The spate of articles last week on how French mothers are treated to government-sponsored vaginal gymnastics sessions for several weeks postpartum motivated me to rummage around for the promotional sample of the “Laselle Kegel Exerciser” I recently received from the company INTIMINA. (A perk of blogging about vaginas? I get free vagina exercisers in the mail.)
So I open it up and there’s this lovely packaging and a little white silk sack.
Inside is a silicone ball– smaller than a golf ball, wider than a large tampon– with a little weight wobbling around inside of it. I was instructed to insert the pretty ball into my vagina (they also supply some fancy feminine “moisturizer,” AKA lube in pink tube, to help with this) and it kind of slips up in there and then you can’t really feel it.
But when you change position or walk the tiny weight wobbles to and fro and basically reminds you that you have pelvic floor muscles and you should be squeezing them. So squeeze you do. Sometimes involuntarily, sometimes on purpose. So now you’re doing kegels many more times a day than you might be otherwise. There are three weight settings and you can get double balls for a serious work out. There’s also a handy string attached for removal purposes.
I’m annoyed there’s not more medical attention on pelvic floor fitness in the U.S.– especially preventative attention! If you online and google some combination of the words vagina, tight, incontinence, tampon falling out… and you’ll find some pretty depressing threads where women are confiding on one another about childbirth injuries and/or incontinence and they seem to figuring a lot out on their own.
It’s no fun to have prolapsed organs or a slack vagina. And it’s not inevitable. Genetics definitely play a role, but there are plenty of ways women can be educated and supported to prevent serious problems from happening. Has your doctor or midwife ever talked to you about your pelvic floor muscles? Or vaginal strengthening tips? None of mine ever have. Like many women, I just read about this stuff on the Internet.
So back the little pink ball I’m ‘wearing.’ I can’t tell if it’s working wonders, but it’s certainly a painless reminder of my core and pelvic muscles. It’s making me, in other, crunchier, words, mindful of my yoni. And one should always be mindful of one’s yoni, no?
Though our government seems to be entirely preoccupied by our vaginas of late, I doubt we’ll be getting state-sponsored pelvic floor workouts anytime soon. So here’s something to try on your own.
photo credit: Intima