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Today I want to talk about something a little different: All the fun stuff that might happen after pregnancy! Urinary incontinence, loss of sensibility during sex and a change in appearance of our vulva and about what the Tightra by the brand Silk’n can do to help you with that.
Because as you might know, I am a mother of two, and ever since I gave birth, I struggle with involuntary urine leakage during heavy exercise. Which is absolutely not uncommon, as I will explain later on, but rarely talked about.
And I get that – it really isn´t the most sexy topic, but one that definitely needs to be talked about more!
So when Silk’n approached me and offered to let me test the Tightra, a device that aims to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with bipolar RF technology, I was curious.
The main reasons for weakening of the pelvic floor muscles
Why do many women experience changes like that after pregnancy? Bladder control and pleasure during vaginal intercourse are, among many other things, influenced by your pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy and later vaginal delivery put stress on the pelvic floor muscles, causing them to loosen.
Other reasons for weakening of the pelvic floor muscles are certain surgical procedures, hormones, being overweight, smoking and ageing.
The effects of weakened pelvic floor muscles
As sexual pleasure is determined by so many different factors – like first and foremost your partner, your stress levels, the amount of sleep you get, your mindset – it is near to impossible to determine exactly by how much strengthening of your pelvic floor will influence that. However, there are studies that suggest that the intensity of your orgasm increases with regular pelvic floor exercise.
When it comes to involuntary urine leakage during physical activity, or “stress incontinence”, the data is better. Strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles will reduce the risk of losing urine when coughing, sneezing or doing heavy lifting, although it is again difficult to quantify by how much.
So if you – like me and approximately 15 million adult women in the United States – experienced any of these changes after pregnancy, what can you do?
How to strengthen the pelvic floor
The basis of pelvic floor strengthening is exercise. If you had a baby, your midwife has surely taught you some things you can do at home.
For many women that is enough, but for me that didn´t quite cut it. Other than wearing pads and changing lifestyle factors like reducing your caffeine intake, losing weight and limiting fluid intake, the next option is exercise led by a professional, maybe even using biofeedback to help target your pelvic floor muscles.
I tried that too, but still had issues during certain physical activities like HIIT, Krav Maga or when fooling around with the kids on the trampoline.
Other options when exercise is not enough
So I was left with incontinence rings to insert before physical activity, surgical options or regular High Frequency Electromagnetic therapy at a doctor’s office.
With my busy schedule regular biweekly visits to the doctors weren’t really on the cards, I did not feel ready for surgery and the thought of inserting and removing a device before exercise seemed tedious.
My gynaecologist suggested focusing on other sports like Yoga, basically slower exercise without the jumping, but I simply don´t enjoy these as much as I do my sweaty HIIT sessions and quite frankly am more up to wearing pads than to restricting myself from certain activities.
But I am the first to admit that it made me self-conscious and had an impact on whether or not I felt sexually attractive for my husband.
So what if I could do something at home, in my own time, that might help me with that? I was up for the challenge!
The role of Electromagnetic Therapy in treatment of involuntary urinary leakage
Electromagnetic therapy for treatment of urinary incontinence has been used since 1967, back then in form of implantable electrodes. Ever since, there have been different studies conducted with differing results. That is not surprising, regarding the many different techniques used, ranging from permanently implanted devices to vaginal or anal insertable electrodes and given the many different factors that influence urinary incontinence.
It is sure though that pelvic floor exercise lessens the severity of urinary loss and that biofeedback pelvic floor exercises combined with bipolar RF-therapy show even better results when compared to doing nothing at all.
And this bipolar RF-technology is being used in Silk’n Tightra, so I was curious if this home-use device could help me tackle my problem.
What is the Silk’n Tightra?
It is a medical cosmetic device designed for internal and external use that uses bipolar RF-energy flowing between 16 gold and chrome electrodes.
And what is RF-energy? Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field.
The currents created by that don’t penetrate very deeply into the body, but stay closer to the skin (“skin effect”) and don’t lead to noticeable muscle contractions, because they don’t fully depolarize the membrane, which would be needed for a muscle contraction.
What they do though is create warmth, which is why the Silk’n Tightra has a built-in heat sensor which makes it turn off in case of overheating – nobody needs burns in that area.
The currents help with wound healing through an increase in collagen production, which will result in tightening of the skin.
Now that’s the theory – what was my experience?
Using the Silk’n Tightra is easy: after you charged it you remove the protective cover, apply a thin layer of the water based Intimate Gel that comes with it and insert the device into the vagina as deep as it is comfortable, or move it across the labia for an external treatment.
Internal treatments are meant to tighten the vagina. One internal treatment lasts for 20 minutes, during which you don’t really have to do anything – the perfect opportunity to catch up on YouTube.
There are three different intensity levels, low, medium and high, that you can choose by pressing the button.
During the treatment the Tightra will occasionally vibrate and you will feel the heat. The heat increases by intensity level and the highest setting was slightly too warm to be comfortable, but not painful.
After 20 minutes the Tightra turns off and can be wiped down and stored again.
External treatments are focused on improving the appearance of the vulva. For external use you only use the chrome electrodes, put them on your labia and move the device slowly and firmly up and down for 20 minutes as well. Again you will feel heat, but nothing else.
Over time you should experience a general tightening of the labia and the vulva area.
Who is the Silk’n Tightra for?
Women that struggle with weakness of pelvic floor muscles and consecutively urinary incontinence and lessened sexual pleasure. Also, women who want to rejuvenate the appearance of the vagina.
Who is not allowed to use the Silk’n Tightra?
Pregnant or nursing women, women with vaginal prolapse, women that had surgery in the treatment area, women with implanted metal bodies in the treatment area, like piercings or metal birth control devices.
There is an extensive list in the manual (the manual can be downloaded on Silkn.eu) and if in doubt, always consult your doctor first.
My experiences with the Silk’n Tightra
As I mentioned before, my main issue is involuntary urinary leakage during exercise, so I focused on twice weekly internal treatments. After using it for a little over four weeks, I did notice a reduction in stress incontinence, although it is difficult to quantify by how much.
The treatment itself was convenient and comfortable, easy to fit into my schedule, so I will continue using the Silk’n Tightra for sure. I expect even better results with continued usage and hope to be able to completely ditch the pads sooner or later.
I can’t really comment on a change in external appearance or increased sexual pleasure, as those were not areas of concern for me, but a strengthened pelvic floor surely is beneficial for these areas as well.
If you are interested in purchasing a Silk’n Tightra yourself, you can find yours here at Silkn.eu for € 349. It is also available on Amazon, Currentbody and Justcare.
The homepage offers additional information and study results as well, should you want to learn more.