Geri Meets PeriCoach, And Actually Has Fun Doing Kegel Exercises

I think of myself as a pretty self-disciplined person, at least when I want to be.

But, I’ve had to depend on outside resources to help me achieve a number of important goals: I went to a hypnotist to help me stop smoking over 30 years ago, and I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since (or even physically touched a cigarette); I signed up with a trainer almost two years ago, who specializes in getting people over 50 in tip-top shape, and my strength, balance and cardio endurance have definitely improved.

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Most recently, I turned to a smart, smart device, called PeriCoach, to help me train a group of muscles that Vann Duke, my trainer, doesn’t address:
my pelvic floor muscles.

productLike nearly 18 million women who leak when they laugh, sneeze, run or jump, I experience bladder incontinence. Mine is a result of a total hysterectomy in 1991, two childbirths, and menopause, which have thinned my vaginal tissue and weakened my pelvic muscles, as well as the ligaments which help support the bladder. These weakened structures can cause the bladder to shift downward, and prevent the urethra from closing properly, resulting in urine leakage during moments of physical stress like coughing, laughing, jumping, lifting or running.

Although the prescription drug I take helps immeasurably, it doesn’t completely stop my symptoms. The American College of Physicians recommends pelvic floor muscle training (Kegel exercises) as a first-line treatment for bladder leakage, but 50 percent of women who try these exercises don’t contract their muscles correctly, and give up.  Many will turn to pads to “fix” the problem.

I admit that I’d never even attempted to do a single Kegel exercise in my entire life. Anytime I’ve read instructions on how to do one, I thought “that’s not for me. I’ll never do it right.”  B-O-R-I-N-G, too!

Then along came PeriCoach, a discreet, pelvic floor training system that was approved by the FDA earlier this year. I was intrigued when the brand asked me to personally test PeriCoach, and thought it was definitely worth giving it a try!

The device comes in its own storage and charging case, and is simply charged with a USB plug. The PeriCoach app, which I downloaded free from the Apple store (you also can download it from Google Play), clearly explains how to complete the setup, which takes only minutes. Then you insert the device into your vaginal canal (with the help of a lubricant) and follow the crystal clear exercise instructions on your smartphone app. The beginner exercise consists of squeezing your pelvic muscles for three seconds, then relaxing for nine seconds, and repeating the process eight times. Unlike with Kegel exercises that you do on your own, PeriCoach eliminates all the guesswork. It’s almost impossible to do them incorrectly!

Three built-in biosensors detect the strength of each muscle contraction, and the results are instantly transmitted to the app over a Bluetooth wireless connection, which analyzes the readings and shows me my progress. I perform the exercises a few times a day, which is no problem, since each round literally takes just a couple of minutes. If you’re out all day, you can do it once in the morning and twice during the evening.  

I love seeing the headway I’m making, which helps keep me motivated. PeriCoach also sends reminders so I won’t miss my exercises.

exerciseThe exercises become harder as your pelvic floor improves, and you move through the different levels, from beginner to intermediate, advanced, and maintenance.  I’ve been using PeriCoach for the last six weeks, and besides being fun to use (yep, FUN), it has definitely helped strengthen my pelvic muscles. I know it has because I can see the intensity of each contraction, as I’m doing it.  When I started at the beginner level, my average strength was weak (around 40%).  Now I’m just beginning the intermediate level. I can’t wait till I’ve reached the “Herculean” category and can stop worrying about having to stop and cross my legs before I can make it up my front steps and into the bathroom.
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This post is sponsored by PeriCoach. FabOverFifty greatly appreciates the support of this terrific brand!