Words: Nicci Talbot
I’m off to a pelvic toning seminar tomorrow with Jenni Russell, a personal trainer and holistic vaginal rehabilitation expert. Jenni’s aim is to educate women about the importance of the pelvic floor and how to exercise it properly. The seminar is an introduction to her vaginal rehabilitation programme, which she’ll talk about tomorrow.
I’ve been talking to people recently about the pelvic floor to find out what attitudes are and whether they exercise it regularly. I don’t think many of us do, which is a shame as a toned core will improve your sex life hugely. It will give you stronger and longer orgasms, and men will benefit from firmer erections.
My pelvic floor tone isn’t brilliant but I’m getting there and on a mission to educate people about it. After having Julieta I was given an information sheet about PC exercises and told I needed to do them regularly. Fine but how about a demonstration of where they are, how they function together and how to exercise them properly? It would have been useful to attend a postnatal group with other new mums so I could ask questions and get to grips with it, literally, immediately after birth. An interactive approach would have motivated me to do them properly and regularly. I was busy with baby and it wasn’t a priority at the time so I did them every now and then.
I’m more set up now and have my pelvic toning kit: a Kegel8 Ultra Plus (electronic and does it for you, love it.), Aquaflex cones and a Secret Ceres. I’m going to try Lelo’s Luna Beads and the Gyneflex, which Jenni describes as a ‘thighmaster for the vagina’. Marrena Lindberg also raved about it in her book The Orgasmic Diet. When I’ve finished playing I’ll post some reviews. If you’ve tried any of these products I’d love to hear your feedback.
A friend of mine has stopped doing her exercise classes because she’s embarrassed about doing star jumps. She can’t do them at the intensity the instructor wants without leaking, and when he asked her what the problem was she told him. She has had three children and hasn’t followed a proper PC exercise regime since they were born so it’s something she’s seeking help with now. Incontinence is an issue that affects our daily activities and confidence as well as our sex lives.
Jenni makes the point that the vaginal enhancement market is a multi-million dollar industry. You can wax it, dye it, pierce and decorate it but what’s the point in making it look pretty if the core tone and strength isn’t there? You are compromising your sexual pleasure and it puts you at risk of pelvic prolapse.
Here are some key facts about your vagina:
- A toned pelvic floor enables you to ‘grip’ your partner’s penis properly during sex, increasing sensation and strengthening orgasms.
- It’s vital to recondition the pelvic floor immediately after childbirth. French women are lucky enough to have pelvic toning classes for free on the state – it’s deemed vital to their health and relationships and ensures future babies. What a fabulous idea – something I’d love to see available on the NHS. Natural childbirth helps a mother bond with her baby and is far less invasive than a caesarean yet many women elect for one because they are worried about the pain and damaging the vagina. Jenni says there’s no need to wait until your six-week medical check up. Start doing PC exercises straight away to reawaken the vagina’s sensory pathways and your pelvic floor muscles will quickly respond. Breastfeeding also helps to recondition the pelvic floor.
- Your pelvic floor is responsible for continence. In the UK one in four women rely on pads for continence, which is a shocking statistic. Incontinence affects women of all ages and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Pelvic floor training can help with the early signs of incontinence, which are leaking when you cough, exercise or sneeze so don’t be embarrassed about asking your doctor for help.
- Your pelvic floor is your body’s foundation. It’s a v-shaped muscle that runs from the front of the vagina to the rectum and holds the vagina, womb, bladder and bowel in place. An accumulation of weakness and neglect can lead to pelvic organ prolapse.
I used my Kegel8 electronic stimulator last night for the first time. It’s a serious piece of kit and works a treat once you get the hang of it. The muscle contractions are enough to send you off into orbit without any further stimulation but more on that later…
The seminars run from 09.30 – 4pm on Saturday 19th March at the Albany Health Centre, London NW1. To book a place contact Jenni Russell on 0203 111 9166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can a Vagina Really Buy You a Mercedes? is Jenni Russell’s book about how to retrain your brain, as well as your muscles, to prevent adult incontinence.