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Why toning you pelvic floor muscles is an essential activity for women

By Pelvic Floor
on April 10, 2020

As winter approaches and colds and flu become more common and especially during this time of the Covid 19 lock down, prevention and correction of bladder weakness is important for your health and well being 

If your pelvic floor muscles have been compromised, you are likely already aware of the consequences of this. If you cough or sneeze and wet you pants a little or a lot, if you laugh and wet you pants, if you cant run, jump or sometimes lift heavy objects without wetting your pants, then now is the time to tone and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

 You may have heard from a medical professional that bladder weakness is a normal part of aging or a natural consequence of childbirth and you just have to accept it. You may have been advised that surgery including the use of surgical mesh is your best option.

It is important for you to know that for most women this may not be true. And now whether you are working from home or at an office, hospital, in the fields or as a driver, whatever your age or life stage, you can make a difference and improve your pelvic floor muscles.

Why now? The longer you leave it, the weaker the muscles get, the more likely you risk becoming incontinent particularly in older age.

It is not your fault that you pelvic floor muscles are out of shape, many women who work out and are fit and strong on the outside, struggle with bladder weakness. Some women have a predisposition to bladder weakness and may experience leakage from a young age, childbirth – the carrying of the baby during pregnancy and the natural hormonal changes can cause bladder weakness, with each successive child- if no pelvic floor strengthening occurs- the problem increases. A caesarean birth is no protection against bladder weakness. The hormonal changes during menopause also weakens the pelvic floor muscles, so women who have never given birth may experience bladder weakness.

Pelvic floor exercises are fairly easy to do and free. Many women find it difficult to know where there muscles are and to remember to do the exercises frequently enough to make a difference.

Smart Balls are a great option as an easy and effective way to tone and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They are not a miracle cure and they do work. Why? They take the thinking out of doing your pelvic floor exercises, however they are only effective if you use them regularly and for an initial period of at least one month and for some women it can take longer.

Inserted high in the vagina and worn as you go about your daily activities, Smart Balls are a weighted ball inside a super hygienic medical grade silicone outer ball. The Smart Ball rests on your pelvic floor muscles and the combination of weight and movement as you go about your daily activities around the home, work or as you exercise, tones and strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.

You are likely to notice some improvements after as little as a week of daily use, however it is essential that you continue and increase the amount of time you wear your Smart Ball for until you can wear it for 5-10 hours per day for a minimum of a month.

How will you know they are working?

You will notice if you sneeze and engage your pelvic floor muscles, you no longer wet your pants. You can go for a walk or run and not wet your pants, once you have full control back you can even jump on a trampoline and not wet your pants. You can laugh riotously with your friends and not wet your pants.

A few key points;

  • Follow the instructions provided with your Smart Balls as like any muscle training system you need to build up to using the Smart Balls. You wouldn’t run a marathon on your first attempt at running and same with Smart Balls, start with a short period of time and build on this each day


  • Always use a good quality hypoallergenic lube. We recommend Probe or Astroglide. If you are especially sensitive to lube, you may need to change the lube if you develop a sensitivity to a brand. We do not recommend flavoured or coloured lube or lubes with chemical preservatives.

  • If you find using the Smart Ball to start with a bit uncomfortable, persevere – it should not however be painful. If it is you may not have inserted the ball high enough in the vagina, you may need more lube or to pop the retrieval loop inside the vagina.

  • Relax as you insert and remove the Smart Balls. Do not panic if you can’t remove them. Many women tense up, which tightens the pelvic floor muscles – this is not a tug of war – if you cant remove the Smart Ball, leave it for half an hour and have another go – practise squeezing and relaxing your muscles so you know what relaxing feels like and then gently pull them out. Do not get someone else to pull them out. You can sit on the toilet and gently push like you are going to have a poo and they will likely slip out

  • There will be no harm done by leaving them in for a while longer than you intended, they cannot go anywhere in the vagina and gravity will always cause them to drop down

  • Always wash in hot soapy water after use and rinse thoroughly to remove soap residues (to avoid irritation). We recommend hanging them somewhere handy so you will remember to use them daily – by your toothbrush or in the shower can be good places – depending on your home situation.

  • Smart Balls should only be used vaginally and are not safe for inserting anally.

  • SmartBalls are made in Germany from super hygienic medical grade silicone. They were developed by an incontinence specialist midwife and the shape, weight and materials tested. They are designed to last for years (do no leave in a drawer where they could be cut by scissors, nail clippers or knives), so you can keep using them over time. There are many copies in the marketplace that are made from lesser quality materials, we believe Smart Balls are the leading pelvic floor toning balls.

 

 

COVID 19 Lockdown Update from Pelvic Floor Health

By Pelvic Floor
on April 03, 2020

Covid 19 lock down update. 

After careful consideration of the MBIE guidelines for an essential service and whether we could meet the criteria for safe operation for both staff and customers,  our company has registered with MBIE as an essential service (MBIEEB-831) as we believe maintaining good pelvic floor health is important for the mental health and physical well being of women.

This means we can deliver directly to your door in a contactless transaction. Only one Pelvic Floor Team member in good health who is in a closed bubble will process your orders.following good hand washing protocols and wearing a face mask. 

As standard practise we recommend washing always your Smart Balls before use and as these are made from super hygienic and durable silicone, you can wash them in hot soapy water and rinse soap residues off. Please do not use any chemical sprays with your Smart Balls as the vagina is a sensitive area and residues could irritate. Preferable to use sensitive soap, however a good rinse should remove any soap residues

If you are in lock down at home, you can wear your SmartBalls around home and as you get more confident wear them out and about about walking and exercising.

If you do get an illness causing coughing, it can result in bladder leakage. We encourage you to do your pelvic floor exercises daily or use Smart Balls and get your pelvic floor muscles back in shape

Stay safe, stay home and use the time to banish bladder weakness

Ask a Question. Natratone or Smart Balls?

By Pelvic Floor
on February 14, 2020

I was wondering if I should use the NatraTone or a Smart Ball. How do you know which one would be better for you to use?

Pelvic Floor Answers

It really depends on you and the time you have available as to whether Natratone or SmartBalls would work best for you.

SmartBalls are a very easy care solution. You can wear them as you go about your daily routine and you muscles will get a work out. Provided you follow the 6-8 week daily use plan you will get good results. All you have to do is remember to put the balls in and take them out each day. Some women may need to start with the Uno-single ball and then progress to the double balls, for many women however the single ball will achieve the results they need.

Natratone are suited to women who can take the time and are committed to doing the progamme that involves lying down and working out your pelvic floor muscles. Natratone has been developed to activate all the muscles in the pelvic area and provided you follow the workout will definitely result in pelvic floor strength.

Both SmartBalls and Natratone are effective in correcting and preventing bladder weakness. Overall Natratone will activate more muscles and may more quickly give results, but require a bit more effort to use.

Either way you can’t go wrong. Both products are made from medical grade materials and can be used and reused over your lifetime.

I have issues with my pelvic floor when coughing and running

By Pelvic Floor Health
on November 15, 2019

I have issues with my pelvic floor when coughing and running 

Can you please provide some advice? I am 41 and have two children but my youngest is 7 now.

Pelvic Floor Answers

The approach to menopause is a time when many women who may have never experienced bladder weakness previously,  find they have issues particularly when sneezing, coughing, running and jumping on trampolines.

Like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles weaken with lack of use and it can be difficult to know which are the right muscles to switch on and how much is enough exercise to make a difference.

The initial cause of bladder weakness is usually pregnancy itself - the constant pressure bearing down on the pelvic floor muscles, this is exacerbated by each pregnancy. The body naturally produces hormones during pregnancy that allow the pelvic to soften to prepare for childbirth.

The drop in oestrogen leading up to menopause can result in a similar effect where the pelvic floor muscles soften or lose their muscle tone. This can affect otherwise physically fit women. Heavy lifting, straining and coughing can also lead to what is often referred to as stress incontinence.

Smart Balls are a simple and effective method of toning the pelvic floor muscles, and correcting and preventing bladder weakness in women of all ages and life stages. There is no magic to them, they are a weighted ball that when inserted vaginally rest and move across the pelvic floor muscles. The muscles naturally contract to hold the balls in place. So apart from when you start using the balls, there is no real effort required other than inserting and removing the Smart Balls.

Like any exercise regime, Smart Balls are ideally worn for short periods of time (such as from 30 minutes if your muscles are quite compromised) and building up until you can wear the balls for up to several hours a day. We don't recommend going straight into wearing them for hours the first few times as the pelvic floor muscles can get fatigued and you can take a few days before you can hold them in if you go to hard out at the start. (Same principle as not running a marathon the first day you take up running.

Once you have done the 6-8 weeks of regular work out, you can then shift to a once or twice every couple of weeks to keep your tone on.

Smart balls come with instructions for use. 

We recommend always using a hypoallergenic lube with your Smart Balls for comfort and ease of use. Start with the single ball Smart Balls Uno and then progress to the double balls Smartball Duo. These can be purchased in a set with everything you need to get started.

Smart Balls are made in Germany from skin friendly, non porous silicone and are designed to be used and reused over several years as needed, can be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed and stored away from sharp objects.

Check out the Pelvic floor blog for other FAQ's and  women's questions answered

Will Smart Balls help with a sore pelvic floor after childbirth?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on August 07, 2019

Will Smart Balls help me with the pain post childbirth as well as with the bladder control?

I recently gave birth to my first child, 2 and a half month ago, through a vaginal labor. Since then I have been feeling sore in my pelvic floor, like a muscular pain. I have also noticed some incontinence.

 Pelvic Floor Answers

Pregnancy and the birthing process can result in soreness and we would recommend not using the Smart Balls until this pain has gone away.

A pelvic floor physiotherapist - often linked through your local hospital - can do an examination and assessment if you are still experiencing pain in 4-6 weeks time.

It could be a number of things including bruising, stretching, tearing or muscle spasm. Two an a half months is not a great deal of time from giving birth which has been likened to an extended boxing fight.If possible, keep heavy lifting to a minimum for the next 2-3 months at least.

The Smart Balls can definitely help with the bladder issues, so come back to us if you are still experiencing bladder weakness once you are fully healed

I am looking to tighten up and also strengthen my pelvic floor muscles

By Pelvic Floor Health
on July 11, 2019

I am looking at your products and unsure which of the two options are best for me. I have had two children naturally and have a weakened bladder. I am looking to tighten up and also strengthen my pelvic floor muscles.

Question. Can you please advise which of your two products would be more suitable?

Pelvic Floor Answers

Bladder Weakness and compromised pelvic floor muscles are a very common outcome of pregnancy. Smart Balls are the most popular and easy to use pelvic floor training system and can be easily integrated into the life of a busy woman.

We recommend going for the Smart Balls Power Pack which has the Smart Balls Uno for getting you started and the Smart Balls Duo for long term pelvic floor tone maintenance. a hypoallergenic lube is also essential to ease of use and is included in the Power Pack.

By following the simple training programme your bladder weakness issues can be a thing of the past after 12-16 weeks of use.
Smart Balls are made from medical grade materials and are long lasting so you can use them for years to come to maintain optimum pelvic floor tone over time.

This is especially important as women get older too as menopause and pregnancy are the two most challenging times for the pelvic floor muscles.

Underactive bladder- finding it difficult to empty my bladder

By Pelvic Floor Health
on July 06, 2019

I am 25 years old. The last 2-3 years I’ve had some bladder issues. When I go to the toilet, the pee often starts very slow and then almost stops and then begins again.

Question

Sometimes I’m not feeling that I empty my bladder - especially when I’ve been holding it for a while. Sometimes it’s almost normal. I don’t have a problem with holding on the pee, I don’t leak or have to rush to the bathroom. No problems with jumping, sneezing, laughing either. My doctor did some testing for infection which came out negative. I often have lower back pain and a small scoliosis. I have always been very active. Is there any thing I can do to improve this issue.

Pelvic Floor Answers

Urinary retention can have some of the same underlying issues as bladder weakness and building up pelvic floor strength to support and blood flow to the pelvic floor organs, and improve bladder control can be helpful.

There can be many reasons for bladder retention such as a hereditary issue (other women in your family may have the same problem) the shape of the urethra or a partial bladder prolapse all of which can make it difficult to properly empty the bladder.
Heavy lifting, weights training and standing still a lot, can affect the pelvic floor muscles and working to improve these can have a positive impact on back pain also.

Using Smart Balls can be a good first step to see if the issues can be resolved quite simply and quickly
Increasing your intake of water to ensure your system is well hydrated and ensuring your bladder is sufficiently full before emptying also assists with bladder training. This would mean waiting until you feel the urge to urinate then waiting 5-10 minutes longer and then going.

Smart Balls are easy to use and can help you identify your pelvic floor muscles to help you release them fully when going to the toilet.

I would recommend trialling the SmartBalls - initially the Smart Ball Uno for 6-8 weeks along with increasing your fluid (water) intake.

If you do not get any improvement from this then I would recommend making an appointment with a pelvic floor therapist for an assessment to see- they can offer some electric stimulation therapy and may be able to identify if you have a prolapsed bladder. This can occur as a result of pregnancy-childbirth and heavy lifting

They may then recommend seeking further more specialist help if you have a prolapsed bladder or an obstruction or require oestrogen replacement therapy

If you decide to go ahead and try the Smart Balls there are step by step instructions on how to use them. If after using them for 6-8 weeks you do not notice any improvement in your ability to empty your bladder then please get back in touch and we can assist you with the next steps.

If you notice some improvement, then we suggest continuing with the Smart Balls and possibly upgrading to the Smart Balls Due that offer a stronger pelvic floor workout.

Ask a Question. Treatment for a mild prolapse issue

By Pelvic Floor Health
on June 12, 2019

For mild prolapse issues we find the Smart Balls are around 90% more popular with women than the Natratone so you may wish to trial these as an alternative. 
Smart Balls are more easily used as part of your daily routine hence their popularity. They are very effective at resolving bladder weakness issues. 

Read more »

Ask a Question. What are Smart Balls made from? Are they Body Safe?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on June 01, 2019

The purpose of the medical grade plastic in the Smart Ball is to provide a hard surface for the inner ball to move against to increase the stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles and also to make the product easier to both insert and remove. 

Read more »

Ask a Question. Bladder Weakness for Trans Guy

By Pelvic Floor Health
on November 26, 2018

What is the best solution for a trans guy with bladder weakness?

Question; I'm a trans guy who has had bladder weakness since pre transition. I hoped with increased muscle tone it would have gotten better but it hasn't at all. There is no medical reason for it, everything was checked when I had my hysterectomy and it's all healthy. Aside form the hysto I still have all the factory fitted plumbing. 

I was wondering which of the solutions would be best? I like the idea of the balls better, more for the fact I can put them in and leave them but I'm happy to take direction on what's best. I would just be happy to be able to go for a run/hike without smelling like pee . . . 

Pelvic Floor Answers

Thanks so much for your question. Making pelvic floor health information available and accessible for trans guys is vital and we really appreciate your courage emailing in.

You’ll have noticed most of our written info is focused towards cis-women so please change out what body part names etc work for you.

Many people experience pelvic floor weakness even though there is no apparent medical reason. Toning and strengthening your muscle tone through focused stimulation such as with the Smart Balls is definitely something we recommend both pre and post any pelvic surgery, and that becomes essential if you have experienced bladder weakness pre surgery.

Even though you have not noticed an improvement with increased muscle tone (I’m guessing you are referring to after being on T and the increased muscle tone in your body), one benefit of being on T is that you won’t experience the increased muscle weakness that come from aging with female hormones.

So back to the inner workout regime that will work for you. Whatever you feel comfortable to name your bits, using SmartBalls (for top hole use only) is a great place to start.

Smart Balls are very effective as long as you do actually use them regularly. I’d recommend a Power Pack which gives the option of both the Uno single ball which is a great place to start, along with the Duo which you can use once your pelvic floor tone increases.

You are basically toning a strengthening a hammock of band of muscles that attaches to the pubic bone in the front and the sacrum.
Use lube to insert the balls and do read the detailed insertion tips here.

Do be mindful of your bodies response to wearing the Smart Balls internally and build up gradually so it feels like a positive experience.
Once you can hold the Smartball Uno inside easily without it slipping down towards the opening, you can then actually go out and about with the Smart Balls in…walking and tramping with Smartballs is a fantastic pelvic floor workout and something to aspire to.
It is different for everyone but after 3-4 weeks of daily use, there should be a noticeable increase in pelvic floor strength, and less leakage.

Once you have mastered the Uno, try using the Duo balls as the greater weight will aid the toning and strengthening process too. 

Do persevere as you deserve to be able to do the activities you enjoy without pee leakage. If you feel inspired let us know how you get on…

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