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A beginner’s guide to Kegel Balls

A beginner’s guide to Kegel Balls

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Kegel Balls (pronounced as KEE- GULL), also known as Ben Wa Balls were first discovered in Japan, 1500 years ago. They are round weighted balls, single or double, made with metal or glass and mostly covered in silicon. These balls are used for performing kegel exercises that help women in strengthening their weakened pelvic floor and tightening their vagina post childbirth, or due to aging or even obesity. The exercises are typically performed by inserting the kegel balls vaginally and then following a process of contracting, holding and releasing your pelvic muscles. Let’s get to the details-

What is a pelvic floor

Pelvic floor is the base of the pelvis which consists of a dense network of muscles that stretch from the pubic bone at the front to the tail bone at the back and from side to side. These muscles are responsible for holding the key abdominal organs such as the bladder and bowel in men and uterus in addition to this in women. The muscle also plays an important role in controlling the abdominal pressure that is generated during heavy weight lifting or even promoting sexual sensation.

Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor

A weakened pelvic floor leads to many issues such as-

  • Urine incontinence- leakage of urine every time you sneeze or cough
  • Urge to go to the toilet but not being able to make it
  • Accidently passing wind through your vagina, when you bend or stand up after sitting
  • Decreased sensation during sexual intercourse

Drum Roll.. Enter Kegel Balls

Kegel balls are considered as the pelvic floor muscle trainers that can easily give ample benefits if used consistently the right way. Did you know, Kegel exercises have been proven to reduce the need to have a vaginal tightening surgery and tend to be the best alternative to maintain a healthy pelvic floor. Kegel balls come as a single ball or a double ball (for higher weightage) and all balls have a silicone string at the end that help you pull out conveniently once done. Exactly like a tampon! Yup, it’s that simple.

How to use them?

Using a kegel ball can feel intimidating to a few in the beginning, but “once you ace it, you don’t want to space it.” Here are the steps to get started-

  1. First things first, make sure your kegel ball has been cleaned well with a combination of warm water and a mild anti-bacterial soap. It must be properly dried with a clean towel.
  2. It is essential to rub some water-based lubricant on the kegel balls, in order to make the inserting process easier.
  3. Get into the lying down position on a bed or any comfortable flat surface. Relax your pelvic muscles and breathe. Once you’re ready, insert the lightest kegel ball (if this is your first time,) if you’re a pro- then you can go higher weight wise.
  4. Starting with a lighter weight gives you a good idea about your comfort level overall. Do not aim for heavier weights early on. Make sure you insert them deep enough to be held properly and not too deep where it hits against your cervix (ouch!!). It is important to walk around and understand if you are comfortable with the weight inserted abdominally.
  5. Make sure you leave the string hanging outside the vagina as this helps in pulling out the inserted ball/s easily.

Ok what next?

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Once the kegel balls have been inserted successfully and you are comfortable to move around, it is time to practice the kegel excercises. These exercises include contracting your pelvic muscles, holding it and then releasing. Try starting with 5 seconds, twice or thrice a day, depending on your comfort level and then slowly take it to 10 seconds and upwards. With time once you feel you are becoming better at it, feel free to increase the weight you want to carry by adding a second ball. Women across the world who have been doing kegel exercises for a long time, tend to carry on with their chores after inserting the kegel balls. Whether it is grocery shopping or going for a walk or taking a long office call, they can do it all.

Things to remember

  1. Do not use Kegel balls if you are pregnant or suffering from a pelvic injury. In case you are prone to vaginal infections, then check with your doctor once.
  2. Do not leave the kegel balls for extended periods of time. Listen to your body when you experience signs of vaginal muscle fatigue or even pain in the inner abdomen area. Take them out right away.
  3. Do not jump to heavier weights too soon. Take your time and go slow.
  4. Right amount of lubrication is important, too much will make the balls slippery and they may not stay inside for too long. Less lubrication may lead to discomfort when inserting.

How to clean and store them

Once your exercise is complete, simply lie down and gently pull out the kegel ball/s. Immediately rinse them with warm water and wash them thoroughly with a gentle antibacterial soap. Remember to wash them before and after each use, in order to avoid any bacteria entering the vaginal area which my lead to an unwanted infection. Once rinsed, pat them dry with a clean towel and let them air dry for some time. It is important to place them back in their original container rather than leaving them outside in the open for extended period of time.

To sum it up

Post-partum, aging or other factors can be quite tormenting for your self-confidence and pose various challenges in everyday life. A weak pelvic floor can also lead to many embarrassing situations and to avoid this in a non-invasive way, Kegel balls are your friends for life. Invest in one and you’ll never be sorry about it.

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