It’s not uncommon for women over 50 to experience incontinence, but it doesn’t make it any less disconcerting. Fortunately, there are many ways you can be proactive about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles — like investing in a kegel trainer.
What is a kegel trainer?
The pelvic floor muscles support our bladder, bowel, and uterus, but they can weaken over time due to factors like pregnancy, chronic coughing, childbirth, aging, excessive strain from frequent constipation, and being overweight, according to the Mayo Clinic. This may cause leaking when you laugh, sneeze, or cough, as well as a strong and sudden urge to urinate. Fecal incontinence is another symptom.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to start doing your kegels, an exercise that helps build up strength in your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing them. The nice thing about kegels is that you can do them discreetly, in your home, while driving, at work, you name it. What’s tricky about kegels and other pelvic floor exercises is knowing if you’re doing them correctly — and that’s where kegel trainers come in.
It may sound strange, but a kegel trainer is a device that you slip inside your vagina to monitor your kegel exercises. Most are electronic and designed to be used with an app that assigns you simple pelvic floor exercises. It will vibrate to let you know that you’re doing the movements properly.
Kegel trainers aren’t one size fits all, so think about your needs, preferences, and budget before you buy. Would you prefer kegel weights that don’t require you to own a smartphone, or are you willing to spend a little extra money for a top-of-the-line kegel trainer? These are some questions to consider during your search.
Keep scrolling to shop Woman’s World‘s picks for the best kegel trainers so you can enjoy life without leaks.
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Elvie Kegel Exercise Trainer
Elvie Kegel Trainer
Where to buy: $149.25 (originally $199), Amazon
Once you insert the Elvie kegel trainer, the phone app guides you through five-minute workouts designed to make your pelvic floor muscles stronger. It can sense when you're exercising incorrectly by measuring the force on and motion of the trainer and will gently alert you to change your technique. The Elvie is tiny enough to fit inside a small clutch and comes with a carrying case that doubles as a portable USB charger.
"I spent 6 months last year working with a pelvic floor therapist. I never realized that such a weakness existed, let alone could cause so many problems including urinary incontinence and loss of sexual stimulation. Whether hereditary or not it can be reversed. After completing my rehab I continued to do my exercises but, because there was no way of measuring my strength areas and weak areas like in the office I wondered if I was doing them correctly and often enough. Found Elvie on Amazon and after reading the fabulous reviews I decided to give it a try! Wow! I have the results right on my phone. The exercises are fun and keep me motivated. Elvie is very comfortable too! It also gives me confidence that I’m doing the best I can for my body. I recently visited my gynecologist and she was impressed with my results! She commented that not enough of her patients take this seriously and sadly go through their life with effects of a weak pelvic floor, some eventually need surgery. This is the answer! It’s accurate, you can do it in the privacy of your own home on your schedule! In other countries there are classes immediately after you have a baby to help get you back in shape. I think it is over looked here. I’m 60 years old and wish Elvie was around and talked about when I had my child 25 years ago! YOU WON’T BE SORRY!" one user raved.
Kegel Trainer Reviews
Joy ON Kegel Exerciser
Where to buy: $69.90, Amazon
Joy ON's kegel trainer is similar to the Elvie in that it works best with the accompanying phone app, however, the shape resembles a traditional kegel ball. Choose from four different massage settings and learn to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles in rhythm. You can get real-time feedback through the app to know whether you're using the trainer properly.
"I have been using this kegel exerciser for almost a week. Over the years, I tried a couple of other kegel products and gave up. I think I needed more of a 'beginner' option, and this has [been] that. It is the first one I can see myself using consistently and making improvements with. I prefer the assessment mode and the self-programmed mode (manual training in the app) as well the mode without the app. I have weak muscles and those modes have more feedback that allows me to see what/how I am doing. I was able to use this right away, but I knew I wasn’t quite using it optimally in a couple of ways. The in-app information and email support were incredibly helpful. They went above and beyond to make sure I had more than enough information to start to succeed. As a result of their help and this innovative product, I already am seeing improvements. :) (small steps, but progress)," one woman wrote in her review.
Electronic Kegel Trainer
Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights
Where to buy: $49.99, Amazon
Whether you're a new mom dealing with the effects of childbirth or a woman who's conquering menopause, Intimate Rose's kegel exercise weights will tighten your pelvic floor muscles in just a few months. The smooth silicone weights are BPA-free and hypoallergenic so they won't irritate your sensitive area. At roughly the size of a tampon, these kegel weights are inconspicuous.
"I am 57 years old and gradually over time I noticed that I tended to leak urine if I sneezed or coughed hard. As time went on it got worse. I would also notice after I finishing urinating that some residual would leak out. I never thought this would happen to me as I am in very good physical condition. I exercise daily and make health a priority. I talked to other women about this issue and most seemed to think it was just part of aging. Others were on medication for it. I did not want to go on medication. I debated about buying this kit for almost a year. I guess I was living in denial that it would get better. I tried doing kegel exercises but could never feel them engaging. After months I did not feel that I had made any progress. So I finally ordered the kit. When it came I still not want to believe that I really needed to do this. I did not use it for a month.
After one really bad cold with an equally bad cough I knew I NEEDED to do it. The first time I put the lowest weight in it fell out within a minute. I reinserted it only to have it happen again. I was frustrated and somewhat shocked to realize just how weak my muscles were. I kept using it. It took me almost two weeks until I could keep it in for 15 minutes. I found that I did better using it in the evening when I was more relaxed. When I got to the second weight I found it easier. By the time I got to the third weight I would put it in the early evening and would just keep it in until it fell out. Sometimes it would be ten minutes, sometimes it would be two hours. I am happy to report that I am now on the fifth weight and doing wonderfully. NO MORE LEAKS no matter how much I cough, sneeze or laugh. I no longer need to use panty liners. It is a wonderful feeling to have my life back. I WOULD GIVE THIS PRODUCT '10' STARS IF I COULD!" one woman raved.
Kegel Trainer App Review
K-fit Kegel Toner
Where to buy: $159.95, Amazon
The K-fit battery-operated kegel toner comes with 10 preprogrammed pelvic muscle workouts, as well as space to create your own custom exercise routine. Use it while standing or lying down to reverse weak pelvic floor muscles. Women love how silent it is, which prevents any awkward questions from arising.
"51 year old lady here. So here was my problem: I would get to the bathroom and all the sudden I couldn’t get seated fast enough. Then I had a moment while having intercourse where I wondered if I was leaking. Ugh! It was ridiculous! I have done kegels for years but it just wasn’t good enough anymore. I refused to live like that. No kidding, this little kegel toner started helping right away! The first 2 weeks I used it daily but now I use it 3-4 days a week and things are back to normal. No more worries about leakage when I sneeze, have sex, or get to the bathroom to pee and it takes me more than 2 seconds to hit the seat. My best tip? Use ultrasound gel to coat the probe instead of a thin water based lubricant. Ultrasound gel gives superior conductivity to the electronic impulses and makes the experience more comfortable and the treatment very effective! I’m an ultrasound technician so I had some gel hanging around the house but you can order an 8 oz bottle of ultrasound gel on Amazon for just a few bucks. Use a nice thick coating of ultrasound gel on the probe too, more is better than less. If you were my best friend I would tell you to go ahead and buy the K-Fit, it has solved my problem and I’m betting it will help you too."
Kegel Trainer With App
Nurse Hatty Kegel Exercise Weight System
Where to buy: $39.95, Amazon
Nurse Hatty's Kegel Exercise Weight System comes with five weights of varying sizes that are covered in hypoallergenic, waterproof, BPA-, and latex-free silicone to prevent any irritation "down there." At first you may struggle to hold in the kegel weight for 10 to 15 minutes, but over time you'll notice your pelvic floor muscles tightening so you can hold progressively heavier weights.
"The set of five kegel weighted balls arrived as described. I am a senior citizen with problem of dropped bladder after 4 vaginal childbirths and one c section. The first week I tried each of the single weighted balls to find the correct size. After deciding on the rose colored ball I am now doing step two which is sitting while doing the exercises. The balls are comfortable and quite easy to wash after each use. Appreciated the lint free towel which was included. This makes a nice drying cloth. Then they are stored in the soft drawstring bag. This is going to require [persistence] on my part but I believe this kit will make all the difference. Also the kit is fair priced along with Nurse Hatty's helpful attention," one reviewer wrote.