Have Better Orgasms and Fewer Bladder Leaks — Using Your Smartphone!
These apps help you exercise your pelvic floor, perfect your form and track your progress, too.
Two kids, gravity, a few extra pounds and a loss of elasticity and muscle tone have taken a toll. When I asked my gynecologist what I could do to keep things right and tight below stairs, her reply was quick: “Do your Kegel exercises.” And I did what I always do — I promised to start doing them faithfully, then promptly forgot a few days later.
Yes, we’ve all heard about the benefits of these vaginal calisthenics to not only help prevent incontinence as we age but also to improve and intensify sex. But just like sit-ups, I found that Kegel exercises can get boring.
Then a girlfriend told me about a little wireless gizmo that she credits for better sex and drier undies. Though she usually uses it in the privacy of her home, “It’s so discrete, I’ve even used it while at work a couple times,” she confessed of her Bluetooth-enabled trainer. Stationed at her standing desk, she squeezes and releases while the app display tells her to flex harder. To her coworkers, she simply appears to be checking messages on her phone. Intrigued, I started browsing models (including analog options under $50 that don’t use Bluetooth) online:
Think of the Perifit as the Candy Crush of pelvic floor trainers, designed to keep you motivated and consistent. The device itself consists of a 4.5-inch-long suppository (it looks like a hot-pink sex toy) made of medical-grade silicon. Bluetooth connects it to a game app on your phone. Yes, I said game app. Once inserted, you control the onscreen action by squeezing and tightening your pelvic floor and superficial vaginal muscles, giving new meaning to the term “joy stick.” And like any game, it takes concentration and consistency to improve your score. ($149.00, perifit.co)
The Elvie Trainer
My friend’s little secret, Elvie is another Bluetooth-enabled trainer. But this one works through biofeedback. When you place the small tulip-shaped trainer inside your vagina to do your Kegel exercises, the connected app on your mobile screen displays a gem that lifts in response to the strength of your contractions. The app features six workouts over four levels, from training to advanced. You can see your progress as you practice. And like a personal trainer, the app corrects your form. ($199, elvie.com)
The kGoal Classic
Like the other two apps, the kGoal is also Bluetooth-connected and gives you visual feedback as you do your exercises. But this one can give you a more customized fit from day one because the part of the device you insert can be partially inflated or deflated to suit your size. The kGoal has an interesting extra: It vibrates quietly when inserted, hitting some of your more sensitive parts. Yep, you may get a little immediate gratification. ($149, kgoal.com)
Options under $55
Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights
Includes six progressive silicone-covered exercise weights and a pelvic floor training program. Users can also contact physical therapists on staff with questions. ($54.99, intimaterose.com).
Intimina Laselle Kegel Weighted Exerciser Set
Resistance training exercisers in progressive weights. ($28.46, intimina.com)
Coughing, laughing, sneezing — and even exercising — all are common triggers of urinary incontinence, which nearly half of women 50 and older experience. But only about one-third of those affected discuss it with their doctor, according to the results of a new University of Michigan-AARP poll. Just 38 percent of women affected reported doing pelvic-floor exercises, which have been proven to help manage symptoms. Need more how-tos? AARP has hooked us up with these expert pointers. Whether we do them on our own or assisted by a device, Kegels work. So let’s get busy, ladies!