REVIEW: Innovo – a six week check in with my pelvic floor

I’ve been using Innovo for about six weeks now. In case you need a refresher, take a quick read of my introductory post here or, if you’re too lazy to click a link, (shame on you), then you’ll just have to pick it up as you go along. It won’t be the same though, so your loss.

So what is Innovo?

Didn’t I just say that you had to read the post introducing Innovo? Well I meant it. Off you go.

Okay, okay.

Innovo is a non-invasive way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which basically means you don’t have to insert anything anywhere. It’s essentially two big, wide straps, that you attach to your thighs, and which then send electrical impulses to key muscles. These in turn stimulate your pelvic floor muscles to contract – six times per minute – in a bid to strengthen your pelvic floor and stop you doing a wee in your pants every time you sneeze or go on a trampoline. (Both of which *may* have happened to me.)

Innovo pelvic floor exercise

 

What does Innovo feel like?

I’m not going to lie – Innovo is uncomfortable to start with. You’re advised to start off slowly and build up over a few sessions while you get used to the sensation. When you first start, it really hurts at 30, and you wonder how you’ll ever progress, but you do very quickly adjust. Just experiment with upping the pulse bit by bit but don’t worry, you will get there in the end.

It’s an odd feeling, because you lose control of your own muscles, and get to watch them contract and relax independently of you. Once you have built up a bit of resistance though, it’s quite satisfying, and you can definitely feel it working your pelvic floor muscles.

I think the person who has enjoyed Innovo most so far has been Belle. She hasn’t actually used it herself, but she has developed a unique way of ‘encouraging’ me to do it regularly. Essentially she just really hassles me, and makes me feel bad about myself as a parent, if I make any noise like I might be about to skip an allotted day. This sounds a bit cruel but actually it has been really useful for me. I’m not known for having the strongest willpower and it is a bit of a faff to spend half an hour a day, five days a week, strapping yourself in and out of things. Belle’s emotional blackmail has meant that I’ve actually stuck to the programme and, because of this, I’ve seen real results.

Belle

Who knew she would grow up to be a masochist?

Some top tips for using Innovo

A few things that I learnt along the way:

  • Innovo’s instructions suggest doing the treatment either standing up or lying down, with your knees slightly raised, but I found it was very painful in my feet if I stood up, so I always do it lying down. Experiment with your position to find what’s most comfortable for you.
  • When you peel off the gel pads, do it slowly. If you’re like me, and have a little bit of a wibble going on in the thigh area, they can pull a bit if you try to peel them off too quickly.
  • The Innovo monitor will flash up error messages if the pads aren’t connecting properly with your legs, but if you do get an error message, just check first that the leads are all pushed in properly. I’ve had a few instances where it has said that specific pads aren’t making contact, but it has just been that a lead needed a wiggle.
  • Try to pick a time of the day that you know will be free most days, as it works best when you can get into a habit with it. Alternatively Belle is available to hire.
  • The battery lasts for ages.

Does Innovo work?

I’ve only been using Innovo for about six weeks so far, and will be stopping back for another review in another six weeks, but already I am going to stick my neck out and say yes, Innovo does work.

You’re meant to be able to start to notice results after around six weeks and I definitely have. Sneezing twice in a row doesn’t feel so scary any more and I don’t have to stop in the street and cross my legs to cough, which is always nice. In the past, I’ve always found it difficult to do my own pelvic floor exercises without accidentally tensing my entire bottom, but now I find that even without Innovo, I can do them much more easily and confidently. It feels like the muscles have become more responsive. As I am sat here typing I am contracting and relaxing my pelvic floor, and I bet you can’t even tell can you?

I thought not.

Things not to do with Innovo

On special occasions, I let Belle play a game that she has developed especially for Innovo. There is no scientific backing to it whatsoever, so please do not take this as advice – it’s purely for your amusement and we in no way suggest you recreate this at home. The game involves me, Innovo, a small ceramic pot and a pile of coins. Towards the end of a half hour Innovo session, we will begin. (I can’t start too early or I may not survive.)

The aim of the game is for me to throw coins at Belle, from my prone position on the bed, and for her to catch them in her cup. If she successfully catches three coins, she is allowed to turn the Innovo up by one. If I do a bad throw, she shouts at me or looks sad. It works very well, for her. Not so much for me. The optimum level at which to have your Innovo is 70-75, and I can definitely recommend NOT going up into the 80s, even if it does bring joy to your children, otherwise your face could end up looking like this, which is quite scary, as I didn’t even know my face could do that:

Innovo review pelvic floor exercises

Overall though, coin-in-the-pot game notwithstanding, I’m impressed with the results and I’m looking forward to seeing the further difference that Innovo makes over the next six weeks. Who knows, give it a bit longer and my career as a trampolinist could blossom at last. (Unlikely.)

Sponsored post. I was sent the Innovo for the purposes of this review. All views are my own.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Fiona Monson
    2 May, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    So how is it after the full 12 weeks? I am on week 3

    • Jo Middleton
      3 May, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Good Fiona! I need to write it up 🙂

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