Did you know that 1/3 of women worldwide are affected by pelvic floor disorders? Did you also know that a lot of pelvic floor disorders can be prevented?
Pelvic floor disorders can look like anything from urinary incontinence during pregnancy to failing to reach the toilet in time during menopause.
Because of its commonness (and a major opportunity for improvement), Dr. Debra Wickman MD FACOG conducted a clinical trial for pelvic floor biofeedback devices at Banner University Medicine Institute: Phoenix Arizona.
The study was conducted on 49 women using KegelSmart pelvic floor trainers over the course of 12 weeks. The results were outstanding.
To understand the trial outcomes, it’s first important to understand what the pelvic floor is and how it can be measured.
A pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support internal organs and act as support for bladder and bowel functions. It also encompasses the muscles that provide pleasure during intimacy.
KegelSmart is a smart pelvic floor trainer with patented technology for registering strength, contract time, and reaction time.
The touch-sensor technology registers pelvic strength and rates contraction strength on a 5-level scale. It then creates an exercise regime that allows users to track their progress.
It contains a vibration-guided program where users engage their Kegels on and off, following the vibration patterns of the device, for five minutes daily.
Dr. Debra Wickman MD FACOG and the team at Banner University Medicine collected data through pelvic examinations by medical practitioners and through self-assessment questionnaires.
The objective of the trial was to measure urinary incontinence, vaginal laxity and sexual sensation problems among other weak pelvic floor symptoms over a 12-week period.
Each participant completed a pelvic floor exam using a clinical perineometer at the start and end of the study. A perineometer is an instrument that measures voluntary contractions of pelvic floor muscles.
The conditions of the study were that each participant used the KegelSmart for 3.5–5 minutes per day for 12 weeks.
Participants were also asked to fill out weekly questionnaires about their experience and improvements using the device.
The 49 women included in the clinical trial were ages 20–69, all experiencing urinary incontinence, vaginal laxity, or decreased sexual sensation for a period of 6 weeks or more.
After the course of 12 weeks, 100% of participants reported increased pelvic floor strength using a perineometer. Additionally, the average pelvic floor strength doubled during this period.
Participants ages 23–50 reported a 90% increase in improved bladder control.
The same cohort also reported a 75% decrease in leaks due to physical activity, sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
Additionally, 94% of women reported improved vaginal tightness and tone.
Ninety-two percent of participants reported improved sexual sensations.
And as the more overall quality of life, 83% of all participants reported an increase in the areas of body image, sex life, self-confidence, quality of sleep, and overall mood.
“I no longer worry about bladder leakage, in fact, I don’t even think about it anymore. I will continue to make KegelSmart part of my daily routine, it’s the only exercise I don’t dread doing!”-Participant, Age 57
“I am so thrilled I have more control of my urine leakage, especially during physical activity. KegelSmart has made my quality of life greatly improve.” -Participant, Age 60
“It radically improved my orgasms!” -Participant, Age 56
“I have reduced the amount of leakage and frequency of leakage thanks to KegelSmart!” -Participant, Age 60
Among all participants, 92% said they would recommend this device to those they know, and 85% reported it as easy to use.
The most important finding of this clinical study is that pelvic floor disorders are not inevitable and can be prevented with exercise for overall improved quality of life.