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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. 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…

Ask a Question. Is the beginners pack suitable if you have had a full hysterectomy?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on November 12, 2017

Can I use Smart Balls after a hysterectomy?

Question

Are the Uno balls suitable for women that have had a total hysterectomy?

Pelvic Floor Answers

Yes the beginners packs suitable if you have had a full hysterectomy. The Smart Ball Uno is a great for getting you started on retraining your pelvic floor muscles. After a hysterectomy it is especially important to use lubricant, which is included in the pack, as your own natural lubricant may be greatly reduced. you can also purchase replacement lube in a larger bottle if you need more.

Your pelvic floor muscles can be toned following all the same instructions for use with the Smart Balls. Frequency and time used are the key ingredients to success.

You would also be able to use the Natratone if you prefer the idea of a set time and place for exercises rather than wearing the Smart Balls about during your daily activities.

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. 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. Will daily exercises or Smart Balls make the prolapse worse?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on February 20, 2016

Start your pelvic floor exercises with Smart Balls Uno the single ball - its easier to use
If you were diagnosed with a mini prolapse it would be unusual for it to be becoming significantly worse while you are doing kegel exercises

Read more »

Ask a Question. What are Smart Balls made of?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on September 23, 2015

Are all smart balls products made with silicone. I break out in a rash over my entire body if I use silicone.

Read more »

Ask a Question. Can I use Smart Balls with a total Uterine Prolapse?

By Pelvic Floor Health
on September 16, 2015

Smart Balls are not usually suitable for a severe prolapse as many women do not have sufficient room to insert the Smart Ball, which sit up high in the vagina.

Read more »

Ask a Question. Painful to insert Smart Balls after vaginal surgery

By Pelvic Floor Health
on September 11, 2015

Is it normal to experience this type of pain when using Smart Balls for the first time?

Read more »

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