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Ask a Question. When will I know I am ready for the next level Smart Ball?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on August 30, 2016

Do you think I should try the next level up of the Smartball? If not now, when will I know when I'm ready for that next level?

Question.

I just have a query...my daughter is almost 15 months old - during the 30hr labour my urethra was crushed between her head and my pelvis and I then had a third degree episiotomy.
So my pelvic floor got quite a hammering. I saw a hospital physio who tested my muscles and got me doing more pelvic floor exercises.

I've also been using the Smartball Uno (the beginner one) for about 1 hour a day, doing pelvic floor exercises regularly, and doing pilates as much as I can (which is only once a week sometimes) but I still leak or at least feel compromised during high impact exercise when it involves splitting the legs!!

I'm assuming that I will get back to where I was prior to being pregnant? Some women say that's just what childbirth does but I don't want to settle for that. I feel like I'm doing a lot. My physio said not to keep the ball in all day so I usually do it for an hour or so at a time when I'm walking. So...
Do you think I should be keeping the Smartball in all day?
Or
Do you think I should try the next level up of the Smartball? If not now, when will I know when I'm ready for that next level?

Sorry for so many questions, just got a bit down on it today at the gym when I thought I would be okay. Thanks in advance.

Pelvic Floor Answers

Thank you for your enquiry and great to hear that you are so committed to recovering your pelvic floor strength. I cannot say for sure that you will be able to return to your pre-birth state, however I do think there are still options for you to improve.

My first suggestion would be to increase the amount of time you are wearing the SmartBall for as a single ball for one hour per day is not enough time do make a difference. I do NOT recommend using the double.
SmartBalls at all at this stage as they are double the weight and would be too much of a strain on your pelvic floor muscles.

Perhaps you could speak with your physio- who definitely has the specific skills and training- and ask if you can increase the amount of time you wear the single Smartball for by 30 minutes to 1 hour each week and gradually increasing the time you can wear them for, aiming ultimately to wear them for 5 to 10 hours -but not putting strain on your muscles. It is the amount of time daily plus the long term use that makes SmartBalls effective.

We have another product- called Natratone-that we recommend over SmartBalls for women who have had significant trauma and or prolapse.
This is a device that is used actively for short period of time, so actual active exercises and has been developed by women's health physios. It works a greater set of core muscles and is very effective.

Some women choose to continue to use the SmartBalls as well. I would recommend if you are in a position to purchase it that you try the Natratone and use it for a longer period that the recommended minimum of 6 weeks. You can check out the Natratone information and FAQ's on the website.

 

Ask a Question. At risk of prolapse can you please advise what I should use?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on August 04, 2016

Can you give me some advice on which of your products would be best suited for me please?

Question.

I was wanting a bit of help in deciding which option would be best for me. I have been told that the walls of my vagina are starting to fall in and are very floppy. I have had three children and my first birth suffered a lot of trauma to the vagina. I was also told that I may be at risk of developing a prolapsed uterus. Can you give me some advice on which of your products would be best suited for me please.

Pelvic Floor Answers

If you are at risk of a prolapse I would recommend the Natratone. It works a greater group of muscles than the SmartBalls and is very good for toning and strengthening you pelvic floor and core muscles.
I would also recommend you use it more frequently than the minimum of 3x per week and for several months rather than the minimum of 6 weeks.
You can follow the Natratone programme daily if you wish and long term.
The Natratone device comes with a DVD or you can view the online video on how to use, I recommend watching this first before starting the exercises.

Using the Natratone you will learn to identify and correctly engage your pelvic floor muscles and can continue the exercises without using the Natratone device. While it will not fix-undo your prolapse,the improved strength and support of the pelvic girdle will help prevent further deterioration and you are likely to notice some improvements.

Ask a Question. What commitment is required to properly use the Natratone?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on July 29, 2016

I want to understand what the Natratone exercises do or don't do and the commitment required on my part

Question.

How much space would I need to do the Natratone exercises (we have a small house and I gather privacy might be useful!) - i.e. are they sitting, standing, combination?
With prolapse, would I continue to do them every day/every second day for the rest of my life - how likely using Natratone is it that I'd only do exercises for 3 months and then not need them anymore? Just trying to be sure I understand what the exercises do or don't do and the commitment on my part. And what if I could do them once a day, but every day? Would I still be likely to receive enough benefits for it to be worthwhile?

Pelvic Floor Answers

The exercises start with 2 weeks on the floor. it can be helpful to have access to watch the video while doing them. You could wear a long skirt or have a blanket over your lower body or even wear pants. Then there are 2 weeks sitting and 2 weeks standing using the Natratoner.
The Natratone programme teaches you how to do the exercises both with the device inserted and then the same exercises without the device. For all women and especially for women with prolapse, pelvic floor exercises are a lifelong necessity to prevent bladder weakness.
Natratone helps you to focus and identify the correct muscles and will provide greater support for the prolapse, preventing it from deteriorating.
The minimum recommendation is 5 minutes 2x a day 3 days per week for at least 6 weeks and likely to be 12 weeks for a prolapse. Every day once per day would definitely provide benefits, the repetition is important. Long term you may keep up the exercises without the Natratoner. The reality for most women is we do lapse, and at any stage you can resume using the device.
We cannot guarantee that your prolapse will disappear, but your outcomes are likely to be greatly improved.
Hope that answers your queries and feel free to ask any more.

Ask a Question. Bladder prolapse is making me want to go to the bathroom constantly

By Pelvic Floor Health
on July 24, 2016

I have a bladder prolapse, it is in the 'front' of the wall, felt most when I lean forward and when it is bad I feel like I am constantly wanting the bathroom.

Question

I have been referred to your website by a friend.
I am 31, small built, 45kg 160cm, and had a baby 2 years ago. I have a small prolapse...apparently not really enough for the gynecologist to do more than mention it in passing. But I feel it at least weekly, some weeks almost constantly. I gather it is a bladder prolapse, as it is in the 'front' of the wall, felt most when I lean forward and when it is bad I also sometimes feel like I am constantly wanting the bathroom.
The joys of children, huh! I had a long, difficult labour. My condition is such that it is highly unlikely anything will be done medically, and to be honest I don't think I trust them to do it anyway. It is never painful, just an uncomfortable pressure.
I have been doing pelvic floor exercises since before my son was born, and currently would do them at least 2-3 times a day...this maintains the prolapse some weeks fairly well, while other weeks it is just not enough (I really notice if I forget to do them for a couple of days though!).
I am a student, so really need to be sure whatever I purchase is going to be the best option for me.
 Could you please help me work out whether Smart Balls or Natratone would be helpful and worth the investment?
 I don't have much spare time, so would tend towards the smart balls as they don't require as much time commitment on my part, but noticed your website recommended Natratone more for prolapse.

 

Pelvic Floor Answers

Thank you for your email. We do recommend Natratone for a prolapse as it works a greater grouping of core muscles and also improves the brain-pelvic floor muscle connection to ensure you are activating the correct muscles as you exercise.
The exercises using the Natratone require 5 minutes, twice a day (allow 4 hours at least between your first and second set of exercises )at least 3 times a week, however we recommend getting in to a daily routine and continuing either with or without the Natratone device for at least 3 months and for women with prolapse you can keep going. So if you are able to make time for this.
Natratone is designed to last, so while you are making a bit of an investment your can keep using it for years.

Some women with prolapse find that they are not able to comfortably wear SmartBalls because of the pressure on the vagina. If you are getting quite an intense or regular feeling of the pressure it could be that SmartBalls wont work for you. Unfortunately they cannot be returned, so the Natratone is less of a risk and also the most suitable product for you in this instance.

As a Question. I suffer from cystitis and am incontinent, will Smart Balls rub?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on July 22, 2016

I am 55 years and have suffered from cystitis a few times is there is any harm I can do by wearing SmartBalls?

Question

I have just been to a menopause seminar and learnt about your Smart Balls. I am concerned that the wearing of the SmartBall may cause cystitis rubbing against the thinner bladder wall that I now have. I am 55 years and have suffered from cystitis a few times recently from the normal cause! It’s a long time since I have worn a tampon. Please advise if there is any harm I can do by wearing it? My incontinence is worse and worse (can’t even walk now without dribbling). Any reassurance would be appreciated!

Pelvic Floor Answers

I would recommend you try the Natratone as an alternative to the SmartBalls, The Natratone is only inserted in the vaginal opening during the time you are practising the exercises and is very good for correcting and preventing bladder weakness.
Have a read about Natratone on our website. The minimum commitment is 10 minutes a day 3x per week, for 6 weeks, and the Natratoner device comes with an instructional DVD.

It is a very effective way for you to regain bladder control and will eliminate any risk of aggravating your cystitis. There may be some natural treatments for recurrent cystitis and we always recommend increasing your water intake to regularly flush your system.

Ask a Question. I suffer very badly from urinary urgency and frequency at the same time.

By Pelvic Floor Health
on June 18, 2016

Are these smart balls suitable for strengthening my pelvic floor despite all my bladder and kidney problems?

Question

I have very bad incontinence partly due to childbirth, followed by a total hysterectomy which has caused a prolapse and now I have recently found out that my left kidney has stopped working due to scar tissue damage restricting flow.
I now have a stent in this kidney and find I suffer very badly from urgency and frequency at the same time. Are these smart balls suitable for strengthening my pelvic floor despite all these problems? And roughly how big are they in size?

Pelvic Floor Answers

Thank you for getting in touch with Pelvic Floor Health, it sounds like you are going through a very tough time.
For you we would recommend using the Natratone, not the SmartBalls as the balls may apply extra pressure due to their weight, which may not be helpful.
We always recommend the Natratone as the better option for women who have a prolapse.

Natratone is a series of active exercises, with the Natratone device inserted in the vaginal opening, retraining your brain to recognise where your pelvic floor muscles are and correctly engaging them. It also tones and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as you do the exercises. Gentle and very effective.
This will help you to regain some control over both urgency and frequency- flow control.

Urgency- or Over Active Bladder- can often be a combination of both physical issues and how the brain has been trained.
For example, if you feel the urge to go to the toilet and go straight away, the body becomes accustomed to this action which reinforces both the urgency and frequency and and the time between needing to go can get closer and closer together.
It is also possible your bladder is not emptying fully and so you feel constantly needed to go.
It is possible over time, provided you have good pelvic floor strength, to retrain your brain to resist the urgency and to go less frequently as a result.

There is no quick fix or easy solution to this, however with persistence you are likely to be able to regain some control and confidence.

I recommend that you read through the information in FAQ's about Over Active Bladder.

You can also seek help for this from a Women's health physio - they usually have one attached to a hospital but can be hard to get appointments with, however as you are already in the medical system and have had significant surgery, you may get in more quickly.

I would recommend getting the Natratone exercises underway and following some of the steps in the Over Active Bladder including increasing your water intake and reducing sugar, coffee and alcohol intake as these aggravate OAB, keeping a diary and and doing the recommended steps to reduce OAB -all included in that article.

I hope you find this information helpful and please feel free to get back in touch if you have any other queries.

Ask a Question. Can I use Smart Balls during pregnancy?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on May 28, 2016

I was going to use the Smart Balls while pregnant, but now I am not sure.

Question

Hi, I have just brought a single ball and was wondering if I can use it during my pregnancy?
I'm 23 weeks but reading the 'how to' leaflet, it says not to use during pregnancy.

Pelvic Floor Answers

We do not recommend SmartBalls for use during pregnancy, While they are not likely to cause any harm, many manufacturers are extra cautious about pregnancy. You can start using them 6 weeks after having baby provided your midwife gives you the all clear. We do recommend using them before and after each pregnancy so if you decide to have more children get in shape beforehand.

The Natratoner is one of the few pelvic floor toners that is recommended for use during pregnancy and can be used in conjunction with the Smart Balls before and after pregnancy.

Ask a Question. I have lost the DVD on how to use the Natratone

By Pelvic Floor Health
on May 27, 2016

I have lost the DVD on how to use the Natratone? How can I get access to the instructions?

Questions

Is there another way I can get hold of the instructions for using the Natratone pelvic floor toner?

Pelvic Floor Answers

Yes you can access the instructions via vimeo. https://vimeo.com/album/3172991 If you need a password use 21540

Ask a Question. What can I use for incontinence while I am pregnant?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on March 17, 2016


Improved pelvic floor tone will not only prevent bladder weakness during and after your pregnancy but also can give you more control in the birthing process and quicker recovery times.

Read more »

Ask a Question. Trying to conceive, can I wear Smart Balls during this time?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on February 25, 2016

I see you don't recommend the weights during pregnancy, is there any harm until you actually find out you're pregnant?

Question

Hi, I am interested in your pelvic floor weights but was wanting some recommendations. 
I am 26 years old, have not had children, currently trying to conceive.

I have not experienced any bladder weakness, but Im keen to maintain or build stronger pelvic floor. I do pilates classes 1-2x a week, started 6-8 months ago. (Not sure if bladder weakness/prolapse is hereditary but Mum Mother and Nana have great trouble with this).
I see you don't recommend the weights during pregnancy, is there any harm until you actually find out your pregnant?

Pelvic Floor Answers

It is completely fine to keep using the Smart Balls whilst you are trying to conceive and until you know you are pregnant. Smart Balls are simply a muscle training system and do not interfere with the process of conception. Women with stronger pelvic floor muscles do often notice an increase in sexual sensation, as do their partners which is a good thing when you are trying to conceive.

Most manufacturers are extra cautious about pregnancy which is why they don't recommend use during this time.. The better shape your pelvic floors are in before you are carrying much baby weight, the less likely you are to have bladder weakness or other difficulties such as prolapse. Pilates is also an excellent way of maintaining good pelvic floor muscles, so the combination will be excellent.

Pregnancy is one of the primary causes of bladder weakness as the change in hormones in preparation for childbirth combined with the constant and growing weight of the baby makes it difficult to maintain good pelvic floors throughout pregnancy. Weak pelvic floor muscles can also be inherited, however you can rectify this.

The Natratone is safe to use throughout your pregnancy as well as before and after, so this could be a good option for you. It is far easier to do the work before you are pregnant and then maintain throughout the pregnancy than it is to try to recover your pelvic floor strength after giving birth.

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