Pelvic floor exercises are important for all sorts of reasons and can affect women at any age due to genetics, high-intensity exercise, as well as aging and pregnancy. Australian export, Maddison Gale, joined Elvie’s communications team 6 months ago and admits she had no idea about the pelvic floor before discovering Elvie Trainer. Here’s her (blatantly honest) account of what it’s like to work for a brand that is championing an all-too-often neglected area of women’s health and tackling the stigma around intimate health issues on a daily basis.
Okay, I have something to confess, I had no idea that products like Elvie Trainer existed until about 6 months ago. In fact, I had no idea what the pelvic floor really did. Ignorant? Maybe. Uneducated? Definitely. Even though I went to an all-girls high school, my knowledge of women’s health wasn’t great. Why would it be? My last memory of sex education was putting a condom on a banana and asking my male health teacher what a clitoris was, purely to watch him squirm (and boy did it).
Isn’t it funny, looking back on my 13-year-old self, laughing about the word clitoris? How immature.Yet at 25, and to many of my friends over the age of 30, explaining my job always results in laughter. The friends who know what I do get great excitement out of listening to me chat to new people. It usually goes a little something like this...
New person: “So, what do you do?”
I work for a health and lifestyle company that makes smart tech for women
*Confused look from new person (more giggles next to me)*
So, our first product is a kegel trainer
*Still confused… light bulb moment… all parties involved are now giggling*
I’m then unwillingly thrown into a game of 20 questions.
So you put it up your….*eyebrow raise, awkward hand motions*
And, it makes it tighter?
That’s not really a thing. But strengthening your pelvic floor muscles does increase tone and friction.
It links to an app on your phone and guides you through a series of games that exercise your pelvic floor.
Who buys that kind of thing?
Women. Women who can’t laugh or jump without peeing, women who want better orgasms or just generally care about their health. Regular Kegel training helps combat these issues.
Why don’t people just do kegels by themselves?
Because it’s hard to exercise a group of muscles you can’t see. How are you meant to know you’re doing it right? 1 in 3 women push down instead of lifting, causing more damage. Our device is the only one in the world that can tell you if you’re doing the exercises properly. Also, when was the last time you did your kegels?
Exactly. Our product motivates you to do them, it reminds you, it shows your improvement.
People always start this conversation feeling hesitant, awkward and uncomfortable and end it feeling (if I do say so myself) amazed and slightly more educated. I’m not here to pass judgement on anyone, I’ve only just learnt about these issues myself. But it shocks me that I could be talking to a woman with three kids and she still says the word “vagina” like she’s saying “bomb” on an international flight.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many women we’ve helped and how many more we could, if the stigma was removed. Okay, so maybe I’d never heard of this device because I’d never had any issues. But shouldn’t I have been warned? Shouldn’t I have been told this doesn’t have to happen later in life and by using this device you can avoid these issues? Mainly, peeing yourself every day. Isn’t that why people drink green smoothies, eat vegetables and exercise? To keep healthy. Is it possible that removing the stigma and making products like Elvie Trainer known, my generation could be the first to not experience incontinence or a weak pelvic floor? Isn’t that what we should aim for?
I’m not saying these conversations should or ever will be as easy as discussing what you had for lunch. I mean, try explaining this gadgetary in your suitcase to customs at Heathrow. Yes, this happened to me and yes, I’m grateful that UK Customs Officer, Patrick, shot me a look but then left it at that (thanks again Pat, I owe you). But I can say that Elvie is opening up these conversations and we’re driving real change, one vagina at a time.
Originally published here