Today’s blog post comes from our friend Tracy Puhl, the owner of Glad Rags
. Glad Rags makes high quality, sustainable (and awesome!) menstrual products and shares our passion for women’s health. In addition to the post, they are generously partnering with us in a contest to win a kGoal and a 7-pack of your choice of GladRags cloth pantyliners! You can enter the contest via the widget in their post here.
I have a confession to make: I have sneezed with such force while in a grocery store that I peed. I PEED. Just a little bit, but enough for me to frantically whisper at my boyfriend, “look at my pants! did I just pee myself?!?” in the aisle of QFC. This incident definitely ranks in one of my top five embarrassing stories (although judging by the frequency with which I tell it, you’d probably never guess).
Many of us are aware that pregnancy, along with all of its other effects on the female body, can cause what we quaintly call “leakage.” The icing on my mortification cake is this: I was not, nor have I ever been, pregnant. My sneeze-pee in the candy aisle of the grocery store was a wake up call.
Urinary incontinence affects twice as many women as men, and the most common form is stress incontinence (aka leaking when you sneeze, dance, laugh, etc). Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause can all contribute to stress incontinence, which affects millions of women in the U.S.
Many of our customers, in fact, use GladRags as daily backup against stress incontinence. Cloth pantyliners are a much better alternative than plastic disposables, especially if you’re wearing them daily. The adhesives of disposable pantyliners are a known vulvar skin irritant, and the cost can really stack up when they’re used every day.
Our shipping manager, Eliana, recently quipped “Do you want your GladRags to retire when you do? Then do your Kegels.” Doing your Kegels (aka pelvic floor exercises) is one of the simplest, least invasive ways to improve bladder control, but they must be done correctly to be effective. To perform pelvic floor exercises, squeeze the muscles in your pelvic area as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Only squeeze your pelvic muscles — avoid clenching your stomach, legs, or butt. And of course there is no substitute for visiting your medical caregiver for proper instructions!
Trying to get into a pelvic floor exercise routine is kind of daunting for a newbie, especially when you’re not sure if you’re doing them correctly. When the kind folks at Minna Life
generously offered to send me their new kGoal exerciser
to try out, I jumped at the opportunity!
The kGoal is unique in that it provides real-time feedback: this little device buzzes when squeezed, so you know you’re using the right muscles. It also connects wirelessly to your phone or tablet so that you can complete ‘workouts,’ which are then scored in the areas of strength, endurance, and control. One of the workouts feels more like a game — you squeeze and release to allow different shapes to pass through a threshold, leveling up as your strength, control, and endurance improve — which makes the thought of doing pelvic floor exercises way less boring.
The one feature I’d love to see would be to allow users to ‘challenge’ their friends on the app — my pal Erika (read her kGoal review here
) and I would like an easier way to report our vagina strength to one another! — but I get that most people are probably not anxiously awaiting this feature. Otherwise, the app and device have run smoothly and intuitively for me every time. It’s still not second nature for me to remember to do my workout, but I’ve practiced more with the kGoal than any other pelvic floor exercise aid.
We’ve partnered with Minna Life to offer a special giveaway for GladRags readers. Use the widget below to enter to win your very own kGoal and a 7-pack of your choice of GladRags cloth pantyliners.*
*winner may choose any combo of seven standard Pantyliners, Thong Pantyliners, or Pantyliner Plus in natural organic cotton or their favorite print. View all pantyliner options here.
After months of hard work, we are proud and excited to finally be able to tell you about Minna’s newest product. It’s called kGoal, and it’s the world’s first smart Kegel trainer.
Strong pelvic floor muscles are a critical part of a healthy body. In particular, they are vital as they relate to:
- Pleasure: strong pelvic floor muscles can enhance arousal and improve sensation, orgasm quality, and overall sexual experience
- Pregnancy and post-partum recovery (helping the body manage changes arising from pregnancy and recover more readily after birth)
- Bladder control: strong pelvic floor muscles can improve bladder control throughout all stages of life
- Musculoskeletal stability (back and pelvic pain, etc.)
Essentially, there are all kinds of reasons why it’s important to exercise your pelvic floor muscles, but the existing tools to help women do that are very limited.
That’s why we have developed kGoal. It is a device + app that can guide your exercise routine, measure your performance, and track your progress. It has a number of totally unique features and we think it can totally change the way people exercise and manage their pelvic floor health. We’ve also been really pleased about how excited the gynecologists and physical therapists we’ve talked to are about it.
We’re accepting pre-orders via a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter, and we need your help to let us make kGoal a reality. Please take a look and help us get the word out!
We are very happy to be able to introduce Elizabeth Miracle as our newest adviser. Specializing in pelvic floor therapy, Liz is the founder and owner of Miracle Physical Therapy and is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Physical Therapy. She holds a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, a specialization in women’s health (WCS) from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and a Certification in Pelvic Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPP). She’s steadfast in her quest to educate others about pelvic health so that women everywhere can work, exercise and be intimate with confidence.
We are extremely excited to be able to tap Liz’s expertise as we work to develop innovative products that address new aspects of general and pelvic floor health. Welcome, Liz!