This collection of Kegel8 frequently asked questions (FAQs) provides brief answers to many common queries. If your query isn't here, please use the search box at the top right hand side of this page to search for topics in our Support section. alternatively please e-mail or telephone us – we are always happy to help you.
Maybe things just don't feel the same 'down there' and that's why you found us.
Our pelvic floor muscles start to deteriorate from the age of 18 onwards. Pelvic floor muscles, or Kegel muscles, help us to keep control of our bladder, bowel, and wind, whilst adding that 'zing' for a satisfying love-life too! So our pelvic floor is vitally important, but we aren't always taught how to look after it properly. Locating the pelvic floor muscles accurately can be difficult, and 'bad Kegels' (those performed incorrectly) can actually do more harm than good. Kegel8 will help you to:
- Locate the pelvic floor muscles correctly - to maximise your Kegel exercises
- Strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor correctly and effectively
- Exercise using clinically based programmes for the very best results
- Maintain control of your bladder & bowel to keep your pelvic floor fit and healthy - whatever your age
Here at Kegel8, we know you have a busy life, with many priorities that are greater than your own. Children, husband, aged parents, career, dog, housework - we all have a list, and sadly that leaves us at the bottom. That's why you can use your Kegel8 Pelvic Toner for just 10 - 15 minutes a day, for just 12 weeks, to get really noticeable results.
It's never too late to start exercising with Kegel8 to reverse the signs of ageing in your pelvic floor, regain control and enjoy a satisfying love-life. No matter how weak or strong your pelvic floor is right now, you will be able to improve with Kegel8.
Kegel8 electronic pelvic toners use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). NMES is an electrical pulse or signal that is sent into a muscle, in this case your pelvic floor, to create a contraction and hold it as long as the signal stays active. When the signal stops, the muscle relaxes again. The brain usually sends these electrical signals via our spine telling the muscles to move, but when muscles are damaged or weak the message doesn't get through, or the muscles do not respond. Kegel8 replaces your brains command to move the muscle, no matter how weak it is. It is this response (or exercise) that will help to reinvigorate and rebuild the muscles, encouraging them to work properly again.
Kegel8 Ultra 20, Kegel8 Tight & Tone use (NMES), which is also referred to as 'STIM', electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), or electromyostimulation.
All Kegel8 electronic pelvic toners use pre-set clinical programmes which have been carefully chosen, by us, for you to use at home.
When you have selected the Kegel8 exercise programme most suited to your needs, the NMES signal is transmitted into your muscles from the Kegel8 machine via an electrode. This electrode can be in the form of a vaginal probe, an anal probe, or sticky electrode pads attached to the surface of the skin. Probes or sticky electrode pads are positioned on, or over, the muscles to be stimulated. NMES is painless, quick, and easy to do in the comfort of your own home. It is also incredibly successful.
NMES is widely used by clinicians, physiotherapists and sports therapists in the following areas:
- Strength training for sportsmen/women and athletes
- Rehabilitation following injury and/or surgery
- Mobilising weak and wasted muscles (muscle atrophy)
- Testing muscle strength and capacity
Comfortable and controllable - with Kegel8 you control the intensity at all times.
Kegel8 electronic machines use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to exercise and bring weakened pelvic floor muscles back to life. You'll be amazed at how comfortable it is to use and will feel a gentle tingling or light pulling sensation as the muscle contracts. The electrical pulse will hold the muscle contraction for a set time. When the pulse stops the muscles will relax. This contraction and relaxation routine continues throughout the programme.
Because we are all different, you control the intensity (mAs) of the pulse that you feel - you should aim for the gentle tingling rather an uncomfortable pull!
Please remember, you can use an electrode probe vaginally or anally or, if you prefer, you can use electrode pads on specific areas on the surface of your body (tibial and sacral nerve stimulation available on the Kegel8 Ultra 20 only).
No two women are ever the same and results vary for us all. With a Kegel8 unit, we ask you to exercise once or twice daily for a 12 week period. By exercising daily you will coax your weak pelvic floor back to strength and improved sensation - but it will usually take about two weeks before you really start to notice a difference. Clinical evidence shows us that there are other things as well as exercising that will contribute to better results from your Kegel8. Improving your posture, supplementing with Vitamin D3, and weight loss will contribute greatly to amplifying the results you can achieve.
We know that like most women your life is hectic, and it is quite possible that your needs often come at the end of a very long list. That's why we have designed Kegel8 to fit around your busy lifestyle; you need to feel improvements so you don't become demoralised and give up!
Many women are delighted to report that their partner notices improvements even before they do, which is always a great incentive to carry on the exercising. The number one reason Kegel exercises fail is because we either don't feel they are working or we give up too soon.
If you are ready to commit to just 12 weeks of regular daily exercise, you will be amazed at the improvement in tone, strength, control and sensation.
Panty pads and panty liners are great for giving you confidence in case of an accident. There is nothing worse than wetting your knickers as you dive to a loo and don't make it in time. It is smelly and uncomfortable. Most of us have been there at some time or another, and you might find that your pelvic floor is weaker at certain times of the month so it happens more regularly. But we cannot stress highly enough that you must not rely on panty pads; laughter leaks are not an inevitable part being a mum or getting older.
Here's what we know:
- If you are suffering from leaks and accidents it is your pelvic floor literally 'crying out' for attention.
- It will not get better 'on its own'.
- Many women say they wish they had not ignored these signs, especially if they go on to suffer a prolapse (pelvic organs dropping down).
- 1:2 women aged 50 will suffer some form of prolapse.
- Leaking urine is traumatic for many women - many progress onto suffering with faecal leaks too.
- With bladder and bowel leaks come reduced intimate sensation and the loss of confidence, dignity, and in some case intimacy altogether.
- On average, a woman uses 10,000 disposable sanitary products in her lifetime and most end up in landfill sites - not at all 'green' or environmentally friendly.
- Panty pads & liners on average cost the user £217 per year.
Why pad the problem when you can use a Kegel8 unit? Taking control with Kegel8 can really put a smile on your face too – it's fresher, healthier and cleaner, and the chances are your love life could really benefit too!
When we hit the road with the Kegel8 Roadshow to events and fitness shows we get asked the following:
- Does it vibrate? – NO! – It is totally silent. It is not a sex toy; it is an investment in your pelvic health and intimate sensations too!
- Is it just for sex? - NO! - It's for your health and wellbeing and can help you to regain control of those embarrassing 'laughter leaks'.
- I'm not sexually active so my pelvic floor will be stronger - NO! Sadly, the less we use it, and that includes sex as well, the weaker our pelvic floor can become - unless we do targeted exercises for strengthening. One woman said to us, "I haven't had sex for 4 years and I thought it would be really tight, like the first time all over again - how wrong was I? It felt lose and baggy and I struggled to have an orgasm. I definitely need a Kegel8 to get back in shape and quick!"
We also find that there are some women unable or unwilling to use a vaginal probe, but they still want to enjoy the benefits of a strong pelvic floor and regain control. With the Kegel8 Ultra 20, the pelvic floor can be exercised outside the body by using tibial nerve stimulation and sacral nerve stimulation. We find this is particularly beneficial for some older ladies who are desperate to regain bladder/bowel control. We do know that incontinence is the second most popular reason that women are admitted into care homes - and many of us want to remain as independent and in control for as long as possible.
With Kegel8 there is now a clinically proven, dignified and easy home treatment for pelvic floor weakness - for all women, no matter what age!
Yes. It is safe to use a Kegel8 electronic pelvic toner if you have a Mirena coil or other intrauterine device (IUD) fitted. An IUD is positioned right into the uterus via the cervix and is therefore out of the way of the vaginal probe which, when in use, will be in the first two inches of the vagina. If you prefer not to use a vaginal probe you can also strengthen your pelvic floor, and treat overactive bladder, using electrode pads with a special programme on the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Pelvic Toner.
The Mirena coil is plastic and safe to use with Kegel8 NMES pelvic toners.
Any IUD containing copper (e.g. 'copper coil') is unaffected by a Kegel8 NMES pelvic toner, so no problems there either.<
It is your personal choice - you can use your Kegel8 during your period if you wish, but some women prefer not to. Many women find that using a Kegel8 electronic toner during their period helps to alleviate period pain and muscle cramps.
If you have the Kegel8 Ultra 20 unit, you could opt to use electrode pads on your skin, and choose between exercise programmes such as tibial or sacral nerve stimulation.
alternatively, you can use the electrode pads with a pain killing programme for the relief of period pain. You don't always have to use a vaginal or anal probe, and by using your Kegel8 in different ways it will exercise and invigorate nerves, muscles and fibres in different ways.
Vaginal & anal probes with long electrodes (the metal part) that run up and down the length of the attachment should always be inserted with the metal parts facing hip-to-hip. The electrodes conduct the electrical pulse and should be in contact with the main part of the muscle at all times - vaginally this is two inches inside the vagina. The electrode part should not be in contact with the sensitive labia. Anal probes may vary in depth and some are adjustable. It is recommended that the electrode part is positioned 'hip to hip' past the sphincter muscles of the anus, maintaining muscle contact at all times unless directed otherwise by a clinician.
Vaginal & anal probes with circular electrodes - if they have circular electrodes (the metal part), simply insert them to the desired depth. The metal parts conduct the electrical pulse and should be in contact with the main part of the muscle at all times - vaginally this is two inches inside the vagina. The electrode part should not be in contact with the sensitive labia. Anal probes may vary in depth and some are adjustable. It is recommended that the electrodes are inserted past the sphincter muscles of the anus, maintaining muscle contact at all times.
It is important that the probe maintains good contact with the muscle at all times. If a probe becomes dislodged, the Kegel8 machine will cut out and the exercise programme will stop. Sometimes the wearing of tight fitting undergarments or a tight pair of jeans will help to keep the probe in place and maintain correct contact during the programme.
A water based gel such as KE Gel should be used on the probe to facilitate easy insertion and to ensure good electrode contact, thereby improving the flow of the electrical pulse. If you are post-menopausal, with thinning or dryness of your vaginal tissue, a course of oestrogen cream may help. This is available from your GP and could help with vaginal dryness, tenderness, itching and soreness.
If you use a Kegel8 Ultra 20 pelvic toner and use electrode pads on the outside of your body, you do not need to use a lubricant; however, to make sure your electrode pads last as long as possible we recommend that your skin is free from lotions and creams and the electrode pads are stored on the clear film, in a cool place. Some users claim that storing them in a fridge is ideal for getting the most treatments out of one set of electrode pads!
We recommend that you clean your probe before first use. Simply rinse the probe part in water and detergent 50-55°c or spray with Kegel Klean and dry.
- Please remember to keep the wires dry at all times.
- Do not boil the probe.
- Our probes are for single patient use only; please do not share your probe.
If you want to use the same probe vaginally to anally this is OK, but always thoroughly clean it because bacteria can transfer from the anus.
Exercising using a vaginal/anal probe - initially we recommend you use your Kegel8 once a day for 12 weeks. Some users are anxious to see quick results – in this case you might like to perform two programmes daily, but leave at least 6 hours apart to minimise fatigue in your pelvic floor muscles. Fatigue is demonstrated if you find there is a worsening of your symptoms. If this happens, your treatment time should be reduced; cut a programme time in half and exercise once a day or every other day. Your muscles will get stronger, but it has to be a gradual process for lasting effective results.
Exercising using electrode pads - use it once or twice a day for 12 weeks, making sure you leave at least 6 hours between programmes to minimise fatigue in your pelvic floor muscles. Fatigue is demonstrated if you find there is a worsening of your symptoms. If this happens, your treatment time should be reduced; cut a programme time in half and only use it once a day. Your muscles will get stronger, but it has to be a gradual process for lasting effective results.
Pain relief & relaxation - the low intensity relaxation and pain relief programmes can be used as and when you need them.
Here's what we know:
- We are all different and how we feel the mAs can be affected by skin thickness, skin circulation and the quality of electrode (metal part of the probe) contact.
- Always choose a level that feels comfortable for you; you should never feel uncomfortable, just a gentle tingling sensation.
- When you start to increase the mAs, the sensory fibres are the first to be stimulated, followed by the fast motor, and then finally the slow motor muscle fibres.
- When using a vaginal and/or anal probe, make sure the mAs reading is above 30 so the pulse can penetrate deep into the muscles.
- When using electrode pads, the maximum level advised is 15mAs.
Consult with your doctor or consultant; every case is different, but the Kegel8 could help to speed up your recovery and improve the surgical outcome. Stress Incontinence and prolapse is usually a sign of a weak pelvic floor, so if you have had an operation to help with either of these conditions you will still have a weak pelvic floor and you need Kegel8 more than ever!
Please note that if you are currently receiving treatment for any pelvic cancer, Kegel8 electronic pelvic toners that use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) are contraindicated. This is because we know that cancer cells multiply under different influences and at present there are no studies on the effect of NMES on cancer cells in humans. So please do not use unless under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
Whilst it is accepted that there is little research on this topic, it is currently believed that neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is not contraindicated once routine frequency of cervical smears is re-established.
Pacemakers can be affected by electrical currents. Kegel8 uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to trigger muscle contractions and therefore its use is contraindicated unless under medical guidance.
Yes you can, as long as there is enough room in your vagina to insert the probe and make sure that the electrode (the metal parts) has good contact with the walls of the vagina/muscles.
alternatively if you don't want to, or are unable to, use a vaginal probe, you can use electrode pads with the Kegel8 Ultra 20. Pioneering clinical programmes on the Kegel8 Ultra 20 mean that if you have a pessary fitted it should not stand in the way of strengthening your pelvic floor. With electrode pads you can now stimulate certain points on the outside of your body, namely the ankle with tibial nerve stimulation, and at the base of the spine with sacral nerve stimulation.
Initially we recommend that you use the Kegel8 either reclining or sitting with your legs elevated. This will help you get used to the Kegel8 sensation and also to stop the probe falling out of position. It is important that the probe maintains contact with the muscles of your pelvic floor in order to work effectively. If you do not get an effective contact with the probe you will find that you cannot increase the mAs (intensity), meaning your pelvic floor exercises are not as beneficial as they could be. When you are sitting with your legs elevated (e.g. sitting up in bed reading), try altering the angle of your legs by bringing your knees up. Variations like this will alter the angle of the vagina, ensuring different areas of the pelvic floor muscles are exercised, whilst you maintain a good contact with your probe.
When you get more proficient you may want to move around with the Kegel8. You'll find that you can walk, iron, watch TV or check your e-mails while exercising - perfect for us women who have to multi-task in our busy lives. Associating the use of a Kegel8 with a regular activity such as ironing will act as a reminder for you to do your exercises.
This will depend on the type of prolapse and if you use a vaginal and/or anal probe or electrode pads.
When using a vaginal/anal probe:
- Depending on the type and grade of prolapse you have affects the way you should use your Kegel8. Some types of prolapse prevent the vaginal probe making proper contact with the muscle walls. We therefore recommend that you do the exercises lying down with your hips elevated. Put a pillow or cushion under your bottom – this will ensure that prolapsed organs are not bearing down and putting pressure on your pelvic floor as you exercise.
- If using a vaginal or anal probe you'll probably find that exercising first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, may be easier because the prolapsed organs may not have 'worked their way down'. This is because when you get up and move around, your pelvic organs will drop. As such, some women find inserting the probe at the end of a day difficult.
When using electrode pads
- Pioneering clinical programmes on the Kegel8 Ultra 20 mean that you can now stimulate certain points on the outside of your body using electrode pads instead of via vaginal/anal probes. The areas targeted are by the ankle with tibial nerve stimulation and at the base of the spine with sacral nerve stimulation.
- When using electrode pads we recommend that you sit comfortably with your legs raised.
Kegel8 wants you to have a choice! If you use one probe (vaginal or anal) then you will find you usually only use Channel A (CHA) on the left hand side of the controller.
However, some vaginal probes, such as the Perisize, use both channels of stimulation. This means that both sides can be set to different levels of intensity. This is ideal for women who feel that only one side of the probe is working, or that one side of their vagina feels 'dull' and lacks sensation. What we know is that by using a 2 channel vaginal probe, each side can have a different intensity (mAs) and this will improve the chances of restoring sensation and feeling to the 'dull' area.
If you choose to use the Kegel8 Ultra 20 with electrode pads, you can stimulate two areas at once with the pads.
Yes, but we advise that you remove the battery from the unit and store that separately for the flight. Kegel8 electronic pelvic toners are registered medical devices.
Yes, in the early stages of treatment some women report that their symptoms are worsening.
Here's what we know:
Fatigue - a weak pelvic floor can get tired very quickly; if you notice a worsening of symptoms (incontinence, dragging feeling) it is a sign of fatigue. We recommend that you reduce the amount of time you use your Kegel8 while your pelvic floor gets stronger. If you have been using it twice a day, reduce to once. If using only once, then reduce to half a programme (e.g. 20 mins cut to 10 mins). It is vital that you maintain a regular routine, but take it steady - this will help you achieve the best results possible and get you back in control.
Stiffness or aching - similar to when you visit the gym. If your muscles are not used to exercise they may feel 'stiff' for a day or so after you have exercised with a Kegel8. This is perfectly normal and a sign that hitherto redundant muscles are being coaxed back to life. You will find that performing a 'relaxation' programme after the exercise programme will help. It acts as a pelvic floor 'cool down' and will help to remove waste products from your muscles, such as lactic acid, which cause the aches. It will also help prepare your pelvic floor muscles for the next exercise session, whether it's the next day or in a few days time.
The more you exercise, the more your muscles will get used to it and suffer less fatigue, before strengthening enough to stop leaks completely. Remember, pelvic floor muscles weaken over a number of years; they will not regain strength overnight. Regular Kegel8 exercise can help you achieve your goals.
NICE clinical guidelines advise against using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) machines such as the Kegel8 Ultra 20 and the Kegel8 Tight & Tone during pregnancy unless under medical guidance/advice.
Being pregnant places a lot of stress on your pelvic floor muscles and your pelvic floor can become weak and stretched from as early as 12 weeks into your pregnancy. It is advisable to follow a range of manual pelvic floor exercises to keep your pelvic floor strong and supportive throughout your pregnancy. A strong pelvic floor is beneficial for natural childbirth and your post-partum recovery will be quicker too!
After six weeks you will have your postnatal check. Generally women feel happy to start post-partum pelvic floor exercises after a successful six week check-up. It may be worth making an appointment with your midwife or doctor prior to this if you had an assisted birth, experienced a severe tear, or found that you were leaking urine in your first six weeks of pregnancy.
Strengthening the Kegel muscles aids recovery and speeds up the entire healing process, including the bruising and swelling of the perineum. Pelvic floor exercise improves blood circulation to the perineum, which effectively reduces this tissue damage. Without performing postnatal pelvic floor exercises, it is likely that you will suffer some form of pelvic floor dysfunction during your lifetime!
Oh, and a word of caution - we know how much pressure there is get back into shape, but be careful not to do too much too soon. If your pelvic floor feels heavy it is important to slow down. We know that your main priority now is your child, but do remember in order to take care of them, it is essential that you keep taking good care of yourself!
The intensity or strength of the electrical current as used in a Kegel8 electronic pelvic toner is measured in milliamps (mAs). When using a vaginal or anal probe the ideal level you should start at is 30mAs, for electrode pads the level is 15mAs.
If you do not have effective contact with your muscles and the metal electrode parts of the probe, you will find that you cannot increase the mAs up to a suitable level to exercise effectively. All of our electronic Kegel8s are automatically programmed to cut out if you do not have effective contact.
Here's what you need to do:
- Make sure the probe is inserted into the first 2 inches of your vagina. You might like to wear Sloggies or some tight pants to make sure it remains in place. You must have contact with the metal parts of the probe, this is the electrode that delivers the electrical pulse to exercise and invigorate your muscles.
- Make sure the metal parts of the probe (the electrodes) are facing hip to hip when the probe is inserted vaginally or anally.
- If you have difficulty retaining the probe (i.e. it falls out, or falls out of position) consider one of the wider lighter probes such as the Pelviline or Perisize.
- Try not to move around too much as this may displace the probe.
- Adjust your seating position; sit with your buttocks tightly together as if trying to hold in wind.
- Conductivity is also improved by using a lubricant such as KE Gel, it is water-based, body friendly and you'll get better results.
If the screen is displaying the programme and numbers (so you know there is power in the unit), then you need to adjust the mA button so that it is a level you can feel. Kegel8 knows that all women are different and we feel the intensity at different levels, so it is up to you to set the level of intensity that is right for you. The machine is waiting for you to tell it what you want. Remember; we are aiming for a gentle tingling - it should be comfortable, but you will be able to feel the sensation of the electrical pulse contracting your muscles.
To increase the mAs you'll see the plus button (+) on the side of the probe. Increase the mAs until you can feel the muscles contracting. When using a probe it should be above 30mAs, when using electrode pads on the skin this is 15mA's.
The probe will not work only on one side. When you only feel it working on one side it is likely due to nerve damage, a common legacy of giving birth. But Kegel8 can help with that too!
What we know:
- Nerves are frequently damaged more on one side than another - baby's beautiful head I am afraid. This nerve damage can reduce sensation quite considerably.
- We recommend using a probe that uses both channels or both sides of the Kegel8. The Perisphera H uses both channels of the Kegel8 (Vitality & Ultra 20 models). This means that both sides can be set independently to different levels of intensity.
- If you feel one side of the vagina is 'dull' and lacking sensation, by using a 2 channel vaginal probe each side can have a different intensity (mAs). By increasing the intensity on the 'dull' side so that you can feel it, it will improve the chances of restoring sensation.
Kegel8 units use clinical programmes to exercise and rehabilitate your pelvic floor. Some programmes are divided into phases to vary the electrical pulses for optimum results. When a programme changes phases you might notice that the mAs or intensity drops and you can't feel the Kegel8 working. This is a safety measure built in to make sure that when the programme goes through its phase it doesn't automatically increase the intensity and feel uncomfortable.
If you see or feel the intensity (mAs) drop as the programme proceeds through its phases, simply press the + button to increase the intensity once again.
If you are using a vaginal probe and you cannot increase the intensity (mAs) above 20 without a painful prickling sensation you could have vaginal atrophy or a dry vagina.
What we know:
- Vaginal atrophy can mean that using a Kegel8 Ultra 20 or Tight & Tone could be painful. This is because the tissue in your vagina is very dry.
- In many cases vaginal atrophy and dryness can also contribute to the symptoms of a weak pelvic floor and you may suffer incontinence as a result.
- Ask your GP or healthcare provider for a topical oestrogen cream such as Vagifem that could help to plump the tissue of the vagina and enable you to use a vaginal probe in comfort. After a 30 day treatment you should be able to continue to use your Kegel8 with a vaginal probe again.
alternatively, if you have a Kegel8 Ultra 20 you don't have to use a vaginal probe. We recommend that you use electrode pads in the region of your ankles (tibial nerve stimulation) and at the base of your spine (sacral nerve stimulation). This will not only exercise your pelvic area, but also help with the vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness by improving circulation and muscle tone.
Use a hormone free, water based lubricant such as KE Gel; it is specially formulated, body-friendly with no parabens. Put a few drops directly onto the probe for easier insertion. KE Gel ensures a nice moist area, perfect for effective muscle stimulation.
If you are menopausal or post-menopausal you could be suffering from vaginal atrophy, this causes vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal membrane and great discomfort. Sadly, in this case, a few drops of our magic lubricant won't help matters.
You have two options:
- Ask your doctor to prescribe a course of topical oestrogen cream. A course of 30 days should enable you to continue to use the vaginal probe.
- If you have a Kegel8 Ultra 20 you do not need to use a vaginal or anal probe. Have a look at tibial nerve stimulation (by your ankle) and sacral nerve stimulation (at the base of your spine). These programmes use electrode pads, so you won't have the discomfort of a vaginal probe, but you'll still get great clinically proven results.
Kegel8 is aware that many women with vaginal atrophy are unable to use a vaginal probe, and it is for that very reason that we have pioneered the use of tibial and sacral nerve stimulation. Please do not be deterred from pelvic floor exercising if you have vaginal atrophy. With the Kegel8 Ultra 20 you can still strengthen your pelvic floor and reap the benefits that improved tone, control and sensation can bring.
Yes! Our Kegel8 Vaginal Cones are available on prescription in the UK. Click here to download the prescription request form to share with your GP. We are also currently working on getting the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner available on prescription.
Give us a call, we are here to help.