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Cucumber couldn't be more delighted to have Elvie blogging for us this month on a topic that will affect most women at some point in their lives. You probably have heard of them already, but for those of you who haven't, Elvie is a health and lifestyle brand developing smarter technology for women. Elvie builds extraordinary products that improve the health and lives of women everywhere and at all stages of life.

Their first product, Elvie Trainer, is an award-winning pelvic floor trainer and was featured in the 2017 Oscars nominee goody bag and has celebrity fans including Gwenyth Paltrow and January Jones!

Find them here.

The pelvic floor. Have you heard of it before?

Maybe you have, but you still don’t know why it matters or if you should even care. Or perhaps you haven’t heard about it at all. Either way, you’re in luck because we’ve put together a short guide to help you understand the importance of a strong and toned pelvic floor. So, let’s get started - there’s a lot to cover!

Pelvic floor 101
First things first: the pelvic floor is a powerful layer of muscles that sits like a hammock between your tailbone and pubic bone, supporting your central organs including your uterus, bladder, and bowel. Having a strong pelvic floor is important to a woman’s physical, emotional and sexual wellbeing.

But, 1 in 3 women suffers from pelvic floor dysfunction, as a result of pregnancy, genetics, high-impact sports and ageing. Symptoms of pelvic floor weakness can range from minor leaks when you sneeze to unexpected accidents before you get to a loo in time, and in rare cases, organ prolapse. Don’t worry though, there’s lots that can be done to improve your pelvic floor health.

Kegels are your new best friend
Now for the good news: you can strengthen and tone your pelvic floor with targeted exercises, known as pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises. Up to 80% of expectant and new moms experience physical problems as a result of a weak pelvic floor, making Kegels especially important after pregnancy.

But women of all ages should regularly work on their Kegels. As well as improving bladder control, back pain and reducing the risk of prolapse, Kegels also help build core strength, improve control during sex and can lead to stronger orgasms!

Easy squeezy?
Pelvic floor exercises are often introduced to women at a young age, who may be told to squeeze as if they’re stopping their pee mid-stream. Although this can help to identify the muscles, Kegels should not be practised in this way as it can cause further damage.

In theory, Kegels are straightforward enough: simply contract your pelvic floor muscles for 5-10 seconds, relax and repeat several times a day. But pelvic floor exercises need to be performed regularly and correctly to be effective. With ordinary Kegels women often find it impossible to know how well they’re doing or if they’re making any progress. Most of us get bored and give up. A lot of women also have trouble with the technique, as up to 30% of women push down instead of lifting, which can also cause more damage to the pelvic floor.

Cut out all of the guesswork
Elvie Trainer is an easy, fun and effective way to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor. The small pebble-shaped pod is inserted into the vagina and connects to an app on your smartphone. The free app visualizes your technique and muscle movements in real-time while guiding you through fun, five-minute workouts. You can also view your workout history and progress over time. Plus, it will even alert you if you're exercising incorrectly!

kegels workout

As a result of centuries of mystery and taboo surrounding women’s bodies the pelvic floor is an overlooked and neglected part of women’s health. Fortunately, the tide is shifting and it’s never too late to start investing in your pelvic floor health!

kegels exercise

If you enjoyed this post let us know on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @hello.elvie. Or if you're ready to invest in your self-care, get your hands on an Elvie Trainer, the world’s smallest and smartest Kegel trainer.

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