Having a strong pelvic floor is important for women, especially during pregnancy and after menopause. The pelvic floor is a layer of muscle and tendon that goes from the pubic bone to the base of the spine. It is like a trampoline that connects the front and back, supporting the bladder, the bowls and the uterus. It gives a woman control when emptying the bowels or the bladder.
The pelvic floor can become weakened if it supports an unusual amount of weight, as during pregnancy. After menopause, hormonal changes may also cause pelvic floor weakness. This ends up with the uterus, bowels and bladder to pressing down on the vagina, causing a heavy, weighted down feeling. My mother suffered from this and had to have surgery to correct the problem.
A weakened pelvic floor can cause stress incontinence, when an amount of urine or feces leaks from the bladder or bowels when coughing, sneezing or exercising. Lack of sensitivity in the vagina and inability to enjoy sex are other problems associated with a weakened pelvic floor. One in three women have troubles as a result of a weakened pelvic floor.
Elvie is a device designed to strengthen the pelvic floor. It also provides feedback though an app, so progress can be tracked. It is safe and easy to use.
To use Elvie, simply place the comfortable exerciser inside. Then connect to the app and you are all set! The app works with iPhone 4s, 5 and 6 and Android 4.3 and newer. Both need to be Bluetooth Smart ready. Included in the app are personalized workouts that only take five minutes. The workouts were designed by physiotherapists and experts from both Imperial College and the University of Oxford. The pressure of each squeeze of the exercises can be seen and goals can be set on the app. You can easily view your progress. You can expect results in as little as two weeks.
The Elvie exerciser is made of medical grade silicone. It is completely waterproof and all you need to do to clean it is rinse it off. It comes with an optional cover for custom sizing and a carrying case that also works as a charger.
Tania Boler is the Elvie CEO. She is a women’s health expert, but knew little about the pelvic floor until she had a baby. Her French husband told her that in France women regularly attend pelvic floor exercise classes after giving birth. Tania looked into pelvic floor exercises and found many but none offered bio-feedback. This type of feedback was only available in hospitals! Tania knew women needed an exerciser with feedback for everyday use. Thus the idea for Elvie came into being! Tania co-founded the Elvie startup with Alexander Asseily. They have produced a product that works well, provides feedback and is discreet, easy to use and can be used on the go. Elvie won best design at the 2016 Red Dot awards and best research and design at the 2015 Health Tech and You awards.
Users should consult their doctor before using Elvie if they have given birth within the last six weeks or if they have any medical condition affecting pelvic health. Also consult a doctor if pain is experienced when inserting or using Elvie, even with a water based lubricant.