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The Best Over-50 User Review of Innovo Urinary Incontinence Shorts
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One of the delightful side effects of menopause is urinary incontinence. Not only is it horrible to endure, but it isn’t even fun to say. With all those syllables and letters. Ew. Just ew. But never-the-less, it is a very real issue for many women, especially those of us who have reached the menopause years. In this article, we’ll talk about menopause and incontinence. What is it? Why does it happen, and what can we do about it?
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Simply put, Urinary Incontinence is the loss of control over the bladder. In other words, you accidentally tinkle or spritz a little bit when you cough, sneeze, laugh or bounce up and down. Yep. Some of us still like to do fun things like jump on a trampoline, play hopscotch, or try our stamina on a pogo stick.
I’m going to get real here. Spritzing, as I like to call it, began to be a problem for me when I was in my 40s. Long before menopause, I found it no longer wise to try to bounce on the trampoline with my pre-teens. Of course, I had five pregnancies and had delivered my last child at age 39, so my poor innards were already a little shot. Add the extra weight that I typically carry, and voila! I was afflicted!
What Causes Urinary Incontinence
Several factors contribute to urinary incontinence. As mentioned, childbirth can be a problem, and not only right after giving birth. Vaginal childbirth, along with pregnancy hormones, stretches the pelvic floor. That original strength takes a long time to recover. Multiple deliveries take a toll on the body, especially if they are close together or if those muscles never regain their original strength between births.
And then there’s excess weight. Menopause gives the gift of weight gain to many of us—more good news. Carrying more than the recommended weight, especially in the midsection, puts pressure on the bladder. Constant pressure over time will weaken your pelvic floor, making a girl leaky.
Finally, of course, we have menopause. As we age and our bodies begin to change in the menopause years, our estrogen levels drop. Estrogen helps to keep your urinary system (bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor) healthy. When estrogen decreases, all these parts of the system become weak, leaving a woman more susceptible to…. You guessed it! Leaks!
Solutions for Urinary Incontinence
So, what’s a gorgeous menopausal girl like me to do? I began to explore my options. Some of these options have been around for some time. This girl has tried them all, and none have offered me long-term success. Lucky for you, I’m not afraid to talk about this stuff, just between friends, so let’s talk about some of the most popular recommendations from doctors and society that I have tried.
The most common recommendation for improving a weak pelvic floor is to do Kegel Exercises. Women everywhere have heard that this is a problem-solver. But I cannot be the only one who finds this little exercise challenging. A woman can feel especially frustrated by not knowing if she’s doing it correctly and seeing no results.
Weighted Exercise Balls
Weighted Exercise Balls are similar to Ben Wa Balls and are another bladder control device. They are weighted balls, often made of stainless steel or coated in silicone, that go into the vagina and are held there by holding your muscles tight. You begin by inserting the lightest ball, then walk around with it or shower with it while squeezing those muscles as hard as possible to keep the ball from falling out. Glorious and so dignified, doncha think?
Who doesn’t love a urinary incontinence device that buffs your innards and includes balls? Invented by a man, I’m sure. The best part is the promise that you get to graduate to a bigger and heavier ball after you keep the small one in without noticing it.
I hear that these Ben Wa balls can work, and some people even enjoy them for other, ahem, activities, but I can’t attest to either of those statements. Honestly, I didn’t stick with the exercises long enough to know, and what happens in my bedroom stays there, so you’ll have to ask someone else about that part. Sorry, not sorry.
Perifit Pelvic Floor Coach
The Perifit Pelvic Floor Coach is another intravaginal device meant to stop bladder leaks. This little doodad looks like a vibrator and connects via Bluetooth with an app on your phone. The app reads the intensity of your squeezing pelvic floor muscles and guides you through several fun games. But instead of using your thumbs or a joystick, you get to use your pelvic floor. Fun stuff!
There are some positive reviews for this gadget, but once again, I can’t share my success story because I gave up before seeing any results. It turns out I just don’t like exercise very much; even flexing those muscles is a lot of work.
Various medical procedures may work for some to stop bladder leaks and urinary incontinence. Surgery is one incontinence treatment I have not tried, but I wanted to mention it here for those who may not know it’s a “thing.” The approval process for this surgery can be daunting, and the number of ads I see on TV for get-rich-quick lawsuits surrounding surgery gone wrong makes me shudder a little at the risks. Although, if I’m being honest, it’s tempting to take those risks if it means no more spritzes when I giggle or cough.
Live With It
Finally, the last and probably least glamorous option in dealing with incontinence is to live with the spritzes and sprinkles. If you’re not up for surgery or anti-incontinence devices, you can always use some of the popular urinary incontinence products on the market. Pads and bladder leak underwear are popular and work well for some women. And they work well for big businesses, too.
According to Fortune Business Insights, “The global incontinence care products market size… is projected to reach USD 24.35 billion by 2026.” I am not alone in my situation here if there are that many dollars out there being exchanged for pads and other products designed to keep us living with the sprinkles. I mean, we’ve all heard of Poise and Depends. Sexy, right?
A New Player in Town – Innovo Pelvic Floor Pants
After trying many methods of dealing with my little problem and seeing no success, I began hearing about this new product called Innovo. Innovo comes as a pair of bicycle-style shorts with electrode pads strategically placed on the insides. The shorts connect to a power pack, which sends an electric signal through the pants and into the muscles.
The promise is that the pelvic floor muscles get a workout without any significant effort on the user’s part. Electrical stimulation does the work for you. Innovo recommends using the shorts for 30 minutes daily, five consecutive days of the week, with a two-day rest period. Their website states that “87% of users were defined as dry or nearly dry after 12 weeks of use.”
I have seen various ads in my social media feeds showing sassy women of all ages wearing big smiles and Innovo’s signature black bike shorts. After so many viewings of the ad, I couldn’t take it anymore. Even though the price point seemed a bit high at $499, if it would work, it’s worth every penny! So, one day in a fevered frenzy, I decided to try it after a particularly annoying spritz. I pressed the “buy” button. Lucky you, you get to hear about my experience!
The Innovo Unboxing
A few days after purchasing, the box arrived. I was so excited to open it and explore that I didn’t get genuine in-person unboxing photos, so I apologize. You’ll have to settle for this photo showing what comes in the box, which I took a little later.
I was up and running with the quick-start instructions in just a few minutes. The shorts are a smidge bigger than I would have expected, even though I followed instructions on the site and measured myself carefully when I ordered them. My first impression is that this is a high-quality product. The shorts are heavy-duty, and the electronic control box is sturdy and easy to maneuver.
The First Time I Used Innovo
I carefully sprayed the electrodes as directed and slid into the shorts. Oopsie! My first mistake was not inspecting the inside and outside of the shorts before going through the process. In my excitement, I sprayed the smooth black patches that looked like electrodes, only to discover that those black patches were on the outside of the shorts. As I put them on, I realized that the electrodes were golden with zig-zaggy white lines connecting them inside the shorts. No worries – this is a problem easily solved.
I turned the shorts the correct way, sprayed the inside this time, slipped into them, and hooked up the cords, which was a simple and easy connection, and color-coded for ease. Even I couldn’t mess that part up!
The control panel turns on automatically set for 30 minutes. You have ultimate control over the level of intensity you wish to use, from 0-100. My recommended intensity is 70. The instructions clearly state that you may need to begin at a lower level and work up to your recommended intensity.
As I cranked up the intensity from zero, I began to feel a slight vibration in my buns. Eventually, after trying each of the recommended positions to find the most comfortable position for me and turning the intensity up, I could feel my pelvic floor muscles engage, along with my butt cheeks. Maybe I’ll have a much more toned backside when this is over. Hey – a girl can hope.
Does Innovo Hurt?
Perhaps it was fear of the unknown, but I wondered if it would hurt to use Innovo pants. While I can honestly say that I’ve adjusted after my first couple of weeks of use, I can also say that it was uncomfortable the first few sessions. In my first session, I capped out around level 50. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to my recommended level of 70. But I have reached it, and it is plenty bearable now.
I do notice two minor discomforts that I would be remiss not to mention. First, when I am in the back position leaning on a wedge pillow with my knees bent, I sometimes have unbearable itching under the electrodes on the front of my thighs. This itch is the kind that makes you want to dig out your flesh. And only under those two electrodes.
I wonder if I need to add additional spray to form a better skin-to-electrode contact. I will try it and keep you posted. I’m open to suggestions if you’re reading and have some medical knowledge of how electrodes work on the skin. In the meantime, I will reach out to Innovo’s customer service department and see what they say. I’ll update you when I have more information.
Another situation I have noticed is needle-like pain on the skin if the electrodes are placed too close to any skin blemish. A few times, I have noticed a sharp, stinging pain in one specific area. When I looked under the shorts to see what was happening, I found a small blemish at the exact area of the pain. So, I carefully watched for those potential pain spots before wearing the shorts.
Does Innovo Work?
The pains and discomforts I’ve experienced so far are less than pleasant, and I have relatively high pain tolerance, so this might be a deal-breaker for some. But the promise of strong pelvic floor muscles and cessation of leaks and spritzes are worth the pain and discomfort. So, here’s the real question: Does Innovo work?
I am two solid weeks in as I’m writing this post, and I don’t see any significant difference in my level of leaking and spritzing just yet. Although I did sneeze today and didn’t have to run to the ladies’ room for a clean pad, perhaps something is happening. The website says some users begin seeing results after four weeks. After I’ve completed four weeks, I’ll check in here to let you know how I’m progressing.
Wrapping It All Up
Here is my overview: The Innovo pants arrived quickly in beautiful packaging. They have been easy to use, and I’ve had no trouble working 30-minute sessions into my daily routine. The discomfort is bearable, and I’ve gotten used to the sensation of my muscles contracting without my effort. The price is high but manageable with a coupon. Using my code, you can receive $50 off your purchase. And if coming up with that amount at once is daunting, you can always use the Affirm payment plan offered on the site. Some insurance companies cover the cost of Innovo, but you have to pay upfront and be reimbursed by your insurance.
If the result is a leak-free sneeze, cough, and giggle, these pants will be worth every penny! Stay tuned.
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