Kegel exercises – named after their inventor, Dr. Arnold Kegel – have long been used to treat urinary incontinence. There is a growing body of clinical evidence that Kegel exercises can help fight erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.
Kegel exercises are easy to do. Simply breathe normally while tightening your pelvic floor muscles. The exercises can be done while sitting, standing, walking, doing housework, or driving in your car. (See our article on Kegel exercises for details.)
A regular exercise program can dramatically strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and reduce or even cure incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but it can be difficult to sustain. According to Jason Laurent, CEO of KegelHard.com, “the issue with Kegel exercises is that they take discipline and the improvement is quite gradual. As such, like many New Year’s gym resolutions, daily Kegel routines often lose steam after a few days and get abandoned, leaving the guy feeling even more depressed about his condition. The other scenario is that you get to the point where you have regained satisfactory erectile function and so the need to practice daily is not seen as important, which will eventually lead to its abandonment as well, only to be taken up again when ED returns. So we needed something easier that required no willpower to succeed.”
Another problem with Kegel exercises is that some men have difficulty knowing when they are “doing it right” Physical therapists often use electrical stimulation devices that generate a series of pulses, causing contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. This allows the patient to learn how proper muscle contractions should feel. Also, by using electrical stimulation, therapists are able to deliver a better workout than unassisted exercises.
Electrical stimulation is also used to strengthen and rehabilitate muscles following injuries or surgeries, so the technology is well established.
Electrical Stimulation at Home
A new device, the eKegel, provides electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles at home. The pocket-sized device uses two simple contact pads that can be placed externally on the body; it is non-intrusive and it can be used anywhere.
Like the clinical equipment used by physical therapists, the eKegel allows the user to adjust the waveform, the intensity, frequency, and duration. There are instructions for “tuning” your routine, but for users who are not tech-savvy, the device works with its default settings right out of the box. Just attach the contacts and increase the intensity until you find a comfortable level. There is a lock feature to prevent accidentally changing the settings.
The company recommends a ten-minute daily workout for the first few weeks, then as needed. (To prevent over-exercising, the eKegel will automatically shut off after ten minutes.)
The introductory price for the eKegel is $395. Because there are no moving parts to break or wear out, it should provide years of use.