Pelvic Floor Toners
The pelvic floor is composed of superficial and deep muscle layers, slung like a hammock between the coccyx at the base of your spine and your pelvis as shown on the right below drawing, the main pelvic muscle being the Pubococcygeus Muscle. As you can see there are two ‘holes’ – the urethra and vagina positioned in the forward and the anus positionned at the rear.
This is why the pelvic floor muscles help to prevent the involuntary leakage of urine, support the organs in your abdomen, protect the pelvic organs from external damage, hold the pelvic organs, like the bladder in the correct position, control passing of urine, gas and bowel motions and play a role in sexual sensations during intercourse
In order for the pelvic floor muscles to carry out their function well, they need to be fit and adequately toned just like any other muscle in the body.
A weakness of the pelvic floor muscles may cause or worsen a number of problems like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and a loss in sexual sensation or a feeling in vaginal looseness.
Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including under use of these muscles, damage due to pregnancy and childbirth, change in hormones that goes with menopause, decreased muscle tone due to aging, damage to the pelvic floor muscles due to long term straining when constipated or when associated with a chronic cough or obesity and surgery.
Intensive and regular pelvic floor exercises help by both relaxing and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles so they become firm and supportive. It is important to learn to do the pelvic floor exercises properly and make sure from time to time that you are still doing them the right way.
In some cases, if you are having problems performing pelvic floor exercises or need any extra help, a health professional will suggest you other alternatives like biofeedback devices or electrical stimulation devices to tighten your vaginal muscles.
These biofeedback devices, also called pelvic floor toners, involve placing a sensor, also known as an electrode or probe into the vagina. The probe, connected to a visual and/or sound system, lets you see and/or hear the contraction. According to the colour of the light or the intensity of the sound, you will know whether the muscular contraction is done properly or not.
These pelvic floor toners allow you to correct the contraction while doing the exercises on your own, as well as allowing you to gradually increase the effort and duration. The pelvic floor toners will help you get more and more confident knowing that you are correctly contracting your pelvic floor muscles and properly carrying out your exercices.
On the other hand, the electrical stimulation devices, also called pelvic floor stimulators, use a different but very effective technique that passes mild electrical pulses via an internal vaginal probe to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles, stimulating your pelvic floor muscles deep down, inducing artificial contractions of the pelvic floor muscles and consequently tightening your vagina.
Sometimes the pelvic floor muscles cannot contract because of nerve damage due to the delivery of a baby or surgery and pelvic floor stimulators will create artificial contractions that will help them strengthen.
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