I have a gadget to show you today!
You know how lots of blogs show off fancy things like iPads and remote control helicopters? Well, it’s sort of like that. Only not.
Today I want to introduce you to Innovo. You might remember Innovo from when I talked about it here a couple of months ago? Innovo is a totally non-invasive way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and treat cause of urinary leaks, rather than just covering them up. Stress incontinence is something that a lot of people are too embarrassed to talk about, but it’s definitely not something you should just have to accept.
This post is the first in a series where I’m going to be properly putting Innovo through its paces, checking in at intervals to tell you about my progress and the changes I’m noticing. I don’t want to just give you the theory – I want to give you a thorough, honest review, so that if you do want to do something about your pelvic floor, you have all the information you need about Innovo to invest with confidence.
(That sounded very serious didn’t it? I promise to make wee gags too. You have to laugh at stuff remember? You just want to be able to laugh without wetting yourself.)
In this post then, I just want to show you exactly what’s involved, what you can expect if you choose to try Innovotherapy for yourself, and to give you a bit of background into the technology.
Let’s get the science out of the way before I get my thighs out shall we?
Innovo – how it works
Innovo is designed to help woman like Harriet. Harriet used Innovotherapy to strengthen her pelvic floor after having a baby. A lot of the things that Harriet says will sound familiar if you’re a mum:
The great thing about Innovotherapy is that it doesn’t rely on you mastering the art of the Kegel, and it doesn’t involve you having to insert anything anywhere. I think the invasive nature of some pelvic floor treatments can put a lot of people off, so rest assured that with Innovo there is no hand washing required at any stage.
Your vaginas are safe with me ladies.
So how does it work then?
Do you remember those ‘exercise’ things from the 1990s that you had to strap around your tummy and they would electrocute you until you had a six pack? Well, it’s a bit like that, except not, because it actually works. (93% of women using Innovo found a significant improvement after just four weeks1 and 90% said they would recommend it to a friend.2)
Your Innovo pack contains a two-part garment that you wear around your upper thighs and control using a hand held controller. If you want to, (i.e. are childish like me), you can pretend to be in The Wrong Trousers and make yourself do a funny walk around the room whilst pretending to press the buttons. Innovotherapy sends targeted impulses via a set of conductive pads, which activates all the muscles in your pelvic floor. You get 180 perfect contractions in every session without having to even think about it.
Some might call it cheating. I call it clever.
Innovo – getting started
Your mind is probably boggling at this stage, so let me show you exactly what I mean, so that you’re not imagining Wallace in a huge pair of mechanical trousers.
This is what you get when you open up your Innovo box:
Each of the ‘garments’ as they are called – the black things you wrap around each leg – have to have four gel pads attached to each before you start:
Now I have to admit that I was a bit daunted when faced with all of this. I’m definitely getting to an age where new remote controls seem scary though, so I know it’s me, not Innovo. I took a deep breath and read through everything carefully.
I’d say Innovo is one of those things that looks complicated at first, (if you’re me), but once you’ve got everything set up it’s actually very straightforward. All you have to do really is measure your hips and check the tables in the quick start guide to see whether you need to attach the pads to A or B.
Innovo have a really good set up video too, if you’re better at following a video rather than written instructions.
Then you plug yourself in and off you go!
Innovo – how it feels
The feeling is an odd one. I wouldn’t say it was comfortable, but it was weirdly satisfying. You’re meant to start off at the 30-40 intensity level, and build yourself up over time to 70-75. I found myself making ‘ARRRGHH!’ noises, but also feeling the urge to crank up the power.
You should feel the contractions in your bottom and moving forward into your pelvic floor, but not on the side or the front of your legs. I found my calves spontaneously twitched. This isn’t mentioned in the quick start guide, so it could just be me being a bit strange. It was fun to watch though.
Come back and see me in 3-4 weeks to find out how I’m getting on and whether it’s made a difference. You could always sign up to my newsletter below if you haven’t already – that way you’ll be sure not to miss the next, exciting pelvic floor instalment…
1Soeder S, Tunn R. (2012) – Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) of the Pelvic Floor Muscles using a Non-Invasive Surface Device in the Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI); A Pilot Study. IUGA Poster Presentation Conference, Dublin, Ireland (2013).
2Observational study on the treatment of stress urinary incontinence with Innovotherapy, April 2014