Some sex toys claim to strengthen people's vaginas, but their effectiveness is complicated

NetflixMore and more sex toy brands are releasing special products that are marketed as both vibrators and pelvic floor-strengthening devices.
  • Sex toy brands are releasing special products that are marketed as both vibrators and pelvic floor-strengthening devices.
  • The majority of people do kegels – a pelvic floor strengthing exercise – incorrectly, so a special device could teach people the right way to exercise their pelvic floor muscles.
  • The testing of these products, however, has been limited and the ways they are advertised can confuse consumers, gynecologist Lauren Streicher told INSIDER.

As a person ages, their vagina does too. One common age-related change is decreased muscle tone of the pelvic floor, or the muscles that support a person’s bladder, anus, and uterus. But certain measures can be taken to keep those important muscles strong and healthy.

A common way to keep your pelvic floor strong is to do kegels, an exercise where you clench and release the pelvic floor muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic. To help with this, Bustle reports that more sex toy brands are releasing special products that are marketed as both vibrators and pelvic floor-strengthening devices.

While these devices have the potential to help a person both masturbate and keep their vagina muscles strong, the testing of these products has been limited and the way they are advertised can confuse consumers, gynecologist Lauren Streicher told INSIDER.

“Most doctors have no idea about these [devices] typically and can’t offer advice on them usually,” she explained.

Most people are doing kegels incorrectly, so a special device could help

Although there is no concrete evidence that these special sex toys can strengthen a person’s vaginal muscles, they might be useful for teaching people how to correctly perform kegels, Streicher said.

“Studies have shown the overwhelming majority of people who do [kegels] don’t get the benefits because they don’t do them right or consistently,” she explained.

Broad city vibratorComedy CentralWhile there is no concrete evidence that these special sex toys can strengthen a person’s vaginal muscles, they might be useful for teaching people how to correctly perform kegels.

These types of devices, which use app-based games or small electric pulses, can teach a person what effective kegels should feel like so they can eventually learn to do them on their own, Streicher said.

Though the ideal pelvic floor strengthening regimen involves seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist (yes, they exist), Streicher explained that most people don’t have the time or money to find one and at-home devices might be the next best solution.

These sex toys mimic medical-grade devices used for strengthening the pelvic floor, but most haven’t been properly tested

The majority of these sex toys have not been tested, however, so their true benefits are unknown. According to Streicher, medical-grade devices are the best bet since they have been more thoroughly tested than pelvic floor-strengthening sex toys.


Read more:
7 surprising ways that you could be damaging your vagina

Certain devices like the Apex, for example, use “electrical muscle stimulation” to help the muscles properly contract and improve pelvic floor strength. Apex is a medical-grade device made for helping with urinary incontinence, but the company that created it also sells Intensity, a similar but non-medical grade product that doubles as a vibrator. According to the company’s website, both Apex and Intensity are made from 100% medical grade silicone and stainless steel.

As people realise the importance of their vaginal health and its direct relationship to their sex lives, these devices will continue to pop up, Streicher said, but unfortunately, “it’s not something a woman can figure out on her own.” The lack of both research and professionals who specialize in pelvic floor conditions make getting the right answers a frustrating and seemingly impossible experience.

Still, Streicher said there is a potentially lucrative market behind these special sex toys, so more research and helpful consumer information could be on the horizon.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

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