With great admiration, we'd like to introduce you to Jane Atherton - skin therapist, qualified clinical nutritionist and menopause specialist. Jane started her career running a successful menopause clinic in Hong Kong, helping women understand and manage the challenges menopause brings. Now living back in the UK, Jane is a member of the British Menopause Society and provides support and advice to the 10,000 women who follow her on social media; not to mention being the creator of the innovative menopausal skin-care range, Phytomone - we truly applaud you Jane!
We were thrilled when Jane wanted to give the Kegel8 Ultra 20 a try; with such experience her opinion is invaluable... here's what she thought:
"Like most menopause symptoms, UI or a weak bladder is caused by declining oestrogen and progesterone levels during peri-menopause and low levels of both in post-menopause. It becomes more prevalent in post-menopausal women because these hormones are now at an all-time low."
"Oestrogen is responsible for strengthening the bladder and urethra. Low levels of oestrogen cause thinning of tissues in the bladder and urethra, which weakens the muscles and they can no longer hold back urine when you cough, exercise, sneeze, laugh, or lift something heavy. This can result in either a small leakage of urine or a complete loss of control."
"Kegel exercises are the best way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support and hold up the bladder and with the Kegel8 collection of pelvic floor exercisers, they are now easier than ever to do and take very little time. I have recently been trialling the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Pelvic Exerciser, with very impressive results."
"The Kegel8 Ultra 20 Machine comes pre-loaded with 20 clinically-proven programmes for pelvic floor strengthening, bladder weakness, prolapse & incontinence and works your muscles appropriately for the correct amount of time without you having to think too much about it. It comes with both an internal probe and external electrode pads. The probe works by being inserted into the vagina and gets straight to the problem area by toning the muscles and tightening the pelvic floor. If you prefer not to use the probe, or are worried about discomfort due to vaginal dryness, you can opt for the external electrode pads, these four sticky pads can be used on your stomach, lower back/buttocks or even your ankles, depending on which pre-set programme you chose. You also have the option of using these pads for pain relief or muscle cramps, working in a similar way to a TENS machine by sending a low level electronic current and soothing muscle contractions (which i must say, can become slightly addictive!)"
"I have been using the unit for almost 3 months now - have I noticed a difference? I can honestly say Yes! - No more crossing my legs every time I turn a tap on (or fill the car with petrol!) no more wearing pads or embarrassing moments in the gym and no more 'tears' running down my legs when I laugh, sneeze or cough!! And when I feel that familiar cramping or backache coming on, I grab a cup of tea and pop on the electrode pads for some comforting relief."
"Using the Kegel8 has definitely made me a lot more disciplined about doing my pelvic floor exercises, especially now, as I'm seeing the results, which is very encouraging and I like the idea of using an electronic product with its pre-set programmes - just turn it on and go! The lovely people over at Kegel8 have also been very thoughtful and designed the unit to clip onto your belt or waistband, so doing these exercises doesn't have to interrupt your day!
(Just need one for the hot flushes now!)"
Jane Atherton is the author of Menopause Secret - A comprehensive guide to managing your menopause and beyond. Available at all good bookshops.
Endosed by Consultant Gynaecologist Nick Panay (BSc,MRCOG,MFSRH)
British Menopause Society
The road leading towards the menopause can be somewhat bumpy and you will need to prepare yourself for the tears and tantrums that lie ahead