Have you seen people exercise by lifting small weights over and over? This builds up muscles. Vaginal weights or cones are used the same way to help women do weight-lifting exercises for the pelvic floor.
Vaginal weights or cones are usually ordered through a catalog or website. They usually come as a set having several different weights. The vaginal weights are smooth and are made of plastic on the outside with a metal weight inside. They have a string to help you pull them back out when you are done with them (like a tampon). They are usually shaped like a V or cone.
How to Use Vaginal Weights or Cones
In the comfort of your own home, you put the lightest weight all the way into your vagina. It does not have to go to the far end, but it needs to be above the opening. It may feel like it is trying to peek out, or it may fall all the way out, so the first time you try this, you may want to stand over a soft towel.
After you put the cone in, try to contract or squeeze the vaginal muscles around your finger as you remove it from the opening. Use those muscles to hold the weighted cone in place for a short time. Try to imagine getting the cone to move up the vagina by using your muscles, like swallowing upside down. Some people imagine an elevator. Can you make the cone go up and down in the elevator? Can it go fast and then slow? Each time you exercise you can try to hold it longer. You can try to ‘move that elevator’ more times with each set. Once you can do all this with the lowest weight cone, you should begin to use the next weight in the set. As the pelvic floor muscles get stronger, you should be able to stay dry longer.
Weights or cones can be used by women who have stress urinary incontinence, or other problems from a weak pelvic floor. The weights and cones must be inserted into the vagina, which some women don’t like very much, but they can be used in private at home.
Things to Consider
- The weights make sure you exercise the right pelvic floor muscles.
- You have to do the exercises regularly for them to work.
- You must do the exercises as often as needed. This might be several times a day.
- You must keep doing the exercises because the muscles can get weak again.
- Some women are uncomfortable putting anything into their vagina.
Medical Reviewer: Diana Hankey-Underwood, MS, WHNP-BC
Diana Hankey-Underwood, MS, WHNP-BC, is Executive Director of Grace Anatomy, Inc. She was recently awarded two National awards: the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Bayer Health Care 2007 Inspiration in Women’s Health Award and the National Association For Continence 2007 Continence Care Champion (CCC) award. Her current work includes research on results of pelvic floor surgery, teaching classes on incontinence and working with international surgeons on improving the outcomes for children born with birth defects of the genitourinary and GI systems.