As many as one third to one half of women experience urinary incontinence at some point in their lives. One contributing factor is injury or loss of tone in the pelvic floor muscles, which can be the result of childbirth or aging. It is possible to strengthen these muscles through regular exercise, known as Kegels. These exercises have been shown to provide a 70% improvement in incontinence when performed correctly. One problem is that about half the women who receive instruction on how to perform these exercises end up doing them incorrectly. They don’t get improvement, and give up.
A new Health Tech product is designed to help women learn to perform Kegel exercises correctly, to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The PeriCoach is a device that communicates wirelessly to a smartphone, where an app — iOS or Android — provides feedback that indicates whether or not the exercises are being performed effectively. The exercise session is also recorded for later review or sharing with a healthcare professional.
The device is cleared by the FDA, and is available only by prescription from a physician. It costs $299 directly from the company website, which includes a feature that lets you upload the prescription documentation.