Early on in graduate school, I remember learning about vaginal weights and I was very intrigued. Did someone literally put a barbell inside their vagina, did it hang outside? Later on, I learned that it was more of an egg shaped structure that had very small weights that went inside (think ¼ lb, ½ 1b, etc). It looks like this:
So one would think, that if your pelvic floor is weak, it should lift weights. I carried this thought on with me throughout my career as a PT. It seems as well that others feel the same way. In my search for more information about vaginal weightlifting, one name kept on popping up, Kim Anami. She has a website and endorses “vaginal kung-fu”, which involves an 8 week virtual program with a focus on improving orgasms, improving energy and acceptance of your vagina, breast arousal, as well as meditation, use of jade eggs/ vaginal weights, and strengthening exercises. From reading her website, it would appear that her program will really improve ones sex life! She states that she is able to have 20 orgasms in a row, can lift 10 pounds with her vagina since doing vaginal kung fu.
Another popular item that turned up in my search were Jade eggs. There are many websites and lots of information about how to use them. Jade eggs were used in Ancient China, for the Queen and concubines so they could please the King. They were thought to improve sexual energy, improve health and bring more energy to the Chi (Pubococygeus muscle). I found a website which shows you how to use jade eggs – they focus on warming up the pelvic floor with focus on a full contraction and a release. It also discusses keeping the eggs in during the day and with walking to help strengthen the pelvic floor.
Now on the flipside, there are very few studies that validate the use of cones or vaginal weights as a treatment for the pelvic floor. A Cochrane review in 2013, looked at the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training by reviewing 23 studies. The results of this Cohrane data review found that weighted vaginal cones are better than no active treatment in patients with stress urinary incontinence (leaking urine with coughing, jumping, sneezing, etc). It also found that vaginal weights/cones could be of similar effectiveness to pelvic floor muscle training and electrostimulation however this conclusion is tentative until there are more high quality and larger studies.
I looked for studies linking pelvic weight lifting and orgasm quality, however I couldn’t find any studies that looked at this specific topic. Most of the claims I have seen were anecdotal.
Coming from my perspective as a pelvic floor PT, I personally do not use weights for pelvic floor training. I think that understanding about the muscle fiber make up of the pelvic floor is helpful. There are two types of muscle fibers: Type I and Type II. Type II fibers are the fast twitch muscle fibers, which generate a quick forceful contraction. Examples of this include the gastrocnemius when jumping- it produces a quick and forceful contraction. Type I are slow twitch fibers which are your multifidi, transverse abdominus muscles, and your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles activate at low levels and are maintained throughout the day. Specifically, your pelvic floor muscles have mostly type I fibers which basically support all of your pelvic organs, however your urethral sphincter and anal sphincter have type II fibers as they quickly contract to prevent leakage of urine or feces.
When considering training these muscles, I tend to use the abdominals in conjunction with the pelvic floor, as this provides more control and it is more functional in daily life. I may also teach someone how to do quicker pelvic floor contractions, but usually only in the case of preventing leaking.
So when considering the use of vaginal weights or jade eggs, it is important to not just use the pelvic floor, but look at the whole picture of what your abdominals, gluts, etc. are doing. Also equally important is the full release of the pelvic floor contraction.