Oh my goodness. The opportunity to test and review the Kegel8 Ultra 20 was something I could not resist. I’d like to thank Kegel8 for sending one, for free, in exchange for an honest review.
What is the Kegel8 Ultra 20?
Kegel8 are a company that specialises in providing information and products to help you tone and improve your pelvic floor muscles. The Kegel8 Ultra 20 is one of their electronic pelvic floor toners. It has 20 pre set programmes and 3 customisable programmes. There are programmes for pelvic floor exercise, to improve intimate sensation, to improve continence and for pain relief.
The Kegel8 Ultra 20 uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation and electrical nerve stimulation to improve pelvic floor muscle tone. By placing a probe inside the body, or electrode pads onto the skin, electrical impulses can travel to the muscles in question and stimulate a contraction. These contractions strengthen the muscles over time. This is like any exercise. Unlike manual pelvic floor exercises the Kegel8 works 90% of the pelvic floor muscles.
Why is it important to have strong pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles run from your pubic bone to the base of your spinal column and they support your pelvic organs, such as your bladder, womb and bowels. If your pelvic floor becomes weak it can cause continence issues, lack of sensation during sex and even pelvic organ prolapse. There are risk factors for weakness of the pelvic floor and these include age, childbirth, being overweight or obese, menopause and previous pelvic surgery.
Having anything go wrong with your lady parts can feel devastating. I know it did for me. I felt incredibly embarrassed and pretty terrible about myself. Even talking about it now feels very personal and a little like I’m exposing myself. So what happened?
Giving birth was the worst and best experience in the world. It was so painful but it felt so worth it at the same time. My labour, with my second son, didn’t last long but it was quite traumatic. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse I had to be taken into theatre for a manual removal of the placenta. A few days later, I had an absolutely stunning baby and an uncomfortable feeling vagina. I assumed the uncomfortable feeling would go away after a few weeks. It had been through a lot!
By my 6 week check I still felt not quite right. I asked the doctors to have a look, and the third time I saw a doctor about it, they told me that I needed referring to the hospitals gynaecology unit. When I saw a consultant they told me I had a mild prolapse. If you read my blog you’ll also know I am very overweight. Being overweight and having a traumatic birth both contributed to a weakness of my pelvic floor muscles and resulted in the prolapse. Like I said I was devastated to hear this. I also found that I was starting to have mild urinary incontinence. I felt ashamed. I’m in my early 30’s, surely this shouldn’t be happening. If you’re experiencing the same problems, know that you are not alone.
Prolapse can only be cured with surgery, however, building up your pelvic floor muscles can reduce the symptoms and stop a prolapse from becoming worse. The hospital recommended I start to use an electronic pelvic floor toner. I have now tried three different types of machine and three different vaginal probes.
First Day Using the Kegel8 Ultra 20
What Comes in the Box
The Kegel8 Ultra 20 arrived in a discreet brown shipping box. Inside was a lilac and white box. Within this was the Kegel8 Ultra 20 control unit, Kegel8 Glide gold vaginal probe, two connector wires, four electrode pads, a 9v battery, some Kegel8 exercise gel, an instruction manual and a quick start guide.
The Kegel8 Glide Gold Vaginal Probe (£32.99 if purchased separately) is designed to be used in standing, lying and even in a seated position. The gold plating also means that it eliminates the risk of nickel intolerance and increases the strength of stimulation. It has also been designed to feel comfortable, even with a prolapse. It’s lightweight, so walking around and standing is not just possible, it’s easy.
The quick start guide is very simple to follow but I really recommend reading the full instruction manual.
Using the Kegel8 Ultra 20
The Kegel8 Ultra 20 does look a little daunting but it’s very simple to use.
Add a little bit of the exercise gel to the gold parts of the probe, this makes it easier to insert and helps with conductivity. Insert the probe into the vagina by one to two inches, with the gold parts pointing to your hips. Then connect the wire to the port on the top left part of the control unit. There are two ports, but you only need to use two if you’re using one of the programmes that require the use of the electrode pads as well as the vaginal probe. If you’re only using the vaginal probe you will only by using the buttons on the left side of the machine.
Press the on/off button to turn it on. Then press the programme button until you find the one you want to use. The machine won’t start sending electrical impulses until you press the plus button. This increases the strength of the stimulation. Start by doing the sensitivity test. This indicates if there is any nerve damage and if there is recommends a programme to start on.
What does it feel like?
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve used three different vaginal probes altogether, the Kegel8 Glide is the post comfortable one I’ve tried. I’ve never been able to use a machine in any other position than lying down before, but with the Glide I found I could comfortably sit and walk with it in place. Although I will admit bending down to the lowest shelf of a cupboard was not a comfortable thing to do.
I chose to use programme 14 as this is specifically for mild prolapse, hysterectomy and post natal incontinence. The idea of wilfully introducing electricity to your private areas is not a nice one. Before I experienced it I was very worried about what it would feel like. Would it hurt? Would it burn? I can reassure you that it doesn’t do either of these things.
When I first increased the power I couldn’t feel anything until about 12 mA, then I could feel a faint tapping. Programme 14 is 35 minutes long. It starts with a tap, tap, tap feeling as you increase the strength it becomes more of thudding feeling. For a first time use you should aim for between 30-40 mA. As I’ve used similar machines before I managed to get this up to 50 mA. If I go much higher this becomes uncomfortable. As my strength increases I am sure I will be able to tolerate a higher level.
After 20 minutes of tapping, during which I sat typing at a desk, then stood doing some washing up, it suddenly changed to a strong tingly feeling that increased. My muscles were slowly contracting. It felt wonderful. Feeling the pelvic muscles contracting so tightly feels amazing when you have experienced muscle weakness. The transition from the types of contraction really did make me jump. Witnessing me being so startled would have been entertaining to behold. It wasn’t that the new feeling was painful, it was just a change without warning. It does count down to the change in pattern on the screen, but I wasn’t watching.
The Kegel8 Ultra 20 is comfortable to use in standing, lying and sitting positions. It is suitable for people who want to increase sensation during sex, improve continence, have a prolapse or want to use it for pain relief.
The Kegel8 does not hurt and produces a pleasant tingling or tapping feeling. You are totally in control of the strength of the electrical impulses. It is easy to use. There is so much choice when it comes to programmes you will be able to find a suitable one for your needs. When the programme finishes it is very tempting to restart it. It is advised that you don’t restart the programme as your muscles need time to relax between sessions.
Would I recommend the Kegel8 Ultra 20? Currently I would. I love it. As to whether it improves muscle tone, come back in around a months time for an update.
The Kegel8 Ultra 20 can be purchased for £149.99 from here.
*No affiliate links were used in this review.