- Jenni Davies
Aquaflex Vaginal Cones
Aquaflex Vaginal Cones are a clinically proven, simple and effective system of weights used to retrain the strength and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles. This work can help to relieve the symptoms of urinary leakage and mild prolapse, and restore normal muscle tone following childbirth.
As seen on “Embarrassing Bodies”
Back in 2009, on the first episode of the UK series “Embarrassing Bodies” a group of women with pelvic floor weakness tested 3 different techniques for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Using EMG biofeedback before and after the trial period to objectively measure pelvic floor muscle strength, the Aquaflex Vaginal Cones came out on top with a 60% improvement in pelvic floor strength and the greatest participant satisfaction.
Why do they work?
The principal behind the effectiveness of vaginal cones is the basic strengthening principal of overloading a muscle so that it becomes fatigued. The muscle responds to this overload by increasing it’s strength and bulk.
The muscles of the pelvic floor are the same type of skeletal muscle as the muscles we are more familiar with – the quadriceps, abdominals and biceps. As for these large muscle groups, it takes 8-10 weeks of regular training to see a significant strength difference.
Within this time period most people will feel an amazing difference, however, if your symptoms are particularly severe, or if you started off with especially weak muscles, it may take up to 4-6 months.
What to do if I’m not seeing a difference?
If you are not making progress either with strength progression or symptom relief, you should make an appointment with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist to have a full assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. They will identify if there is a specific problem and how it is best addressed.
Why should I use them?
Aquaflex Vaginal Cones are an excellent alternative or adjunct to traditional pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels). When used in isolation, research shows that they can be just as effective as a non-supervised pelvic floor programme.
So if you prefer to treat yourself independently without seeing a Pelvic Health Physio, don’t have easy access to, or are not in a financial position to see a Pelvic Health Physio, they are a great option for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
Alternatively, you can use them alongside a prescribed pelvic floor muscle training programme from your Pelvic Health Physio to maximize your results.
How to use Aquaflex Vaginal Cones
There are 2 cones – 1 large, 1 small. You start with the larger cone as this is easier to retain in the vagina.
Without any weights added to it, you slide it into the vagina as you would a tampon. Unlike a tampon though, you rest it on the pelvic floor muscles. To identify if you have it in the right place, keep hold of the “string” near the base of the cone as it is inserted, then squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles. You should feel the cone moving up and away from your fingers. Alternatively, you can gently tug on the string and try to resist it from sliding out. If you can do this with ease, stand up and see if you can maintain it in place.
If this is easy to do, remove and unscrew the cone and add the first 5g weight. Reposition the cone in your vagina then stand up and see if you can maintain it in position.
Keep adding weights until you get to the point where it is taking some effort to maintain the cone in place.
Repeat this for 20 minutes each day until it is no longer an effort then add the next weight.
Once it is easy to hold the large cone with all the weights, progress to using the small cone and repeat the process.
You can boost your muscle strength further by doing your usual pelvic floor muscle exercises (squeezing and lifting as strongly as you can) whilst the cones are in place. (think of doing arm weights with dumbells).
Finally, when you are really testing your pelvic floor muscles, insert the cone with weight and go about your daily activities. Try lifting, jogging, climbing stairs etc and see if you can maintain it in place.
When should I not use vaginal cones?
If you have a marked prolapse (visible at the entrance to the vagina) it will be difficult to get the desired results using vaginal cones.
If you are unable to maintain the large cone without weights in a standing position you should see a Pelvic Health Physio for a full assessment to identify the problem
If you are pregnant
If you have an infection or thrush
During your period
For further advice or information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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