Updated: Apr 26
Hi friends! When we want to get stronger in muscles like our biceps or hamstrings, we often use weights to help us. But your pelvic floor muscles can’t reach down and pick the weight up, so how do we get them stronger? In 1985, Plevnik invented the vaginal weight (or vaginal cone) to help with pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) (Bo, 2015). These weights are essentially a dumbbell, but for your pelvic floor.
Who Should Use Vaginal Weights?
Let’s start with those who should not use a vaginal weight. If you are having pelvic pain, vaginal weights are not a good treatment option for you as this could actually make your symptoms worse. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, a pelvic floor physical therapist can be a great resource. Similarly, if you have an overactive pelvic floor, vaginal weights are not a good exercise. The pelvic floor muscles need to be able to completely relax before they are ready to use weights. And you guessed it, a pelvic floor physical therapist can help with this, too!
Vaginal weights can help increase pelvic floor muscle tone, endurance, and coordination which can help with a variety of symptoms. Vaginal weights can help with all of the following:
Stress and mixed (stress plus urge) incontinence (Bo, 2015)
Poop or gas incontinence
Pelvic organ prolapse
Pleasure and sexy time for more or stronger orgasms
Some individuals have difficulty with finding their pelvic floor muscles to contract them. Vaginal weights can help give your brain feedback of where the weight is to help it coordinate a pelvic floor muscle contraction. Our brains can use the sensation of the weight slipping out to help contract the pelvic floor muscles (Bo, 2015).
How to Use a Vaginal Weight
There are a few different ways to use vaginal weights. Just like other exercise programs, there is not one right answer. The “right way” for you depends on your goals and the current ability of your pelvic floor muscles.
When talking about strengthening any muscle in the body, we need to apply to overload principle. To put it simply, we need to challenge a muscle to see changes in it. This can be done several ways including increasing the number of repetitions performed or increasing the resistance (e.g. a vaginal weight).
Regardless of the way you choose to use your vaginal weights, it’s important to breathe normally (Bo, 2015). Avoid holding your breathing and clenching your core to hold the weight in. If you aren’t able to keep the weight in and breathe freely, you may need to start with a lighter weight.
To start, wash your hands and then place the weight in your vagina like a tampon.
You can use vaginal weights the same way you would a dumbbell and perform pelvic floor muscle contractions (Kegels) using the weight as resistance. When training the pelvic floor muscles, it’s important to focus on both quick contractions and endurances holds (up to 10 seconds). After contracting the pelvic floor, be sure to let it fully relax before performing the next contraction.