Weak pelvic floor muscles due to pregnancy and childbirth can be strengthened with Kegels and the exercises can also improve incontinence, as well as sexual pleasure.
Adding Kegel balls or weights will encourage the female pelvic muscles to work harder, resulting in more effective resistance training. But when it comes to Kegel balls vs weights, is there a difference?
What Is A Kegel?
A Kegel is an intentional squeeze, lift and hold of the pelvic floor muscles, usually done in repetitive intervals. Also known as pelvic floor strengthening exercises, the purpose of Kegels is to strengthen and re-train weak pelvic muscles.
How Do Kegels Work?
Imagine your pelvic floor muscles as a hammock or sling running from the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis to the lower spine at the back of the pelvis. This hammock of muscles supports the pelvic organs such as the bladder, bowel, rectum, vagina, womb, and uterus.
Due to various life experiences like pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, weight gain, or aging, these muscles can weaken and provide less support to the pelvic organs. This lack of muscular support can result in bladder leaks, fecal incontinence, lower back pain, uterine prolapse, and even less pleasure during sex.
Practicing regular Kegels, not only strengthens the pelvic muscles but also provides more support for the pelvic organs. This increase of muscular support in the pelvis leads to improved core strength, relief from lower back & hip pain, fewer urine leaks and fecal incontinence, reduced pressure in the vagina from uterine prolapse, and more intensely felt orgasms.
Kegel Balls & Kegel Weights: How Do They Work?
Both Kegel balls and Kegel weights add an extra level of strength training for your pelvic floor muscles by giving them something to grip or squeeze around. They are available individually or in sets of ascending sizes, which allow you to move on to the next size once you can hold the smaller weight for the recommended time.
To start with, it can be difficult to hold your first kegel ball or kegel weight in place for the advised time, but with regular practice, each woman progresses at their own pace through the ascending sizes in a set.
So, in contrast to performing regular Kegel exercises where you imagine and hope that your muscles are strengthening, using Kegel balls or weights will provide you with consistent proof that your muscles are getting stronger.
Kegel Weights vs Kegel Balls: What’s The Difference?
While both are designed to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles, and many online stores describe them as the same thing, Kegel balls and Kegel weights are slightly different, and many women choose one over the other based on preference.
Kegel balls, also known as Ben Wa balls, are available in ascending sets or in individual sizes, with either a single ball or double ball. Produced in a variety of sizes and weights, Kegel balls are typically made from stone, silicone, metal, or glass, and some even vibrate for extra pleasure.
Some women find the round shape of Kegel balls more uncomfortable or even difficult to place. Besides the shape, however, the main difference between the two is that Kegel balls are designed to stay in place all day.
Unfortunately, maintaining a constant contraction of the pelvic floor muscles can overuse, or injure the pelvic floor muscles. Many women who use Ben Wa balls all day develop pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and painful.
Kegel Weights – 15 Minutes Per Day
Although they can be bought in individual sizes, for best results, women’s health experts recommend purchasing Kegel weights in a set of ascending weights and sizes. The reason for this is that a set of Kegel weights allows you to track your progression and advance to the next size once the smaller weight is comfortably held in place for the advised time.
Designed to fit more like a tampon, many women prefer the more familiar shape of Kegel weights to Kegel balls for fit and comfort. Another difference is that in contrast to Kegel balls, Kegel weights are not intended to stay in place all day.
Instead, they are designed to provide the recommended amount of resistance training for the pelvic muscles in just 15 minutes per day.
Can Kegel Balls & Kegel Weights Get Lost in Your Body?
Because the vagina is closed off from the rest of the body by the cervix (or sealed close after a hysterectomy), a Kegel ball or Kegel weight cannot travel into your uterus or get lost in your body. In addition, almost all modern Kegel balls and weights have a cord attached to allow for easy removal.
Kegel Balls & Kegel Weights - Which Material Is the Safest?
Depending on the manufacturer, Kegel balls and Kegel weights are produced in a variety of materials like plastic, metal, silicone, and glass. However, recent studies have found that the safest and most comfortable material for Kegel balls and Kegel weights is BPA free medical-grade silicone.
Intimate Rose Kegel Weights, for example, are made from the smoothest, proprietary BPA-free, non-stick medical-grade silicone, and are the only silicone Kegel weights on the market that are approved by the FDA. In addition, the Academy of Pelvic Health rated these Kegel weights so highly that it now uses them for all its training courses.
Intimate Rose Kegel Weights also come in a set of six ascending sizes and weights to make it easier for you to start with the correct weight and track your progress.
When To Stop Using Kegel Balls or Kegel Weights?
Should you experience severe discomfort or pain while using Kegel balls or Kegel weights, stop using them until you’ve had time to speak with your doctor. It is also recommended to discontinue use if you notice any unusual vaginal discharge or a foul-smelling vaginal odor.
Kegel balls and Kegel weights are designed to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles and improve uterine and fecal incontinence after pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery. They also rejuvenate the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles to improve sexual pleasure and orgasms.
If you feel you would benefit from pelvic floor training, speak with your healthcare practitioner, pelvic floor physiotherapist, or gynecologist about the right size Kegel balls or Kegel weights for you.
Cleveland Clinic – Kegel Exercises - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14611-kegel-exercises
Intimate Rose – 7 Benefits of Kegels For Women - https://www.intimaterose.com/blogs/kegel-exercise/7-benefits-of-kegels-for-women
WebMD – What Are Ben Wa Balls (Kegel Balls) - https://www.webmd.com/sex/what-are-ben-wa-balls