March 24, 2021

Yoni Eggs and Kegel Balls….Yay or Nay?

Are yoni eggs or kegel balls really the answer to a healthy pelvic floor? Pelvic floor physical therapist Emily McElrath sets the record straight about when and how to use kegel balls.

Yoni eggs, jade eggs, kegel balls……they have many different names, but at the end of the day most of them are similar in nature. So the real question is, are these things helpful or not? Do you need to be “working out” your vag with these weighted balls to keep your pelvic floor “healthy”? The truth is….probably not.

While these eggs claim to improve sexual function, reduce urinary leakage, and “tone” the muscles of your vagina, they can actually have the opposite effect. You see in order to keep these eggs in, the muscles of the pelvic floor have to continually contract. Over time, this can lead to increased pelvic floor tension and an inability to relax those muscles. You might be thinking “a tight vagina, that’s great”, but in truth a tight vagina is not all it’s cracked up to be.

In order to have normal sexual, urinary, and bowel function, the muscles of our pelvic floor need to be able to contract AND relax. Without the ability to relax, these muscles will begin to have difficulty with all the above listed functions. Over time, this can also begin to cause considerable pain. Some signs of pelvic floor muscle overactivity include:

  1. Constipation or pain with bowel movements

  2. Difficulty initiating the flow of urine, difficulty fully emptying your bladder, and/or stress urinary leakage 

  3. Pain with intercourse

  4. Difficulty or inability to become aroused or orgasm

  5. Low back and/or hip pain

  6. Tension and pain in the lower abdomen

Another risk to consider when using jade eggs is the risk of infection. Many of these yoni eggs are made of porous materials like jade or other stones, and therefore are difficult to keep clean and free of potentially harmful bacteria. Even with washing after each use, bacteria can still become trapped in the porous material.

“So how then do I strengthen my pelvic floor?” You ask. Well, first I would recommend consulting a pelvic PT to determine if strengthening is even what you need. Remember I mentioned that the muscles of your pelvic floor need to be able to contract AND relax? That’s right, relaxation is equally as important as strengthening. So, if you are someone who has difficulty relaxing those muscles, then strengthening may not be appropriate for you.

But don’t worry, a pelvic PT will be able to assess your ability to contract and relax during their exam. If you are in fact someone who would benefit from strengthening, the pelvic PT will be able to provide a personalized program that will fit your specific needs. In the event that a kegel trainer would be appropriate, there are several on the market now that may be recommended. A few of the most frequently recommended include:

  1. The Elvie trainer

  2. Intimate rose kegel weights 

  3. Pixie cup kegel weights

  4. The Joyon kegel trainer

Again, these are not recommended unless you have been told by a professional that strengthening is what you need. So, I highly recommend seeing a pelvic PT prior to purchasing any of these items. However, it is helpful to know the options that are out there in the event that you are the appropriate patient.

If you are local to NOLA and wondering if these trainers might be appropriate for you, come see us at NOLA Pelvic Health. If non-local, we also offer virtual consultations that can be highly beneficial.

We can’t wait to see you!

Emily McElrath PT, DPT, MTC, CIDN is an orthopedic and pelvic health physical therapist with a passion for helping women achieve optimal sports performance. She is an avid runner and Crossfitter and has personal experience modifying these activities during pregnancy and postpartum. She is certified in manual therapy and dry needling. When not working, Emily enjoys time with her husband and two kids.

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