So, I have to start this post by making you aware that this is going to be a very real and deep post about bladder control so if that’s not your bag then please feel free to click away now. Although talking about incontinence may seem like TMI for the average viewer if you ever happen to have to experience it let me tell you there is nothing TMI about it.
My First Pregnancy
When I fell pregnant with Henry seven years ago I was twenty-two and I had never heard of pelvic floor exercises. Incontinence was something only older people had to worry about and I was very naive to what my body would go through during pregnancy and birth. In my defence, I was never told about pelvic floor exercises and the first time I heard that they were a ‘thing’ and I should be doing them was when I was sat with a group of Mums years later. Luckily, I had very little bladder issue other than the occasional weakness during a sneezing fit. I assumed this was normal I had given birth after all and thought it must just be a fact of life.
Second Pregnancy & Incontinence
My incontinence issues really began when I fell pregnant the second time. Suddenly I was unable to control my bladder in the same way and it went from mild bladder weakness to sometimes full incontinence. It got to the point where if I coughed, sneezed, laughed, threw up etc etc I would have an issue. There was suddenly an urgency around using the bathroom and I could no longer ‘hold it’ needing to go almost immediately. Things like the school run were an issue despite it only being ten minutes from home I would find myself desperate to go by the time they opened the school gates and then again once I arrived home.
I started not wanting to venture out very far and everything become a bit obsessive on where the nearest toilet would be. I refused to walk the dog, cancelled plans with friends and work commitments all because the anxiety surrounding this issue was unbearable. I’m only thirty years old and to be experiencing this is demoralising, embarrassing and humiliating. I never thought I would be buying incontinence towels at such a young age.
My Midwife & GP
I discussed my sudden incontinence with both my Midwife and GP who reassured me that sometimes this does happen and the additional strain on your body in pregnancy can cause incontinence issues if the pelvic floor muscles are weak. I was advised to do some pelvic floor muscle exercises but I found them hard to stick to and little improvement. I have been referred to a gynaecology physiotherapist however they have already told me it is unlikely they will see me before my pregnancy is over. Which has left me struggling on as I am.
When I heard about the Elvie Trainer– a Kegal trainer I was at the point of despair and willing to try anything. A lot of things were appealing about the Elvie Trainer like the fact that the unit was small, exercises were split into five-minute workouts that were fun and appealing and the fact it was recommended by over 800 health professionals. The Elvie Trainer is safe to use during pregnancy but it is best to check with your Midwife first so I took the Elvie Trainer along for my Midwife to look over. She felt that this would be an ideal solution to try at least in the interim between now and having the baby. Ultimately, I had nothing to lose but perhaps a lot to gain and I was at the point of wanting to try anything.
Setting everything up is simple and easy and you download the app to your phone for free. You insert the Elvie Trainer and follow the exercises on the screen which give you a score and are more like little games. The whole work out was a minimal time which meant I had no excuse not to do it every day. The app sends a push notification to remind you to do the workout which I found very useful as a busy mum juggling everything.
Using the Elvie Trainer wasn’t unpleasant or painful and it was nice being able to see my results and any improvement. Charging and storing the device is easy and discreet and you could easily do your workout for a few minutes each day without anyone else being aware.
I’ve been using The Elvie Trainer for the past two weeks and I have seen an improvement which is encouraging. It says that it can take up to four weeks for results so I am excited to see if the progress continues. I have definitely noticed a strength and confidence in my bladder which has really lifted my mood.
More About The Elvie Trainer
If you want to know more about Elvie and The Elvie Trainer like how it could help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles then head over to their website here. Incontinence isn’t something we should be afraid of or just put up with. Speak to your GP or Midwife if you are pregnant and find out what they suggest.
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*We were kindly gifted the Elvie Trainer for the purpose of this review. As always all words, opinions and views are my own. For more information on any of this please head over to this page.