Good Vibrations: Can vibration help improve pelvic floor muscle strength?
According to the latest research, the answer to this question is yes! That's why we're breaking down the latest research on pelvic floor muscle (PFM) strength to find out exactly what the study found and how this information could potentially change women's lives for the better.
But before we dive in deeper, let's take a minute to clarify some terms.
What is electric stimulus?
Electric stimulation (ES), or 'e-stim', triggers nerve fiber activation and the release of acetylcholine, one of the essential neurotransmitters involved in muscle contraction. It's commonly used in muscle rehabilitation to help reduce pain and promote healing.
According to the study, "When applied intravaginally, ES stimulates the pudendal nerve and its branches, producing reflex responses from the striated pelvic floor musculature. ES is well documented in the literature as an initial treatment for patients who cannot identify or contract their PFMs, strengthening these muscles and significantly assisting management of pelvic floor dysfunction."
What is vibratory stimulus?
Like ES, vibratory stimulus (VS) can also be used to reduce pain and strengthen muscles.
Recent studies have shown that vibration may improve pelvic floor muscle activation and strength, both in healthy young women and in women with stress urinary incontinence.
With this promising new science, researchers wanted to know which type of therapy was most effective for improving pelvic floor strength: electric or vibratory stimulation?
Inside the study: Vibration vs. e-stim for a stronger pelvic floor
The goal of the study was to compare the use of an intravaginal vibratory stimulus (IVVS) versus an intravaginal electrical stimulation (IVES) to see which option delivered the best results for treating pelvic floor dysfunctions in women who cannot voluntarily contract these muscles.
76.2% of the women who participated were menopausal, and all participants had some type of urinary incontinence, with prolapse urinary incontinence being the main complaint.
The participants were randomized to receive a once-weekly 20-minute session of IVVS or IVES for 6 weeks.
So, what did they find?
Vibratory stimulus appears to be effective in improving pelvic floor strength.
This is welcome news, and further supports limited evidence in medical literature regarding the benefits of vibration. We look forward to future studies that further explore vibration’s positive effects on intimate wellness.
So, lift your glass. Today, we're toasting to continuing health research and a stronger pelvic floor for all!