Vagina, Interrupted: A Kegel Story

rid-vaginal-odorVaginas. So magical, yet so misunderstood—even by those of us that own one.

Before I say another word, please read the following ACTUAL letter my close friend wrote to her OB/GYN:

Dear Dr. Gynecologist,

I’d like to come in ASAP because I am concerned about the state of my private parts. Ever since giving birth (great job on getting the baby out, btw – very cool), my vagina has turned into a “different person.”

Although I can’t comment on its physical appearance (looking at it equals the same feeling as opening a letter from the IRS), I’m pretty confident that it resembles an upside-down baseball glove. If it were a handshake, it’d be a weak one. If it were a jar of Trader Joe’s pesto sauce, it would be lidless, and a thin veil of Saran Wrap would be the only thing standing between my underwear and a Gushers™-like tsunami of water and pee. When I sneeze, I pee. When I laugh, I pee. When I fake laugh, I pee.

I used to go running for exercise but now literally NOTHING sounds scarier than going for a run, for it is truly the ultimate threat to said baseball glove-vagina. I’ve even tried running sideways whilst taking the smallest steps you’ve ever seen a nearly six-foot tall woman take, and every single time, SPLASH! There goes another pair of LuluLemons – then the Meronas (who cares, but still) – then my husband’s weird sweatpants, until all fabric barriers between my vagina and the rest of the world have been soaked and destroyed.

Can’t wait to see you.

Thanks

Yes, she also sent this to me. Once I finally stopped laughing, I texted her and asked her for a little more information…

Em – (her name is Emily as well) are you doing your Kegels?

Do those really work?” she replied.

What? How was this even possible? How, after years extolling the virtues of Kegel exercises and pelvic floor health, could my message have eluded one of my closest friends? While I can’t help but feel at least slightly guilty about that, there’s a bigger issue here: how are Kegels “news” to anyone at all?!

For women, a weakened pelvic floor is an eventual fact of life. And, while hopefully, “upside-down baseball glove” is not something you’ll ever want to call your lady parts, it’s possible you fall into this category, too. But don’t panic! It’s not your fault. And contrary to what you may think, the state of your vagina is not set in stone.

This breakdown in awareness starts with weak sex-ed curriculums, and rarely gets corrected by healthcare providers. Fortunately, there are passionate professionals, myself included, that are trying to make a change—one vagina at a time.  

Like a grandmother who just found out her favorite grandchild (or anyone, for that matter) hasn’t eaten in hours, I rushed in with chicken soup for the vagina—my app, Kegel Camp.  

Emily,” I texted, “let’s start with the basics – download my app right now, it literally guides you-step by-step through Kegel exercises.

Be real – you know me, am I going to keep up with these?” she replied.  

You’re right — I’ve got something else,” I said.

Before I get into the answer to my friend’s vaginal prayers, let’s talk about what makes Kegel exercises so important. Regardless of your parental status, bladder control starts with toned pelvic floor muscles. Even though I don’t have kids, I certainly can relate to Emily’s sneeze-and-pee experience. No matter your age, sexual past or present, the benefits of Kegels makes doing them well worth the effort. With improved muscle strength and control comes increased sexual sensation and stronger orgasms, not to mention toned vaginal walls—the exact opposite of Emily’s self-described baseball glove.

Okay, now back to Emily…

I told her to sit tight (literally and figuratively) and sent her a product that changed everything I knew about Kegels—the Intensity by Pour Moi. Essentially, this is a personal care device that does your Kegels for you, and does them WELL. As if that’s not enough, the Intensity doubles as a killer rabbit vibrator. You simply lay back and let it perform an amazing Kegel workout while it simultaneously delivers a crazy orgasm. Or several, in my case.

Our texts turned into a two hour phone call all about Kegels. I explained to my pee-soaked friend how the Intensity uses very mild electrostimulation to rapidly contract and relax your pelvic floor (or PC) muscle group. I also told her that after a year of regularly using the Intensity, I’ve seen unbelievable changes, from eliminating inadvertent leaks to intense (and more frequent) orgasms during sex.  

I’m happy to report that Emily’s been using the Intensity (and my app, too!) for a couple months, and is now on the path to a vagina she can once again feel proud of… One with a firm handshake and a tight lid.

So the next time you’re pondering the state of your vagina, remember—it’s up to you to keep her healthy. Educate yourself. Ask the embarrassing questions. Grab a hand mirror and have yourself a look at your teammate; it’s you and she against the world. Luckily, there are a lot of us out here who can help you figure things out along the way.  

 

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