When it comes to products designed to tighten or strengthen the vagina, we thought we'd heard it all. But today we came across this video of something dubbed the "Kegel Throne." Giving it a test drive in the clip is Cindy Barshop, founder of VSPOT MediSpa in Manhattan and former Real Housewives of New York City cast member.
Obviously, we had to look into it.
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Turns out the throne is actually a medical device called the BTL Emsella, a special chair that uses electromagnetic technology to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. The purpose of the chair is to restore "neuromuscular control" down below in people who have incontinence.
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“The goal of the Emsella is to treat incontinence early so surgery isn’t necessary ” explains Carolyn Delucia, MD, ob-gyn and medical director at VSPOT, a medical spa offering treatments for various vagina health issues. “The chair uses electromagnetic energy technology to engage all the muscles of the pelvis at once. It essentially forces a kegel.”
In her trial run of the Emsella chair, Barshop gives a real time narration. “I’m at the vagina spa VSpot and I’m sitting on the kegel throne,” she says. “I feel electromagnetic pulses going up my vaginal canal. It’s like doing 11,000 kegels in 28 minutes.” Barshop adds that the chair is meant to tighten pelvic floor muscles and prevent urinary leakage.
The Emsella, which costs somewhere around $300 for a 28-minute session, may not only treat incontinence, says Dr. Delucia. “We also have women reporting secondary benefits like increased strength of orgasms.”
While many experts do say that doing kegel exercises can tighten pelvic floor muscles and lead to better bladder control as well as stronger orgasms, we decided to reach out to San Francisco-based ob-gyn Jen Gunter, MD for her take.
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Turns out Dr. Gunter is less convinced that the buzzy chair is the answer to less trickle and more Os. “There are very few studies of quality on these tools,” she wrote in an email to Health. “Intravaginal electrical stimulation with specialized equipment can help some women with pelvic floor issues, but this is not that device.”
Gunter added that she doesn’t think patients should head to medispas if they're struggling with incontinence. “I would see a board certified gynecologist, urologist, or urogynecologist, and a pelvic floor physical therapist instead,” she said.
Still, the chair does seem to provide a good time for users. “It like vibrates,” Barshop says in the clip. “It actually feels a little good.” We believe it.