried several different probes to find the best one for you? Please do share your experiences or ask questions below.

Medical Disclaimer

Any information or guidance we provide is not a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of your doctor or healthcare provider.

You must not rely on any information or guidance we provide you with as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provide and we expressly disclaim all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered by you or any third party as a result of your reliance on any information or guidance we provide you with.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your healthcare provider. Do not delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information or guidance we provide you with.

Nothing in this disclaimer will limit or exclude any liability that may not be limited or excluded by applicable law. 

electrical stimulation programme for new mums

Which is the best electrical stimulation programme for new mums?

Which is the best electrical stimulation programme for new mums wanting to rehab their pelvic floor muscles? This is one of the topics Kegel8 founder, Stephanie Taylor, asked me about in some video Q & A sessions about the Kegel8 Ultra 20 machine. She is passionate about helping their customers get value and success from a purchase.

In this video:

  • What to do to help your muscles from the very early days before you can use an electrical stimulation machine.
  • When you can start using a electrical stimulation machine safely after birth
  • Why it is important to test the sensation in the nerves, have a longer rest time between contractions and how to avoid muscle fatigue.

Watch here (or read the adapted transcript below). In this video we are discussing the electrical stimulation programmes for new mums on a machine called a Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner. Other models in the Kegel8 range are very similar. The principles are the same for all electrical stimulation machines. Even if you don’t have a Kegel8 you might find this helpful to understand how your own-brand of machine works too.

Q: Stephanie asked me: “We’ve got lots of programmes on the Kegel8. I’m a new mum.  Which programme is going to be best for me – if I’m looking to get back in shape – what’s your recommendation?”

The first few weeks: simply connect your brain and pelvic floor naturally

Let’s start by thinking about a very new mum.  You’ve had a baby and you are starting out with your exercising.  In the first 12 weeks the body is very fragile and very vulnerable.  We do want you to start exercising but we don’t encourage the use of electrical equipment in this early phase.  Why? Partly because you will still have some bleeding, you might also have some hidden raw wounds but also because it is a fragile vulnerable time. 

What you do need to be doing in those early days is using your muscles as best as you can. Using your own brain to to activate them.  Even if all you are doing is pulsing your muscles a tiny bit and you think “Is it worth it?”. It IS.  Because that pulsing action will bring blood flow close to the area. Blood flow helps healing.  And helps to get healthy tissues again.  In your head it will feel like little tiny pulses, not very exciting. Everything might feel swollen and engorged. But those tiny exercises are a really important thing to do. Little and often through the day. To keep your brain and your pelvic floor connected together and encourage these muscles to start working again.

From 6-8 weeks: feeling proper contractions

About 4-6 weeks you should be feeling that you have some proper pelvic floor contractions. They should feel useful to you. For example, when you want to cough and sneeze and pick up your baby.  It’s all a bit mad that nature delivers through the muscles that you need and then hands you a heavy baby to look after. Not quite how you or I would have designed it.  But that is the reality.  So we’ve got to get these muscles working.

From 12 weeks: why you might choose to use an electrical stimulation programme?

After 12 weeks there are other options to consider.

  • If you are not getting enough sense of being able to exercise your muscles yourself
  • Or you don’t feel that you are getting a pelvic floor muscle contraction.
  • Or you don’t feel that you are progressing.

Then you might like to use a machine to help you.

What is special about the electrical stimulation programmes for new mums?

Some programmes on the Kegel8 V2 Ultra 20 are designed specially for postnatal mums. For example programmes 14 & 15. What makes them different?

A sensory phase

The first phase of these programmes is actually a circulation phase, a very low frequency current, to create just a tingling sensation for about 10-15 mins.  This allows you to test whether you can actually feel anything.  A problem that can affect new mums is finding that the nerves aren’t working properly at all and you can’t feel things properly.  It wouldn’t be safe to use a machine if you couldn’t feel properly as you would have no way of knowing how high to turn it up which could be sore.  So the first phase allows you to test for what you can feel. This phase is also really good for circulation. It brings blood flow to the area and oxygen to the tissues. 

A muscle strengthening phase

Later in the programme it moves to a muscle strengthening phase. It actually makes the muscles tighten and release.  But different to the one that is listed for stress incontinence, this phase has a longer rest time between the contractions.  When we make muscles contract they do need to be able to relax completely between contractions before we ask them to contract again. 

A longer rest time

When your muscles are very weak it is important to have almost twice as long resting to working.  As you get stronger you can choose a programme where there are shorter rest times but when you are very new post delivery it is really important to have a rest phase. 

An overall shorter programme

The overall working in this programme is 15-20 mins maximum, because your muscles will fatigue easily. Tired muscles can’t do anything. Yet you’ve got to look after the baby! So it’s really important that the machine doesn’t made you so tired that you can’t look after your baby and hold your body up!

So that is the idea behind this programme being called a postnatal programme

Q: How often would you recommend using an electrical stimulation programme for new mums?

The manufacturers say that you can use these devices up to twice a day every day.  I think a lot of women feel that is an unrealistic goal.  We tend to start women out in clinic using their device once every other day.  As a starting place.  You don’t want to put yourself off.  These are plastic gadgets in in very delicate places!  If you do too much too quick you end up not wanting to do anything. 

So I tend to aim to underachieve at first. Use it for 20 minutes every other day. Then if that is going well, and you are liking it and you feel it is beneficial, you could go to every day.  And if you were blessed with time to do twice a day that would be a bonus. I am not sure that is very many mums?!  We find people get good results on every other day or once every day.

Feeling more confident how to choose an electrical stimulation programme as a new mum?

I hope this post has given you more confidence to get started with a Kegel8 Ultra 20 stimulation machine or something similar? We have made several other videos about using stimulation machines. For other conditions, for example for a prolapse, for an overactive bladder or for stress incontinence. We also do a Q&A to show the different types of probes available.

Another series is all about the pelvic floor and how to do exercises without a machine too!

Please don’t hesitate to email if you have questions and I will do my best to help. Please do comment below or on YouTube if you found these helpful.

Medical Disclaimer

Any information or guidance we provide is not a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of your doctor or healthcare provider.

You must not rely on any information or guidance we provide you with as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provide and we expressly disclaim all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered by you or any third party as a result of your reliance on any information or guidance we provide you with.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your healthcare provider. Do not delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information or guidance we provide you with.

Nothing in this disclaimer will limit or exclude any liability that may not be limited or excluded by applicable law. 

water lily to illustrate bladder support devices

Bladder support pessaries: how do they work?

Bladder support pessaries: extra support from the inside

updated 2021 (original 2019)

Strengthening your pelvic floor is still first prize for bladder leakage problems.  But what if you cannot create enough strength and support for the bladder with your pelvic floor muscles alone? You may benefit from one of the modern bladder support pessaries that give some reinforcement to the bladder neck and bladder tube.

These are devices that you can buy on the internet and then insert and remove yourself. They are designed to be worn all day but not all the time. These can be a surprisingly inexpensive & eco-friendly option, compared to disposable pads. Ideal if you know when you will leak and need to use the device only for intermittent pre-planned activities.

Available in the UK at the moment are , Contam, Contiform, Efemia and Uresta.  They vary in price chiefly relative to how many times they can be re-used.  Contiform and Efemia are available on prescription.

Would they suit you ?

Have you done your pelvic floor exercises, improved your core, modified high impact and improved your fluid management? Still not quite resolved your bladder leakage? Then one of the bladder support pessaries may offer an alternative to surgery (NICE Guideline NG123 2019). They have a similar mechanism of action  (mechanical support of the urethra) to the TVT and colposuspension surgical procedures but no side effects or surgical risk.

In my clinical experience, these support pessaries work particularly well in certain situations.  For example when the bladder has dropped only a little bit and the uterus is still well supported. Or, if exercises have created a good layer of muscles but you still need more bladder support to be active.

How do internal bladder support pessaries reduce urinary leakage?

These devices work by providing more support for the bladder neck.  When you move fast (eg jogging, playing tennis) or there is an increase in abdominal pressure (coughing, sneezing, jumping), the pelvic floor muscle is supposed to support the bladder neck so that there is no leakage.  However, if the muscles are weakened and/or untoned that support can be lost. 

hose lying on grass and path
Would it be easier to stop the water by standing on the hose on the grass or on the path?

Are a visual person?   Imagine a running hose pipe, lying on  soft grass.  When you lay your foot on the pipe you may slow the flow of water. But you may not be able to stop it completely.  However, if you lay your hosepipe on a firmer surface, like a garden path, when you press down on the hosepipe the water flow stops. A toned pelvic floor should act like that firm path. But if yours isn’t up to scratch a pessary could do that job instead.

What type of urinary leakage will they help?

Bladder support pessaries are best for small leaks associated with movement. Or leaks when the bladder is under pressure from coughing, sneezing or laughing (stress urinary incontinence).

They create a mechanical uplift to support the bladder neck the way the pelvic floor is supposed to do. 

These would suit women who don’t generally experience day to day stress incontinence but know when they are going to leak. For example if you know you will have incontinence if you do a run, or when you go to Zumba. Or if you feel anxious about an event, like going to a wedding, or travelling. You might only use a product like this once or twice a week. With one of these in you might not need any other protection, or would feel confident with simply a liner or a pair washable knickers “just in case”.

They can’t help with urgency or irritable bladder

What these devices can’t do is change symptoms like urgency.  If your bladder is irritated by caffeine, being too full, or you have an overactive bladder, you won’t see any improvement using one of these.  Pelvic floor exercises DO help these symptoms because the pelvic floor contracting activates neurological messages which calm the bladder down.  Unfortunately these devices can’t do that. 

If urgency or frequency symptoms are your bother – then you need to practice “endurance/holding” pelvic floor exercises (see more in the Pelvic Floor School) and have also read of the article “How much should you drink in day and when should you have a wee?” for more impact on these problems.

a glass how much should you drink in a day

Can I leave it in to wee?  What about during my period?

Yes, they are all designed to be left in when you have a wee or bowel movement.  The pressure of the bladder squeezing is enough to push the urine past the supported area when you need to.

You could still use the Contiform or Efemia pessary when you had a period (as the menstrual fluid can flow through it) but you couldn’t use a tampon at the same time.  The other designs (Contam, Uresta) act as a block but are not absorbant like a tampon, so shouldn’t be used during your period.

Note: The term pessary can be confusing

Because these devices to reduce bladder leakage sit inside the vagina they are termed a “pessary” but they should not be confused with a  traditonal pessary used for supporting Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). For more information about pessaries for prolapse read here

Field Guide: bladder support pessaries to reduce stress urinary incontinence

Each company markets their own product and may use more than one distributor so prices can vary.  Here is my personal “quick guide” to what’s out there at the moment, apologies if it has already changed again by the time you read this!  Please do let me know if I have missed something out, or you find a new supplier or product before me! Please do comment to support other readers & share your experiences:

Contrelle Activgard

picture of Contrelle Activgard

single use only 

currently unavailable in UK  but understood to be returning soon.

Contam Pessary

picture of contam

 

single use only

£26.99 for a starter set (range of 3 sizes “normal” or “large”). From £12.95 each bought singly, or just under £10 each if bought in groups of 3 thereafter from www.stressnomore.co.uk 

* use promotion code SUPPORTEDMUMS at checkout for a 15% discount

These are quite new on the market.  There are no clinical trials listed.

Contam is a brand offering a variety of shapes and sizes of single-use vaginal pessaries. It is the tampon shaped ones that are suitable for supporting the bladder neck. The cube shaped ones are for going much further back in the vagina to support a more severe uterus prolapse. Unlike tampons they do not absorb moisture from the vagina. You soak them in water before use to make them pliable and elastic to insert and to prevent drying out of the vaginal wall.

It is suggested that you position them differently according to the problem: For incontinence: “insert the pessary deep into your vagina, then pull it back slightly so that it’s within reach of your fingers”

Note: see a size chart under “product description” on the website.

Contiform

picture of Contiform

available on NHS prescription

re-use up to 30 times

£97 starter pack of 3, £46 per unit thereafter* from contiform.co.uk

*further 20% reduction if you complete a VAT exemption form

Also available on NHS prescription from your GP [starter pack: NHS order code   SKU184 , PIP code 375-5808 ]

The principle of the Contiform is to create uplift and support for the neck of the bladder.  These are guaranteed to be re-usable up to 30 insertions. So if you felt you needed support daily rather than ad hoc this is likely a more economical option in the longer term.

The Contiform Pessary looks like a plastic hollow tampon.    The smaller circle supports the bladder tube (the urethra). The larger surface lies against the floor of the vagina, giving support to the bowel wall.  They are made of a firm but flexible non-latex plastic. Each can be reused, with the guarantee up to 30 times. There is a “slit” that develops with wear to show you when the device needs changing. Use for longer if not worn all day. There is an optional ribbon to help with removal.

You can buy Contiform online or they are available on NHS prescription.  You would need to tell  your GP about your symptoms, and ask him to prescribe a starter pack for you.  While you are there ask for a referral to specialist physiotherapy too if you haven’t already got your own pelvic floor coach(!).  Especially if using a Contiform works for you – it suggests that a stronger pelvic floor could do this job naturally for you too!

Fiona Rogers, physio, clearly explains how to use the contiform. See 2:18 to understand how the “split” works. 3:08 about removal with or without the ribbon.

Efemia Bladder Support

efemia bladder support device

available on NHS prescription

re-use for 3 months

The Starter Kit contains all three sizes (S- 30mm, M- 35mm and L- 40mm) to find your best fit. £59. Thereafter £49 for each single replacement.

www.aghealth.co.uk

The newest member of this ‘family’ of bladder support pessaries. Efemia feels more petite, lighter and softer than the Contiform & Uresta. It is made of transparent flexible medical grade silicone. It is designed to sit lower in the vagina, tucking just behind the pubic bone. Similar to the space where a TVT procedure is positioned. Positioning correctly is straight forward. You leave the handle part on the outside of the body, but this could be irritating to the labia or vulva tissues for some women (efemia recommend using water based lubricant if this occurs). The external loop makes it easy to remove. It needs just a rinse between uses. You can leave it in place during menstruation but you could not use a tampon at the same time.

The Efemia website has a good video to show you the position it takes up and how this helps to support the bladder tube (the urethra) as you cough or move.

Like Contiform and Uresta it’s effectiveness is supported by small clinical trials. It is available on NHS prescription in England. You would need to tell  your GP about your symptoms, and ask him to prescribe a starter pack for you.  While you are there ask for a referral to specialist physiotherapy too. Especially if using an Efemia Bladder Support works for you. That suggests that a stronger pelvic floor could do this job naturally for you too!

Uresta

picture of uresta

resuable for a year

£179 (ex-VAT ) + £8 P&P  for a starter kit containing 3 sizes  from iMEDicare on 01923 237795 or via uresta.uk

Uresta, designed and manufactured in Canada, joins this family of internal support devices with the unique selling point that it is fully reuseable for one year.

So if you have had good success with one of the devices above this would be a natural progression to a potentially more environmentally friendly and overall less expensive option.

A clinical trial of 32 women found that of those still using it at 2 weeks (21 women out of the original 32), 76% of them (16) were still using it at their 12 month visit.*

*    Farrell SA, Baydock S, Amir B, et al.  Effectiveness of a new self-positioning pessary for the management of urinary incontinence in women.  Am J  Obst  Gynaecol 2007:196:474e.1-474.e8

There is a helpful video from their website below. If you are worried about the high initial cost Uresta offer a full money back guarantee. There is also give good advice about how to find the right size for you.

this video is from uresta.co.uk

Beware misleading marketing

Some of the marketing blurbs list “strengthen your pelvic floor” as a benefit of using their pessary device.  This is only true in the loosest meaning. While they are in place, by artificially re-inforcing the vagina wall,  I suppose you could claim that is “strengthening” the pelvic floor action – but they are in no way making any change to the muscle.  Only exercise can change the composition and activity of the muscles or surgery the non-muscular elements.  When you take the device out the structural situation remains the same.   However, these devices definitely offer an alternative to surgery. Or a Buy Some Time option if you need to complete your family or are undecided about a bigger procedure.

Living life to the full

To conclude – I would suggest that these devices are part of your package of things you are doing/using to change the way that bladder leakage limits your lifestyle. Make it your goal to cure your leakage problem rather than simply manage it.

However, if you are not worrying about leaking, you will fee more confident to exercise. This is a Good Thing for your overall health, wellbeing and mood.   

Do contact your local specialist physiotherapist to help support you. She will guide you towards the right products, exercises and sports for your needs

Have you tried one of these internal bladder support pessaries? What did you think? Any tips for other mums?

Medical Disclaimer

Any information or guidance we provide is not a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of your doctor or healthcare provider.

You must not rely on any information or guidance we provide you with as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provide and we expressly disclaim all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered by you or any third party as a result of your reliance on any information or guidance we provide you with.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your healthcare provider. Do not delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information or guidance we provide you with.

Nothing in this disclaimer will limit or exclude any liability that may not be limited or excluded by applicable law. 

vadgets

Vadgets! Podcast with Why Mums Don’t Jump

My first ever podcast experience this week. In which I tried to demystify the world of pelvic floor gadgets & devices. And was delighted that Helen Ledwick, talented presenter of the Why Mums Don’t Jump, award-winning podcast, coined the term “vadgets” !

It’s a big topic, vadgets! We managed to cover the difference between electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vaginal weights and reminder apps. Even touched on EVB shorts and good underwear!

A gallery of Vadgets discussed:

Do you like learning through listening to podcasts ? I hope this will be a useful conversation to listen to. Get your head around what each type of vadget does. And why you might (or might not) want one.

Want to learn more? We have a whole section on pelvic floor gadgets and devices (aka vadgets) here on the Supported Mums website. We offer knowledgeable depth about how they work, discerning reviews & comparisons, tips and advice on everything from electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vaginal weights and pessaries, phone apps and online fitness options. Choose the “gadget girl” section from the menu bar above.

Listen to us in Season 2 Episode 8: Pelvic Floor Gadgets.

Why Mums Don’t Jump is a wonderful resource. Interesting interviews with mums and health professionals about living with bladder and prolapse issues after childbirth. Highly recommended.

Field Guide: Pelvic floor muscle biofeedback gadgets and devices

Field Guide: pelvic floor biofeedback gadgets

There has been a recent explosion in “fem-tech” options, particularly pelvic floor biofeedback devices. On the one hand this is empowering women to improve their exercising in the privacy of their own homes, on the other hand resulting in a more than a little confusion about what they do.  With most devices over £100 it is important to spend your money wisely.

Pelvic floor Biofeedback devices

Generally, we advise that if you can already contract your pelvic floor muscles then you don’t need to do passive pelvic floor muscle stimulation. Your muscles will develop quicker by doing ‘active’ exercises where the brain initiates the activity rather than a machine. Check out the videos on our Pelvic Floor School.

However, if you WANT to work with a gadget to do active exercises, a biofeedback device can enhance your practice. Particularly, if you need to work on your brain skills (co-ordination, multi-tasking, downtraining) as much as your isolated muscle strength & endurance (which they can be helpful for too).

How to they work?

  • The action of your muscles contracting is relayed to a machine which “shows” you what you are doing.  There are several different ways this can be done.  
    • Some machines pick up the electrical signal from your muscles while some respond to pressure.  
    • Some give you a visual picture of what you are doing,
    • others beep or vibrate in response to your contraction.
  • Biofeedback devices are great to correctly identify your pelvic floor muscles in different positions. They also ensure you are contracting correctly and also help you focus on relaxing fully between contractions
  • These gadgests let you see how well your muscles contract and relax.
  • They give targets to aim for to improve strength, endurance and co-ordination.
  • Practice more complicated tasks. Skills you need for real life or your sport.
  • Make exercising a bit more fun (!) and interesting. This will help you to keep up long-term practice (rather like a piece of gym-kit for your pelvic floor!)

Examples of pelvic floor biofeedback devices:

To be professional, I do not recommend a single specific product or supplier. But I have aimed to narrow down the list of options for  you.  Please do read customer reviews to help you make your decision. Specialist physiotherapists, like myself, have units in clinic for you to try before you buy.

Electrical biofeedback devices: with connecting wires

Peritone EMG biofeedback unit and Simplex EMG biofeedback unit are  the ones we have used in our clinic for many years (same device in different packaging).  Many physiotherapy departments have these for you to use at your visit and/or to borrow. Just like French women train in their postnatal rehabiliation sessions.

They are effectively two parts.  You place a small internal electrode (called a Periform, which is single person use,  into the vagina. Then put your clothes back on!. Then link your internal device by a cable to the handheld Pelvitone or Simplex unit (we can loan one of these to you).  

When you contract your pelvic floor muscles their electrical activity registers on the screen. This makes the  lights change from orange to green and gives an audible beep.  

You can practice your quick maximum power squeezes seeing how high you can make the lights go. Also, practice keeping the lights green while you cough or try moving your arms or legs. There is also a work/rest function which ‘counts’ the endurance holds for you and tells you your average squeeze score at the end.

These devices are widely available from lots of online sellers +/- £160 (including the Periform).

Pelvic floor training devices: which connect via bluetooth to a phone app

Elvie Trainer

Elvie for pelvic floor biofeedback

Elvie  £169

The Elvie updates the design of the traditional units above. It is popular as it has modern smart phone visuals, easy charting & a sense of community amongst users.  

I have one I can show you in clinic but the internal device (the pebble) is the expensive part, and understandably single use only, so I’m afraid you can’t try before you buy.

It is a discreet, attractive, wireless bluetooth pebble-shaped device. This goes inside the vagina. Use an app to turn your phone into the biofeedback monitor/exercise tracker.  No cables between you and the phone but you can’t put knickers back on or the bluetooth can’t connect. It is beautifully packaged and well designed by women. It can be used in the second trimester of pregnancy but is not recommended for the 1st and 3rd trimesters.

Elvie is officially available “on prescription” but sadly, I don’t know anyone whose managed to get one this way.

Pericoach System

Pericoach System for pelvic floor biofeedback with a phone app which can also connect to your physiotherapist

Pericoach System £145

Pericoach System shows your pelvic floor contractions as clear graphs on your phone. Pre-set programmes guide you to practice exercises twice daily and, like the Elvie, uses algorythms to automatically progress you as you improve your skills. You can give you physiotherapist access to your data so that she can guide you virtually.

Pelvifly/K-Goal

Pelvifly is a package connecting the K Goal pressure sensor to a phone app for sensitive imaginative  pelvic floor biofeedback with sophisticated integration to a remote physiotherapist if required

Pelvifly £189 with basic plan. Subscription for full integration with a physiotherapy coach.

Pelvifly is a package connecting the K Goal pressure sensor to a phone app for sensitive imaginative biofeedback games with sophisticated integration to a remote physiotherapist if required

The largest of the internal probes, which will suit those who find more petite devices fall out too easily. It responds to the pressure of your pelvic floor squeezes. This is particularly useful for those who need to learn to relax the pelvic floor (called downtraining). Pelvifly offers the greatest variety of challenges with innovative vibrant visuals – including butterflies visiting flowers, rockets flying through tunnels, basketballs into hoops and an engaging octopus!

The BASIC plan (no further cost after purchase) sends you a muscle test once a month and daily challenges. With a SMART subscription (£24/month) you will have more programs to follow to suit your chosen goals. Pelvifly are rapidly expanding their telehealth services. With a CARE package (£96/month) you will be connected, virtually, to a Pelvicoach (a specialist physiotherapist) who can interact remotely to set up bespoke assessment and training programmes, support your progress, exchange messages and save and print your progress reports.

Pressure Biofeedback devices

kegel8 trainer for pelvic floor biofeedback uses a pressure system

Kegel 8 Biofeedback Pelvic Trainer £94.99

Kegel8’s biofeedback pelvic trainer uses a pressure system where you squeeze on a larger tube (NB latex covering) which moves a dial on the hand held unit.   Unsophisticated but effective for checking what you are doing and therefore a relatively inexpensive option

Epi-no Delphine Plus birth trainer can also be used for  pressure pelvic floor biofeedback can be used in pregnancy

Epi-No Delphine Plus £99.99

Eip-No’s primary purpose is a tool to stretch the perineum in preparation for vaginal delivery. It can also be used as a biofeedback tool before & after birth. The dial lets you visualise the amount of squeeze pressure you are creating with your muscle contraction.

Epi-No (like the Kegel8 Trainer) is less sensitive than the electrical biofeedback or bluetooth devices. However, the advantage of the Epi-No is that it is  certified for use through your whole pregnancy. It can also be used in the latter part of pregnancy (after 37 weeks) to help to stretch the vaginal opening. A recent study * did not show evidence of a protective effect of the Epi-No device on birth trauma, however, anecdotally many women feel it has helped with their confidence to relax the vaginal opening in preparation for birth.

*Kamisan Atan I, et al. BJOG 2016  Does the Epi_No birth trainer prevent vaginal birth-related pelvic floor trauma? A multicentre prospective randomised controlled trial.

Other trainers

Vibrance Pelvic Trainer

The Vibrance Pelvic Trainer    is a petite internal device which vibrates when you correctly contract your pelvic floor muscles.  The device is  easy to insert but you may need to hold it in position. There are no wires, or external unit, the vibration is felt in the device itself.

This device could also be useful as a ‘bridge’ back to penetrative sex, if you don’t want to use a traditional vibrator. You could practice inserting the trainer at your own pace. You might find the vibration element helpful to re-sensitise your tissues.   They are available directly from www.vibrancepelvictrainer.co.uk  £140.83 with VAT exemption.

This links to a digitally annotated instructional video for Vibrance PFT on youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8IoqefRzTU

Note about VAT exemption

If you have had a problem for more than 3 months, you can declare yourself as having a ‘chronic medical condition’ and do not have to pay VAT. There will be a form to complete. This does not apply to the Elvie which is registered as an exercise tracker not a medical device. Not all the online suppliers can offer this service.

Combined Stim & Biofeedback Machines

You can buy combined units which do both functions. However, these are surprisingly expensive (and a bit fiddly). If you feel you need both systems I usually suggest you buy two separate simpler units and switch between them.

Lubricating gel

You will need a water-based lubricating gel to help the insertion of the devices. It is essential to help the electrical devices to operate correctly. A simple, in-expensive, chemist-own or basic brand name is theoretically all you need. If you have concerns about ingredients you may prefer an organic version.   Do read my posts about the difference between water-based and oil-based lubricating products.

.

Not sure what YOU need?

Get clarity first

If you are not too sure how good your muscles are then before you spend ANY money on a gadget or device I would highly recommend an hour spent with a specialist physiotherapist! Your appointment will be £70-90 outside London.

Our role at physiotherapy is to do an internal assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. We will check how well they are working and teach you how to get the best from them – you may not need any gadgets at all! And if you do we can help you make the best choice for your needs.

Try before you buy

Many physio clinics can loan you both muscle stimulation and biofeedback units to try out at home. To see how well they work for you before you consider buying your own. (NB you still have your own internal probe – no sharing of those!).

It is particularly important to consider an individual assessment by a specialist physiotherapist if you are at all worried that your pelvic floor muscles might be too tight rather than too weak.

Physios can also teach you active exercises , which require no equipment at all! We usually combine pelvic floor exercises with appropriate abdominal muscle work as these two areas need to work well together for best support of our internal organs.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have further questions. Readers would love to know your experiences if you would be happy to share?

Savage, A.M (2021). Handheld biofeedback devices to enhance pelvic floor muscle training. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 128, 54-57

Field Guide: pelvic floor muscle stimulation machines

Field Guide: Pelvic floor muscle stimulation machines

Pelvic floor Muscle Stimulation Units

These units are designed to be used at home to artificially stimulate the pelvic floor muscles to work. Electrical impulses are sent from the machine directly to the pelvic floor to mimic the messages that your brain is supposed to send.

These units are ideal for people who really don’t know where their muscles are. Or what they are supposed to do! They are also good for very weak muscles that can only contract a few times before they fatigue. Or muscles that can only muster a very tiny amount of strength.

  • the sensations (a sort of tingly feeling) created by the electrical impulses help your brain to correctly identify the location of your pelvic floor muscles.
  • the machine will stimulate the muscles to work (contract). It is possible to change the settings to favour different parts of the muscle.
  • you can practice joining in with the machine to learn how to contract your muscles without help
  • the machine can help you to ‘hold’ a muscle contraction while you concentrate on learning to breathe and/or move at the same time
  • we usually recommend that you wait until 3 months postnatally before using a stimulation machine.

Examples of stimulation units:

To be professional, I do not recommend a single specific product or supplier. But I have aimed to narrow down the list of options for  you.  Please do read customer reviews to help you make your decision.  Many specialist physiotherapists, like myself , have units in clinic for you to try out before you buy.

Traditionally the stimulation is delivered by a battery-operated handheld unit with wires to a internal electrode. The price points vary depending on the number of programmes available & the style of the electrode supplied. A new design on the market is Pelviva, which are wireless foam single-use electrodes.

kegel8 tight & tone

The kegel 8 Tight & Tone Electronic Pelvic Toner £98.99 is a simple classic pelvic floor stimulation unit which we  have used in our clinic for many years.  The buttons are large and few! You may prefer to use it with a periform electrode

Neen Pericalm is discreet and easy to use

Neen Pericalm £69 + buy a probe

is often brought in by customers (availabe on amazon). I also find this one easy to follow the instructions and set the programmes.  It is also very small and discreet. You will need to buy a vaginal or anal probe to go with it.

Kegel8 Mother Nuture is also a TENS machine

Kegel 8 Mother Nuture £79.99

Even though it is the cheapest one that Kegel8 offer it has all the programmes you will need, plus doubles up as a TENS machine if you anticipate another delivery. A periform probe is a more slender option than the one provided with it.

Nu-tek levator mini

Nu-tek Levator mini continence stimulator.  

 Win-health  supplies our practice.  It is a good stimulator though the buttons and set up are a little fiddly until you understand how it works. I recommend you select the Periform probe (which has a hole in the middle rather than solid) most clients find it more comfortable.

kegel8 Ultra20

Kegel8 Ultra 20 £134

has more programmes & is supplied with the shapely Glide Gold Vaginal Probe. The customer instructions are good. My videos with Kegel8 use this machine as the demo

pelviva foam internal electrode

Pelviva £44.95 for starter pack of 3/£214 for 1 month pack x15

Pelviva is a unique product that does not require a handheld unit like those above. It is a disposable single use foam electrode which is activated just before use then delivers 30-min internal stimulation. video here

How to use a stimulation machine: video series

I have created a series of videos to show how a machine works, what the cables and probes look like and explain in a not-too-tech way how to use them to help problems with bladder leakage, prolapse or recovery after a baby.

These videos will help you understand your condition, as well as how the machines work. Then, you will be able to decide whether a machine would benefit you and which programmes you would choose.

You will see that these videos were created as a project for Kegel8. However, you will find most of the information applies to stimulation machines in general.

Note about VAT exemption

If you have had a problem for more than 3 months you can declare yourself as having a ‘chronic medical condition’ and do not have to pay VAT. There will be a form to complete. This does not apply to the Elvie which is registered as an exercise tracker not a medical device. Not all the online suppliers can offer this service.

Combined Stim & Biofeedback Machines

You can also buy combined units which do both functions. However, these are surprisingly expensive (and a bit fiddly) so if you feel you need both systems I usually suggest you buy two separate simpler units and switch between them.

Lubricating gel

You will need a water-based lubricating gel to help the insertion of the devices. It is also essential to help the electrical devices to operate correctly. A simple, in-expensive, chemist-own or basic brand name is theoretically all you need. However, if you have concerns about ingredients you may prefer an organic version.   Do read my posts about the difference between water-based and oil-based lubricating products.

.

Not sure what YOU need?

Get clarity first

If you are not too sure how good your muscles are then before you spend ANY money on a gadget or device I would highly recommend an hour spent with a specialist physiotherapist! Your appointment will be £70-90 outside London.

Our role at physiotherapy is to do an internal assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. We will check how well they are working and teach you how to get the best from them – you may not need any gadgets at all! And if you do we can help you make the best choice for your needs.

Savage, A.M (2019). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 125, 16-25

Try before you buy

We can loan you both muscle stimulation and biofeedback units to try out at home. To see how well they work for you before you consider buying your own. It is particularly important to consider an individual assessment by a specialist physiotherapist if you are at all worried that your pelvic floor muscles might be too tight rather than too weak.

We can also teach you exercises , which require no equipment at all! We usually combine pelvic floor exercises with appropriate abdominal muscle work as these two areas need to work well together for best support of our internal organs.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have further questions. Readers would love to know your experiences if you would be happy to share?

Savage, A.M (2019). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 125, 16-25

Savage, A.M (2018). Continence products and medication devices: issues that pelvic health physiotherapists need to consider. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 122, 30-40

What's the difference between a pelvic floor biofeedback gadget and a muscle stimulation machine

What’s the difference between a pelvic floor biofeedback device and a stimulation machine?

Help! So many different pelvic floor gadgets – which one for me?

You have probably heard of “gadgets” to help exercise your pelvic floor muscles.   If you have been thinking about buying one you may already have looked around online.  My complete sympathy if you are feeling overwhelmed and confused!  Not only  about which one to get but also the difference between them.  They range in price enormously.  The language can be confusing.  There are so many different suppliers..… 

This post aims to help you understand:

  • the braod difference between a stimulation unit, a biofeedback device and weights/resistance devices and reminder devices/apps

I hope this overview will start to clear the confusion for you.  Once you have a fair idea which category gadget or device interests you most do read the Supported Mums Field Guides (with regularly updated product links)  to each: 

There are broadly four types of pelvic floor gadget

  • Stimulation units
  • Biofeedback devices
  • weights/resistance devices
  • Trackers/Memory Aids

# Stimulation units

send electrical impulses TO your muscles to help them to contract/exercise  (they wholly or partially do it for you)

examples:  Kegel8 Mother Nuture, Kegel8 Ultra20, Neurotrac Continence, NuTek-Levator, Neen Pericalm, Pelviva Muscle Trainer, Innovo Shorts

whereas

# Biofeedback devices

show you what you are doing with your muscles when you contract/exercise them using your own brain.  Some do this by sending an electrical impulse from you to the machine but there are others that do this using a pressure signal or another type of sensor.  

examples: Neen Educator, Kegel8 Pelvic Floor trainer, EpiNo, Simplex,  Pelvitone, Nu-Tek Levator Mini,  Elvie, Pericoach, KGoal (Pelvifly), Vibrance Trainer

Then there are gadgets for pelvic floors that are already working well:

# Gadgets that add resistance and/or weight

to your ‘ordinary’ pelvic floor exercises – to make the muscles work harder – just like you push or pull weights in the gym or pull against a resistance band or  work with a Pilates circle

examples:   Educator,, Pelvic Toner, Pel, Aquaflex Cones, Kegel Weights, Secret Whispers 

# Gadgets and apps that help you remember

to do your pelvic floor exercises, keep track of your progress, or prompt you to follow a sequence to make sure you regular perform a full range of tasks

examples:  Squeezy App, Intimina,  Tena’s PPX app

Note:  Combined Stim & Biofeedback Machines

You can also buy combined units which do both functions but these are surprisingly expensive (and a bit fiddly) so if you feel you need both systems I usually suggest you buy two separate simpler units and switch between them

Keen to learn more? Check out our Field Guides

  • which piece of kit might be useful to you depending on your circumstances
  • the detail of how they work, subtle differences and where to get them
  • when a gadget is not suitable or contraindicated

Supported Mums Field Guides: 


Not sure what YOU need?

Make the most of your local specialist physiotherapist

Most electrical devices cost over £100.  An hours appointment 1:1 with a specialist physiotherapist would  cost £70-90 (depending on area).  If you are hesitating what to buy, or even if you need a device at all,  why not first have a full assessment of your situation first?

Get clarity first

Remember that a specialist physiotherapist like myself, will do a proper examination of your pelvic floor, to give you complete clarity on what your personal pelvic floor strength, endurance and function.  Then together you can decide and plan the most appropriate and effective strategy for you to develop your muscles and skills further.

It is particularly important to consider an individual assessment by a specialist physiotherapist if you are at all worried that your pelvic floor muscles might be too tight rather than too weak.

Try before you buy

Most clinics will have a drawer full of gadgets and devices for you to see, touch  and discuss – and many, like our clinic, have units for you to borrow if you prefer to try before you buy.  

Or if you have already bought a unit or gadget and don’t feel that you are getting the most from it do book an appointment with a physiotherapist who will be able to help you to:

Or you might not need a gadget at all!

We can also teach you exercises , which require no equipment at all! We usually combine pelvic floor exercises with appropriate abdominal muscle work as these two areas need to work well together for best support of our internal organs.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have further questions. Readers would love to know your experiences if you would be happy to share?

Savage, A.M (2019). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 125, 16-25

Savage, A.M (2021). Handheld biofeedback devices to enhance pelvic floor muscle training. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 128, 54-57

Savage, A.M (2018). Continence products and medication devices: issues that pelvic health physiotherapists need to consider. Journal of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy, 122, 30-40