Popular Pelvic Health Products: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Popular Pelvic Health Products: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Celebrity endorsements often cause waves of popularity for different products on the market. Not even the realm of pelvic health is exempt from fads that pique peoples’ curiosity and direct them to using products that are unhelpful, or worse, possibly harmful.  Here are a few pelvic health products that have gone onto the market in recent years. While professional opinions are always useful, you be the judge on whether these are good, bad, or just plain ugly.

  1. Squatty Potty: Originally shown on Shark Tank, the squatty potty (or the squattypottymus for kids), is a simple, white plastic footstool that tucks under the toilet and is designed to, well, help people poop more easily! When using the squatty potty, it promotes improved toilet posture in order to help the pelvic floor muscles relax during defecation. Helping the pelvic floor muscles relax during a bowel movement helps reduce the chances of over-straining, as over-straining leads to other complications in bowel/bladder functioning and pelvic health. Folks who combine optimal bowel/bladder health strategies (ie, drinking water, having appropriate fiber intake, and get the proper levels of sleep and exercise) successfully reduce their constipation levels with the use of the squatty potty.
  2. The Kegel Throne, also called BTL Esmella (can be found in some medical clinics): According to their website, the BTL Emsella is “intended to provide non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation of pelvic floor musculature for the purpose of rehabilitation of weak pelvic muscles and restoration of neuromuscular control for the treatment of male and female urinary incontinence.” Their claim is essentially physical therapy without the work involved, as the Esmella causes electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles to contract thousands of contractions per session requiring the patient to simply sit there on the throne! While there are several issues with this, it is worth mentioning that electrical stimulation for muscle strengthening originated several decades ago and has been shown to have very limited functional use for long term muscle strengthening. As it turns out, actual muscle work, such as directed physical therapy exercises, is the best way to gain strength, endurance, and motor control within muscle groups. Let the client do the work (not the machine!).
  3. Vaginal Steaming (V-Steam): This controversial detox method (as previously found on Gwyneth Paltrow’s health site, Goop) is intended to “steam clean” the vagina using the steam from boiling water combined with a variety of seemingly healthy ingredients, such as rosemary, rose petals, and oregano to name a few. However, as far as science goes, there is no (as in, ZERO) research nor clinical anecdotal evidence to support this method of “cleansing.” Not to mention, this technique poses a risk of burns (Imagine: boiling water/steam precariously positioned directly underneath your undercarriage. Doesn’t sound like a good idea…). The vaginal canal is intended to be a low oxygen environment and has a specific vaginal ecosystem that when disrupted, can cause issues. While V-Steaming has been endorsed by a celebrity, this technique is NOT endorsed by any OB/GYN physicians nor any pelvic health practitioners for that matter. This product was most notably called into question by Dr. Jennifer Gunter, OB/GYN and Pain Medicine Physician on the Netflix series “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death”.

If you are ready to learn more reliable information about pelvic health, contact us today to schedule with our pelvic health specialist, Kelsea Cannon, PT.

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Covid-19 Notice

06/09/2020 Covid-19 Notice:

Our clinics are open for in-clinic physical therapy visits, telemedicine physical therapy visits and virtual Pilates sessions. This allows us to comply as much as possible with the phased reopening of WA State, while also meeting our obligation as essential infrastructure workers. For in clinic treatment, the PT will wear a mask and patient needs to wear a mask of their own, social distancing is observed throughout the clinic and rigorous cleaning guidelines will be followed. At times during your treatment, it may not be possible for your PT to observe social distancing, such as during certain manual therapy techniques. The need for in-clinic treatment vs. telehealth treatment will be a joint determination between you and your PT. You may review our Covid-19 Exposure Control, Mitigation and Recovery Plan for the details of how we provide safe in-person care.

We are grateful for and support all of our clients who have been able to march and protest in support of Black Lives Matter. In order to continue to provide the safest clinic experience possible for our clients and providers, we are asking that any client who has participated in a march or protest do one of the following: 1.) Switch to telehealth visits for 14 days. 2.) Get tested for Covid-19 and provide us with negative results. Note that Seattle's mayor has cleared the way for those who march to get tested without symptoms and encourages participants to get tested. 3.) Wait 14 days after marching/protesting to return to the clinic. Thank you for understanding that this policy is in place to allow us to meet our responsibility to all clients, which is to do no harm.

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Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. Be in touch with your PT to schedule your physical therapy visit. We are available via clinic phone (206-535-7356) and email (elizabeth@elizabethrogerspt.com). We will update you here and our Facebook page as things change.

Thank you for your support of this small, locally-owned physical therapy private practice!

Elizabeth Rogers, PT

Owner, Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy, PLLC