Ok, so here comes a completely honest and slightly embarrassing post. Things are about to get a little bit personal on Life Unexpected (think vaginas and pelvic muscles). So if you’re a Mum and things aren’t quite how you’d like them to be ‘below’, go and pour yourself a cup of tea and come back with a very open mind!
So, how is your pelvic floor?
I’m going to put my hands up and admit that mine is absolutely rubbish. I mean really rubbish. Embarrassingly rubbish.
Ever since I’ve had Evie, I’ve been terrified of going on trampolines, jumping jacks are my least favourite exercise, I always need to run to the toilet if I laugh too hard and quite often I find myself desperately needing the bathroom, at least several times during the night.
So what am I doing about it?
Well, for the past 3-4 years, a big fat nothing. I just hoped that one day my pelvic floor would miraculously return to what is was pre-baby and to be honest, I’ve kind of just ignored it.
Elvie – Kegel Trainer With A Difference
A few weeks ago, the creators of a little gadget called Elvie asked me if I wanted to review their very renowned personal ‘pelvic floor’ trainer. It’s been endorsed by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and online has been referred to as a ‘FitBit for your Vagina.
At first I was going to say a big fat no. The thought of talking about my vagina on Life Unexpected, terrified me more than having an uncontrollable giggle fit in the middle of a superstore. And that’s before I saw just how ‘up close and personal’ I would need to get with this famous kegel trainer.
But, before I’d had a chance to say no to Elvie, I got into a very random conversation about vaginas with a few of my girlfriends (both with and without kids). Pelvic floors came up and hearing other women’s stories of incontinence, issues with ‘sexy’ time and bowels, made me realise just how important it is to keep your pelvic muscles strong.
One of my friends kindly pointed out to me, that our pelvic floors won’t just bounce back like I thought. Yes, we kind of do need to put in a little bit of effort. Ok, I was very naiive about that one. So, I decided to take one for the team and asked Elvie to send me over one of their gadgets to try out. Oh boy, is this device worth reading about.
Keeping Your Pelvic Muscles Strong…There Is An App For That
As soon as you have a baby, all the midwives and health visitors tell you how important it is to do your pelvic floor exercises. So, we all did them right?
Well…according to my friends and from my own experiences, yes we did them. For the first day or two. After that? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong, doing pelvic floor exercises isn’t hard. In fact, we can do them anytime and anywhere. So, why don’t we? Well if you’re anything like me, then you’re really forgetful and every time I do pelvic floor exercises, to be honest, I don’t think it’s making much of a difference.
Introducing Elvie. Elvie is a kegel trainer and it is oh so clever. It uses Bluetooth technology and connects to an app on your Smartphone. Once it’s connected, it guides you through short five-minute pelvic floor workouts. It reminds you to exercise, gives you a workout plan and it even charts your performance over time.
Well that’s completely stomped on all of my previous excuses for not doing pelvic floor exercises. So, here comes my next question. Does it work? And Why Do I Need It?
It’s no secret that it’s important to do pelvic floor exercises. Doing pelvic floor exercises can help to prevent so many issues, including problems with bowels, back pain, prolapsing organs (yup, really) and incontinence. A strong pelvic floor can also improve your ‘sexy’ time and can help you to have more intense orgasms. Oh la la!
The Elvie…A Futuristic Gadget
The Elvie arrived in a very swanky looking box. Inside was a futuristic looking pod, with a charging port on the front. One press on the top and it pops open to reveal a very discreetly stored Elvie.
The actual Elvie itself, is a small egg-shaped device wrapped in medical-grade silicon. It also comes with an extra cover, just in case you need it.
In all honesty, when I first opened it, it reminded me of a giant tadpole. At first, I was mortified about the idea of getting up this ‘close and personal’ with a gadget that I’d just met and the thought of then connecting it to my phone sounded ludicrous.
But, I persisted and I downloaded the app. Within minutes of starting the workout I was converted.
5 Minute ‘Kegel’ Workout For Busy Mums
The Elvie is so easy to use. You simply open the app and follow the instructions on screen. First of all it needs you to connect the Elvie to your phone by pressing it with your hands. Once its been recognised, you then insert it into your vagina (yes the whole process feels super weird at first) and your workout can begin.
Do you know what? I actually find the exercises really fun and slightly addictive too! The app gives you several different workouts to do over the space of five minutes. They sort of look like fun mobile phone games or an old school version of Crash Bandicoot. You have targets to hit, lines to jump over, but instead of using your hands, your kegel muscles are the controls.
One thing I will mention, is that although I can definitely feel the trainer at all times, it’s not uncomfortable in the slightest. It’s also really interesting to see in real time, what effect flexing your pelvic floor muscles is actually having. In my case, it showed me how rubbish my pelvic floor is.
For the first week, I was awful at completing the levels. I could barely hit any of the targets which was so embarrasing! But, I really loved the challenge that the Elvie had set me and I was determined to level up.
One thing I really love about the Elvie is the instant feedback. The trainer gives you detailed tips on how to do the exercises and also tips on how you can perform better. My performance sucked at first, so I was getting tips a plenty. You can also see if you’re hitting targets and find out which of the exercises you find easier, or harder.
Elvie Trainer uses biofeedback technology. It’s shown to be the most effective way of training the pelvic floor, and this clever device can even detect if you are exercising incorrectly so that you can get it right.
There are four different levels of workout, from training mode to advanced. I am making it my personal mission to eventually get to the advanced levels.
When you’ve completed your first ‘introductory’ workout session, Elvie creates you a personal workout plan that fits in with your schedule and it gives you goals to work towards. Mine is set to three workouts a week, with each one lasting 5 minutes. I’ve also set the app so it gives my phone reminders, so I don’t forget to do a workout like I used to.
I can almost hear my health visitor breathing a big sigh of relief. *Finally, she is doing them!*
Six Weeks In…
…and I feel like a new woman. Yes, really! I knew that I’d see some improvements, but I didn’t realise it would be this fast or drastic. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but my pelvic muscles feel so much stronger than when I started. Oh and I even went on a trampoline the other day and I have to say, I did marvellously.
My nightly toilet habits have cut back too, and although I still can’t quite sit through a giggle fit, sneezing is no longer an issue. I even survived a long car journey the other day, with only needing to stop once! My fiancee was so proud (and less annoyed than usual).
I will 100% be continuing my workouts with the Elvie. I really love that they’re not time consuming and that they can be very easily slotted into my busy day. The difference they are going to make to my life are vaster than I realised too.
So, the Elvie is pretty expensive. But, is the £160 price tag justified?
Oh yes, definitely. I’ve only just started my journey with Elvie and I know it’s going to be used for a very long time yet. I also know that if I ever have another baby (oh hey fiancee if you’re reading this), my pelvic floor is in very safe hands with Elvie (thank you!). You can still use the Elvie throughout pregnancy and can resume training within six weeks after giving birth.
I have to say. I’m actually a little bit excited about the prospect of not having to worry so much about leaking every time I do exercise, or when I have a fun, giggly night with my friends.
If your pelvic floor isn’t what it is and you have these worries too, do check out the Elvie. It is a pretty incredible little gadget. The Elvie isn’t just for Mums either, but it’s been designed for anyone who wants to strengthen their pelvic muscles.
I’ve set myself a funny goal for when I reach the advanced level. I’m going to do jumping jacks on a trampoline, while watching a comedy sketch! I’ll even film it and share it on Life Unexpected, so watch this space!
So…how is your pelvic floor and what do you think of the Elvie Kegel Trainer? Let me know in the comments below.
* I was sent the Elvie for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own!