NEW ORLEANS — It is a health problem that many women who have had babies don't like to talk about.
At worst, it can cause pain and lead to surgery, and at best, cause the need for adult diapers. There is an exercise program that can help and it can be done in the privacy of your own home.
You won't find this type of exercise in most gyms, ones that help women with the pelvic body changes after having babies, and as time goes on.
"I was stunned to learn that one in every nine women struggle with this and one in every three women have pelvic floor dysfunction of some type," Jenn Lormand told us back in 2017. She is an exercise physiologist and owner of Ascension Fitness in Metairie.
In 2017, Jenn Lormand and physical therapist Christina Walsh told us about Pelvicore Pro class at Ascension Fitness in Metairie. It helps mothers with back and hip problems, as well as urinary incontinence when they laugh, cough or sneeze. It's called stress incontinence.
"We had an outreach of women dealing with these symptoms who really didn't want to go the route of surgery. They wanted to try to do something that they could learn to help themselves from the comfort of their own home," said Lormand.
Testimonials on their website include women who say: "I was having pain the whole time I was pregnant for my third child," said one.
"I run to the bathroom too many times a day," said another.
"I was having trouble picking up my daughter. I couldn't run," added a third.
So Lormand and Walsh recently started an online program for those who can't get to the gym.
"Tighten your Tinkler." Lormand said is the name of the program. "Silly name. Serious results."
The equipment is delivered to you and there's lifetime access to the workouts online. They say their program is different from Kegel's exercises. Nothing is put in your body and it works your hips, glutes, abs and back muscles, not just the pelvic floor muscles.
"It builds the real functional strength, the strength that allows you to pick up the grandkids again, or hold your baby without back pain again, or not get up 1,000 times during your workday to go pee," said Christina Walsh, physical therapist.
And since our story ran, they did a study with a professor at UNO. Women from their 20s through 60s joined in. They found that bladder, bowel and prolapse symptoms were 50 to 60 percent better.
The lifetime, online program and exercise equipment is a one-time $189 cost.
The 41 research study participants were ages 28-69.
The results were published in the Journal of Biomedical research.
The article has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed 'Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy.'
It was also presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Symposium in May 2019.
Here are the results of the study, which included a 30-day control period followed by a 30 day intervention period:
Statistically significant improvements were noted in all 11 parameters that were measured.
Average percentage improvements broken down by symptom were as follows:
Bladder symptoms - 60% better
Bowel symptoms - ~ 50% better
Prolapse symptoms - 50% better
Pelvic floor strength - ~ 50% better
Low back pain - ~ 40% better
Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) - ~ 40% better
Tighten Your Tinker site:
Ascension Fitness site:
Marc Bonis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
UNO Professor who ran the study: