Studies show that when compared to kegel done without weights kegel done with weights such as vaginal cone shows an in improvement in pelvic floor strength.K
Kegel cones can be used for both personal and medical reasons and are used primarily by women who have just undergone childbirth, or women who are in the menopausal stages of their lives.
In this article, we’ll give you a detailed rundown on all you need to know about this device. You will find out what it is, what it is used for, how to use it and even the risks of using it. By the time you are through, you will be an expert on vaginal cones and all they have to offer.
Without further ado, let’s jump into what vaginal cones actually are:
What are vaginal cones?
Vaginal cones, sometimes called Kegel cones, are small cone-shaped weights that are inserted into the vagina. These cones have a similar shape to that of tampons and can come in a set of varying weights. They are usually plastic or silicon with a metal weight inside and come with a string attached to the end.
The purpose of theses V-shaped, or tampon shaped weights is to train and tighten the pelvic floor. This helps with several issues related to the pelvic muscles, primarily urinary incontinence. When these cones are inserted, the pelvic floor contracts either voluntarily, or reflexively which prevents the cone from slipping out. Repeated contractions over a period of time help to strengthen these muscles, making it a safer and non-surgical solution to regain bladder control and even improve sexual response.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor consists of muscle and tissues which extend from the tailbone to the pelvic bone in a woman. This “floor” supports organs such as the bladder, bowel (colon), uterus (womb), vagina and ovaries. It is responsible for controlling the bladder and the bowel and is also important for sexual function.
The pelvic floor is a muscle like many others in the body and can weaken over time if neglected. For this reason, it is important to keep the pelvic floor strong as it is integral to overall health.
What are Vaginal Cones used for?
When you ask a group of women who use vaginal cones why they do it, you will get various responses. But, it all comes down to toning the pelvic muscles.
Here are some common reasons why vaginal cones are needed to tone the pelvic muscles:
Urinary Incontinence (Bladder control issues)
Urinary incontinence, or involuntary urination as it is sometimes called, is a condition which affects mainly older persons, especially women who naturally have a wider pelvis, and weaker pelvic muscles.
Over time, the muscles in the bladder which control urine become weaker, and sometimes the urine leaks out involuntarily. There are four main types of urinary incontinence namely:
- Stress incontinence- Where pressure put on the bladder during activities such as exercise, coughing, sneezing or laughing, causes the bladder to leak.
- Urge incontinence- Where there is a sudden urge to urinate but the person cannot hold it long enough to get to the bathroom, such as in the case of diabetics, or persons who have suffered a stroke.
- Overflow incontinence- Where the bladder is always full, and small amounts of urine leak from it periodically. Here, blockages in the urethra, such as in the case of an enlarged prostate in men can cause trouble in emptying the bladder fully.
- Functional incontinence- This is due to symptoms of old age, such as arthritis, where one simply cannot get to the bathroom fast enough
To treat this condition, doctors typically advise Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) in the form of Kegel exercises to tone the pelvic muscles. This is where vaginal cones would come in to complement these exercises.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
At the early stages of pregnancy, it is important to keep pelvic muscles strong in preparation for labor as the body releases hormones which naturally loosen them up. Doctors often recommend kegel exercises to help in this regard and to also to prevent incontinence.
During birth, the pelvic muscles are placed under tremendous pressure and thin out significantly from all the stress and strain. After giving birth, many women find that they will suffer bladder leaks, pain, and discomfort.
To alleviate these side effects, pelvic floor exercises are recommended to strengthen the muscles.
With menopause comes the decrease in estrogen which is responsible for keeping reproductive organs healthy. During this time, the muscles of the pelvic floor and their connective tissues become less flexible. As a result of this, the bladder sinks and urinary incontinence develops, along with an increasing urge to urinate and an increase in the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
To improve the health of the pelvic floor muscles, vaginal cones can be inserted into the vagina to slow their decline.
Performing pelvic floor exercises improve blood circulation to your vagina and pelvic floor. This helps to preserve their health, and increase sensitivity and lubrication in the vagina. This leads to faster arousal and better orgasms for both you and your partner.
Physical activity, such as weight lifting or core strength exercises can overstretch the pelvic muscles and cause them to weaken. The best way to recover would be to avoid these kinds of exercises or involve pelvic floor toning exercises in your workout regimen.
Types of Vaginal Cones
There are two types of vaginal cones that you can purchase:
- You can purchase a set of several cones. These cones are of different weights
- You can also purchase a single cone to which you can add different weights as you get more accustomed to the exercise. (This is the best option)
How to Use Vaginal Cones
For most people, their biggest fear with vaginal cones, or any other pelvic floor exercise tool is that they will slip out. But once you do it the right way, you have nothing to fear.
Here is the right way to use vaginal cones:
Step 1: Finding your pelvic muscles
The first thing you need to do is find your pelvic muscles. To do this, you will need to first get comfortable. Then, pretend you are trying to stop a fart and stop your urine at the same time (others liken it to tightening your vagina around a tampon). There you go, those are your pelvic muscles.
Practice contracting them for 5 seconds, then relaxing for 5 seconds. Make sure you are lifting these muscles up. Do this up to 10 times until you get the hang of it. If you are clenching your buttock together, you’re doing it wrong.
Step two: Inserting your cone
Once you get the hang of it, it is time to use your cone. Be sure to wash it with soap and water and rinse completely before inserting it. Start with the lightest weight.
Use a bit of lube to insert the cone. When you insert it, your pelvic muscles will automatically grip onto it. Just make sure the string is hanging out like the string of a tampon, and you’re good to go.
Step three: Exercise
Now that the cone is securely inside of you, you can go ahead and perform your Kegels. You can also try to move the cone up and down your vagina like an elevator.
Do this for as long as you are comfortable with it, and increase the time gradually every day. Ideally, you should do this exercise for at least 15-20 minutes consistently to get real results.
Once this becomes easy with the lowest weight, go up a weight class until you are at the heaviest weight/cone in your set.
Step four: Removal and storage
When you are finished with your cone, gently tug on the string to remove it. Wash properly with warm water and mild soap and store for use tomorrow.
When Shouldn’t You Use the Cone?
While vaginal cones have worked wonders for many women, they aren’t suitable for every woman. It is always wise to consult your doctor before you try it out.
If you just gave birth, then perhaps you should wait a while for your vagina to heal on its own a little before you begin using your cone. If you have a certain condition which prevents you from having sex, then you should not be using a cone.
Do not use pelvic cones for at least three hours after sex, and don’t use vaginal cones when you are on your period.
The Downside of Vaginal Cones
While using vaginal cones has many benefits, it does have a few drawbacks.
For instance, it might be difficult to use if you are a first-timer, but in time, you will begin to feel more comfortable with it. It can slip out if not inserted properly, so be sure to use it while sitting down for your first few times.
Using vaginal cones are not a cure for weak pelvic muscles, merely a treatment. Which means that even after you use them and see results, you will have to continue using vaginal cones as your muscles can weaken again. On the flip side, overworking these muscles will do more harm than good.
If you don’t clean your vaginal cones properly, you run the risk of infections, and this can cause pain and discomfort for some time.
Vaginal cones are designed to help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. This can help to treat conditions such as urinary incontinence, improve the sexual experience and help return the vagina to its pre-pregnancy state.
The cones are easy to use and are easy to find online. With the go-ahead of your doctor, vaginal cones can be the non-surgical solution to your problem.