Elvie is a "connected kegel exerciser" that is inserted into the vagina and connects, through bluetooth technology, to an app that tracks the strength of your muscles through a series of games that encourage women to both pulse and hold their kegel muscles. The result, if you do these exercises consistently — each game is about five minutes — is a stronger pelvic floor. This has implications on so many levels in women's lives. When people talk about the "core," very often, this is what they mean.
We all know we are supposed to be kegeling. But how many of us are really doing it?
Pelvic floor/kegel exercises are pretty simple. They involve the tightening and releasing of the kegel muscles (the same muscles you use to stop a stream of urine) in your vagina. As we age, our pelvic floor weakens. This is especially true in women who have had children and even more so in women who have had multiple vaginal births. If you do them correctly, strengthening these muscles can strengthen the bladder muscles (no more leaking pee!), reduce the risk of pelvic prolapse and improve sex (because, hello tight grip and better orgasms!). If you do them right, it can improve your performance in yoga class and beyond.
So what is stopping women from doing them? The problem, of course, is that we don't talk about these things as a culture. And women suffer the embarrassment and shame of bladder leakage and worse without talking about it or learning from other women what to do. Enter the Elvie.
The pricetag seems hefty at $200, but I don't think that is going to be the biggest hurdle for this lovely sperm shaped device. Because getting women to talk about their bodies and especially their vaginas in an open way is an uphill battle.
It's also not easy to get women to do their kegels. Since, let's face it, our vanity is not involved with internal muscles. Even though doing these can make you better at every other sport and activity (I am looking at you, yoga). But the Elvie makes it fun. And competitive. Think of it like a Fitbit. That you insert. I was skeptical. To put it mildly. But this thing changed my mind.
Not only is it fun (who doesn't want to play a video game about muscle control?), it's also something from which you see results quickly. I noticed right away that my pelvic floor was stronger. And I am someone who has always done my kegels. Even so, after three kids, all vaginal, natural births, I guess I had lost more muscle control than I thought. Because I noticed a change almost immediately in terms of urine leakage. I work out pretty hard with running and yoga and while I wasn't peeing my pants, I probably still needed some help in that area. This zipped it all right up. In three days!
My husband says he noticed a difference in other areas, too. And I know I did. Though I have never had any trouble finishing when it comes to intercourse, I definitely noticed a change in strength and intensity in that department.
The sad truth is that I am embarrassed to tell you all this. Why? Because women do not talk about this. As a health and sex writer and educator, I am told regularly that "I could never put my life out there like you do." Sometimes I think it is said as a compliment, but by and large I think it is a shaming technique. A way of telling me I give out TMI. But if women don't speak out about these things, how will anyone ever know the joy of Elvie and what it can do for your quality of life.
Look, it's $200. That is not a small chunk of change and all card on the table, mine was a gift for review. But the truth is, I believe all women should have this. This should be covered by insurance. It is that amazing. It is that life changing. Don't neglect your body because you feel ashamed. You will regret it.
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