Tools to Improve Kegel Exercise Comfort

Both men and women can benefit from strengthening their pelvic muscles. Not only do strong pelvic floor muscles treat a variety of conditions, like urinary incontinence, but they also help make childbirth easier and improve sexual performance. Because these muscles are deep and internal, it can be difficult to isolate them and perform the Kegel exercises used to get them in shape. There are a few tools you can use to improve the overall comfort and success of these movements.

Vaginal Cone

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOC), vaginal cones are helpful for women who wish to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. Vaginal cones are inserted into the vagina, sort of like a tampon. They are weighted, and the challenge becomes holding the cone in place without letting it drop or fall out. This calls upon the same muscles as Kegels. If you are a woman who has trouble performing Kegels comfortably, you can get the same benefits using a vaginal cone.

KegelMaster

The KegelMaster is like a ThighMaster for your pelvic floor muscles. Some women find they can perform these exercises more easily and comfortably if they have something for their muscles to work against. The KegelMaster is inserted into the vagina, then by releasing a screw on the handle, it opens slightly. When you perform your Kegel exercises, you actually squeeze the device closed. This lets you know you’re performing the squeeze correctly. You can adjust the tension on the KegelMaster as your muscles get stronger.

Mirror

The University of Michigan Health System advises a man to use a mirror to ensure he is doing the Kegels correctly. A mirror makes it easier for a man to locate the pelvic floor muscles correctly. A mirror can help a man determine if he is doing the exercises correctly. Men can find Kegels uncomfortable, if they are straining too hard to perform the movements. Using a mirror, the man can watch for the gently, small lift of his testicles and know that he has squeezed the muscle hard enough.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help make sure you are isolating the correct muscles. During a biofeedback session, your health care provider will use special electrodes to measure muscle activity. After the electrodes are in place, you will perform a Kegel exercise. The biofeedback monitoring equipment will illustrate what muscles you have tensed and for how long. You and your health care provider will use this information to help you find the right muscles and work them the correct way.

Kegel Balls

Kegel balls or ben-wa balls work on the same principal as vaginal cones. They are weighted balls that come loose in pairs, or on a string with one or more balls attached. Women insert Kegel balls into the vagina and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles to hold them in place. Some women also try to move the balls back and forth.

About this Author

Lillian Downey has a diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women’s studies, nonprofit management, political science and nursing. She’s worked as an intern sex-educator, clinic manager and mental health professional. She is currently studying to be a birth doula and childbirth educator. She served as editor-in-chief of “Nexus Journal of Literature and Art” and an assistant fiction editor at the “Antioch Review.”