The primary purpose of the pelvic floor is to support the bowel and bladder. Over time, the pelvic floor muscles can become weaker due to specific health conditions. Pregnancy, giving birth, obesity, and chronic constipation are some factors contributing to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles among men and women.
Also known as Ben Wa balls, Kegel balls can help men and women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and potentially improve sexual function and pleasure.
Kegel exercises can help people experiencing health conditions, like urinary continence, or vaginal or anal prolapse.
If you have specific health complications, like recent childbirth, or use an IUD or menstrual cup, you may not be able to use Kegel balls.
Taking the proper precautions to reduce the risk of pain and discomfort when using Kegel balls is essential.
If you aren’t comfortable with Kegel balls, several other exercises and practices help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
When the muscles become weak, it can lead to the accidental release of urine, stool, and gas. Fortunately, several techniques are available to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. One popular method for pelvic floor improvement is Kegel exercises using Kegel balls.
Usefulness of Kegel exercises
Also known as pelvic floor exercises or muscle training, Kegel exercises can strengthen pelvic floor muscles. In addition, these exercises can help to prevent accidents like the leaking of urine, bowel, and gas.
In addition to preventing leaks, pelvic floor muscle training could improve sexual function, although no scientific evidence is available to confirm the potential benefit of Kegel exercises.
“Kegel balls are small weighted balls that are placed inside the vagina and are used to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles,” said Dr. Melanie Bone, an OB/GYN and member of Daye’s medical board. “Claims have also been made that they can improve sexual pleasure, however, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.”
What are Kegel balls?
Kegels balls can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles among men and women. Also known as Ben Wa balls, Kegel balls are weighted balls that can be placed inside the vagina or anus. Users can choose from various sizes and weights suitable for their needs. In addition, they can come in pairs or be connected to several other balls by a string.
Like a tampon, some Kegel balls contain a string that can be left dangling outside the vagina or anus for easy removal.
Aside from pelvic floor muscle training, some people may use Kegel balls for improved sexual function and pleasure.
Other names for Ben Wa or Kegel balls are:
- Love balls;
- Orgasm balls;
- Pleasure balls;
- Venus balls;
- Jiggle balls;
- Geisha balls.
Benefits of using Kegel balls
Using Kegel balls can strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which can contribute to the treatment of the following:
- Urinary incontinence and bladder control;
- Stress continence;
- Vaginal or cervical prolapse.
Risks of using Kegel balls
While there are a few benefits associated with Kegel balls, people should take caution when using these items. As with any exercise, there are a few risks with using these balls for pelvic floor muscle training.
Some potential risks of using Kegel balls include the following:
- Infection from improper cleaning after use;
- Pain or discomfort;
- Vaginal or cervical prolapse.
Are Kegel balls safe?
Kegel balls are relatively safe to use. However, it’s essential to speak with a doctor and take the proper precautions to prevent health complications.
You should consult with a doctor if you’ve experienced any of the following medical situations:
- Currently pregnant;
- Recent childbirth;
- Use a menstrual cup;
- Have previously had surgery on your reproductive system;
- Have a current pelvic infection;
- Use an intrauterine device (IUD).
How to pick the right Kegel balls
Before using Kegel balls, it’s crucial to ensure that you pick the right size and weight and thoroughly clean them. Also, ensure the Kegel ball(s) fit comfortably in your vagina or anus. Kegel balls should stay intact even when standing in the upright position.
In addition, you must understand the internal size of your vagina or anus.
You can consult your doctor or physical therapist to get guidance on finding the right size Kegel balls for your pelvic floor muscles.
Here’s a breakdown of the interior dimensions:
Small. You can insert one finger comfortably into the vagina or anus. You have never delivered a child vaginally. You can use small tampons during menstruation.
Medium. You can fit two fingers side-by-side comfortably in the vagina or anus. You have previously delivered a child vaginally. You commonly use regular or large-size tampons for menstruation.
How to use Kegel balls
Here’s a step-by-step guide on properly using Kegel balls in the vagina to prevent pain and discomfort:
- Hygiene. Wash the Kegel balls with warm water and antibacterial soap.
- Urinate. Empty your bladder.
- Lubricate. Place a generous amount of lubricant on the balls.
- Position. Get into a sitting position or lie down on a flat surface.
- Insert. Slowly place the Kegel balls into the vagina.
- Tighten. Begin tightening your pelvic floor muscles for 3-5 seconds.
- Repeat. Do this process ten times at least three times throughout the day.
Be sure that as you practice Kegel exercises, you aren’t also tightening your stomach, thighs, buttocks, or chest. You can walk around with the Kegel balls, but you shouldn’t do it for an extended period.
Stop and immediately remove the Kegel balls if you feel any pain or discomfort throughout the process. Speak with a doctor if you don’t believe you’re doing the Kegel exercises correctly, as they can provide additional assistance or refer you to a physical therapist.
It’s important to note that if you discontinue pelvic floor exercises, your issues may return. For example, your symptoms can reappear if you’re experiencing urinary incontinence and stop doing Kegel exercises. Once you start doing Kegel exercises, it’s best to continue doing them for the rest of your life or until your condition permanently subsides.
Kegel balls – what are the alternatives?
For some people, inserting objects into their vagina or anus can cause pain or discomfort. Other options are available if you feel uncomfortable using Kegel balls but want to continue doing pelvic floor exercises. Fortunately, if you aren’t a fan of Kegel balls or Kegel exercises, there are other methods to practice pelvic floor muscles.
Some alternative ways to exercise your pelvic floor muscles include the following:
- Pelvic floor physical therapy;
- Exercises. Squats, jumping jacks, and dead bug crunches.
Kegel balls strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and potentially increase sexual pleasure. Also known as Ben Wa balls, these balls can be placed in the vagina or anus to assist with health problems like urinary incontinence and bladder control. If you are interested in using Kegel balls, you must speak with your doctor beforehand to ensure that they’re safe for you and prevent any pain or discomfort.