If you’ve ever laughed and leaked, you’re like most women. This common problem is why panty liners and leak-proof undies are huge industries. But instead of stocking up on pads, the “Vagina Coach” Kim Vopni wants women who want to be carefree and leak-free, to visit a pelvic floor physiotherapist at least once a year.
That’s the first of Vopni’s three leak-free lifestyle tips. Pelvic floor physios are regular physiotherapists with additional training and licensing to perform internal assessments to check for tone, strength, endurance, organ position, and the pelvic floor’s ability to contract and relax.
Pelvic floor muscles, like any muscle, like to move through their full range of motion. Our modern-day lifestyle involves a lot of sitting, typically in slouched postures. This can contribute to short tight pelvic floor muscles that become hindered in their ability to respond to increases in pressure like laughing and coughing or jumping. “Learning to relax the pelvic floor is just as, if not more important than learning to contract the pelvic floor muscles”.
Enter pelvic floor specialists, who can assess the pelvic floor and assign appropriate corrective exercises. Vopni’s site can help you find a pelvic floor specialist near you.
Vopni’s second lifestyle tip is that Kegel exercises are critical to pelvic floor health. Most women do Kegels incorrectly, and then give up thinking they don’t work. Vopni is on a mission to promote a Kegel lifestyle with her 3 C approach. Kegels work when done Correctly, Consistently and Coordinated with movement. Being told to do Kegels at every red light is not serving women nor does it translate into activities of daily living like lifting and carrying and pushing. By learning HOW to do Kegels, and then how to add Kegels to exercises like squats and bicep curls women can transform their core! “Kegels are a core exercise” Vopni says. The key is to then do them consistently. By adopting a Kegel lifestyle, women can ditch the pads, avoid drugs and surgery and live a leak free life!
Then there’s the third tip, which Vopni explains, as “you have to optimize your pooping.” This means eating non inflammatory foods, balancing soluble and insoluble fibre and hydrating well so you can poop daily without straining. “Constipation,” she warns, “is a pelvic floor killer."
Pelvic floor health is so much more than living a leak-free life – it’s an important step in sexual health and a pain-free life too, as there is a significant correlation between low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. Vopni’s sense of humour underlies her “Vagina Coach” moniker, and she’s a hardcore advocate for pelvic floor health. She runs a monthly 28 day Kegel challenge that teaches her 3C approach and helps women reduce or eliminate their symptoms, some in as little as 14 days. Registration is open until Sept 6.