The PelvicToner is a unique new patented device developed in the US after extensive research. The PelvicToner is registered as a Medical Device in the European Community and approved by the FDA in the US. It is manufactured in the UK using medical grade materials and incorporating a special anti-microbial finish.
The PelvicToner is a progressive resistance vaginal exerciser designed for use in conjunction with Kegel exercises. It has been shown that by using a PelvicToner regularly you can experience a much quicker recovery from any weakness as well as enjoying a quicker strengthening of the muscles.
Regular use will begin to tighten your pelvic muscles after one week. The PelvicToner is easy and enjoyable to use.
Read the instructions completely before use. The PelvicToner is not sterile on delivery and you should remove the rubber 'o' ring (if fitted) and wash the PelvicToner in warm, soapy water before use.
Remove one spring so that you are starting with the least amount of tension.
First make sure you lubricate (with a special vaginal a water soluble lubricant) the vaginal area and the PelvicToner from the tip to the ridge.
The depth of penetration is around 10cm. The tip is just 3cm across and this represents the maximum 'stretch' that you will experience.
All women should find the use of the PelvicToner perfectly comfortable.
Lay down on your back with your head resting on at least one pillow, relax and bend your knees keeping your feet flat about two feet apart. Position the PelvicToner with the 'front' adjacent to the vagina. Hold the PelvicToner closed with your hand and insert the unit into your vaginal opening up to the first ridge and slowly release your grip. You are now ready to begin. Start with 3 sets of 30 repetitions (reps) or a total of 90 reps or 90 closings and work up to 6 sets of 30 reps or a total of 180 reps or 180 closings with a rest of 15 seconds in between sets.
This can be done every day, but not less than three times a week. When you feel that you can do your reps with ease you are ready to add the second spring.
In order to improve your muscle tone and increase blood supply to your vaginal muscles it is the number of repetitions that you perform that is important. When you can comfortably squeeze your PelvicToner with one spring in each position then you can maximise the benefits by doing more and more squeezes (for example, 3 lots of 30 or even 50 repetitions) or by squeezing and holding the PelvicToner closed.
Some women want to develop much stronger vaginal muscles than others. The basic weight lifting principles apply - repetition builds muscle tone and definition, weight (or force) builds strength. When you feel your vaginal muscles have become too strong for the first set of springs you can buy a special set of stronger springs. These are twice as strong as the springs that come with your PelvicToner.
There are two spring positions:
1 — nearer hinge
2 — nearer tip
Both — 1+2
When you have completed your exercise routine simply remove your PelvicToner. Do not try to force it out. Hold the PelvicToner closed with your hand and take a few minutes and relax. Take several deep breaths until your vaginal muscles relax and the PelvicToner can be removed easily.
Hand wash with soap and water before and after use. The PelvicToner is also dishwasher safe and the springs are stainless steel and should not rust or corrode
The study confirmed that using the PelvicToner without supervision is as effective as the NICE Gold Standard of supervised pelvic floor muscle training.
The Bristol Urological Institute clinical study
Following the successful US trial, a randomised controlled study of the PelvicToner was started at The Bristol Urological Institute, the UK's leading urodynamics research institute in 2008. The aim of the study was to directly compare the PelvicToner with the current NHS 'Gold Standard' treatment of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), the only other course of treatment recommended by NICE (CG40).
Clinical research published in the British Medical Journal:
recommended that pelvic floor exercise should be the first choice of treatment for genuine stress incontinence because simple exercises proved to be far more effective than electro-stimulation or vaginal cones.
established "non-inferiority" of the PelvicToner compared to a three month course of supervised pelvic floor muscle training - the "Gold Standard" treatment.
Or, in less technical speak. self-treatment in the privacy of your own home using a simple, low-cost device was as effective a treatment for a weak pelvic floor as a three month course of pelvic floor muscle training supervised by a specialist physiotherapist costing £100s.
A unique achievement
In all other comparative studies the only other conservative forms of treatment ie vaginal weights (Aquaflex) and TENS or electro-stimulation devices have consistently proved to be inferior to the Gold Standard.
There are no published trials that justify the issuance or effectiveness of a leaflet describing pelvic floor exercises that is the best that the patients of 62% of GP practices can hope for (recent survey).
To download the full paper in pdf form click here.
About the study
At the commencement of the trial in 2008 Paul Abrams the Professor of Urology at BUI had said: "It is 60 years since Arnold Kegel proposed pelvic floor exercises as a treatment for stress incontinence but a simple, effective method of putting all his principles into practice has eluded us. The PelvicToner seems to meet all the requirements that Kegel envisaged - it is a simple, patient-friendly, progressive resistance exercise device and provides feedback to the patient that the correct muscles are being engaged.”
This optimism was well founded.
The report author, Professor Marcus Drake, notes how the use of the PelvicToner can help overcome the fundamental weaknesses associated with PFMT ie poor training, lack of patient confidence and poor compliance with the exercise recommendations.
Key points noted by the research are that:
the PelvicToner gives “confidence to women that they were correctly contracting their pelvic floor, and this may be helpful encouragement when a woman is starting out on a regime of PFMT.”
the biofeedback given by the PelvicToner “may be particularly helpful to demonstrate to the woman that she is carrying out the PFME appropriately.”
the PelvicToner is particularly relevant to those women “who do not consult their physician and wish to maintain confidentiality regarding their SUI symptom.”
The findings of the trial have been presented at national and international conferences including the ICS Conference, San Francisco, September 2009.
In January 2011 the PelvicToner was listed within the Drug Tariff Part IXA-Appliances in the new category of Pelvic Toning Devices.
How it works
The PelvicToner works on the basis of the key principles identified by Arnold Kegel, and helps the user identify and isolate the correct muscles and then exercise by squeezing against resistance. The user gets instant feedback to show they are squeezing correctly and, as the user improves, she can increase the resistance in stages to make your exercise more demanding. It's so simple to use and takes just five minutes a day.
A fair comparison
The PelvicToner exercise regime, as recommended, is significantly more demanding and more effective than traditional PFMT which recommends just a daily total of 10 x fast pull-ups and 10x slow pull-ups. Users of the PelvicToner are recommended to start with three sets of ten repetitions at the lowest resistance building to three sets of 50 or more based on personal ambition and ability. Users start with the lowest level of resistance but can build swiftly through 5 progressive levels. Kegel viewed the use of a progressive resistance, increasing in line with ability, as fundamental. He also recommended a minimum of 300 squeezes per session. The current NHS teaching methods do Kegel a total disservice by associating his name with a totally watered-down version of his exercises! The bastardisation of Kegel's recommendations has been the subject of some debate within the medical profession worldwide.
In the clinical trial the aim was to compare the two methods on a level playing field so the users of the PelvicToner were restricted to a daily total of 10 x fast pull-ups and 10x slow pull-ups at the lowest resistance. Even on this basis the research concluded:
“the PelvicToner Device (PTD) is not inferior to standard treatment, is safe and well tolerated, and increases patient choice. The PTD helped to isolate and focus on contracting the correct muscles, motivating (patients) to continue exercising."
The consultant, Mr Marcus Drake points out that treatment, such as electro-stimulation and vaginal weights or cones, have been deemed as ‘inferior’ in clinical trials. This leads to the obvious conclusion that the PelvicToner is therefore superior to the use of electro-stimulation and vaginal weights or cones.
Several papers by nurses and physiotherapists have identified that the traditional PFMT methods fail because: "Pelvic floor exercises are often poorly taught and ineffectively carried out, patients often fail to engage the correct muscles and fail to continue with the exercises as prescribed." Some clinical studies report that as many as 30% of women are unable to identify and squeeze their pelvic floor muscle when asked.
All of these weaknesses in the current approach are directly overcome with the PelvicToner. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that women are much more likely to continue with the exercises if they experience a very rapid improvement in their symptoms. With traditional PFMT they are advised to exercise for three months and many physiotherapists do not expect to see an improvement any sooner than this. In the absence of progress many women just give up.
It could have been better!
The PelvicToner was not tested in use according to the manufacturer's instructions and therefore the results significantly understated the benefits, not least the key fact that over 85% of users become more aware of their pelvic floor within a week and experience resolution of their symptoms within 4 weeks. Two factors that significantly influence compliance with the exercise regime when compared to supervised PFMT.