Dr. Ruth Maher is on a mission to empower all women experiencing stress urinary incontinence in their daily life. Before inventing INNOVO, she spent years as a board-certified clinical specialist and physical therapist, helping women get to the bottom of their leakage issues by educating them on how their own bodies work and helping reduce the shame and stigma associated with incontinence. In our new series, Ask Ruth, she tackles the everyday questions, issues and concerns surrounding SUI with the goal of encouraging women to understand their bodies, their pelvic floor, and how they can get on the path to dryness with INNOVO.
Dear Dr. Ruth Maher,
I’ve been doing my Kegels on a regular basis but I’m still leaking. Seriously, I do them while I eat breakfast, I do them while waiting in line at the grocery store and at night when I’m watching my favorite reality shows on Bravo. I squeeze tightly for a few seconds and then push out to release, repeating that motion over and over. But I’m still leaking quite often. I’m so frustrated and embarrassed. Tell me the truth, am I a lost cause?
Leaking in Laguna
Dear Leaking in Laguna,
You are never a lost cause. When you’re doing Kegel exercises at home, you have no way of knowing if you’re doing them right. I’ve seen this issue quite a bit in my practice over the years. Women would come in saying they had tried Kegels and that they didn’t work. Through using ultrasound technology, I was able to show these women that what they were doing was anything but a Kegel. They were either using the wrong muscles or bearing down like you would when emptying your bowels. This is all is too bad, because doing Kegels incorrectly can actually exacerbate leaks.
This is exactly what inspired me to create INNOVO, a device that mimics the perfect Kegel and strengthens the pelvic floor. It replicates the reflex contraction that should automatically occur to keep women dry. And it’s simple to use—what’s easier than putting on a pair of shorts? When you put on INNOVO, there are little dots that line up near your buttocks muscles. When you turn on the device, you’ll notice some tingling in that area. Then, you increase the intensity slowly and that tingling moves towards your rectum until you feel your pelvic floor lifting up inside. If you wear INNOVO for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you’ll be leak-free within 12 weeks.