Below are some of the most often asked questions.
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Can I injure myself in training with the Epi-No?
As in all physical training, you should not exert yourself beyond your personal level of comfort. If you follow this advice there is no danger of injury. If you are not sure, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife.
Are there any circumstances under which I should not use EPI-NO?
Please refer to our product page for more information. If you are still not sure whether you should use the EPI-NO please email us at email@example.com or call us on 01604 754453, or chat with your doctor or midwife.
Could the balloon burst?
This is extremely unlikely provided the balloon is not inflated beyond 10cm. Each single balloon has been tested up to the size of a football. The balloon consists of medical silicone. Please treat the balloon carefully according to instructions for use.
Is there any risk of infection?
The EPI-NO Birth Trainer is not used in a sterile environment. If the device is cleaned and disinfected according to the Instructions for Use no increased risk of infection is expected. We recommend EPI-NO for personal use only!
Can I unintentionally initiate premature contractions or a premature delivery by training with EPI-NO?
No. In the EPI-NO clinical trials there were no indications whatsoever of any premature initiation of contractions or of premature birth. The EPI-NO training should be used under the guidance of your doctor or midwife and should ideally begin three weeks prior to the calculated date of the birth of your child.
Is it possible to accidentally puncture the fetal membrane by training with EPI-NO?
There are no indications whatsoever from the clinical studies or from the observations made by obstetricians and midwives that it is possible to puncture the fetal membrane during the EPI-NO training.
Will EPI-NO training promote recovery after childbirth, and how does it tone the pelvic floor muscles?
Yes. In actual fact more and more young mothers report that after-birth training with the EPI•NO, the muscles of their pelvic floor strengthen quickly and efficiently. Midwives, obstetricians and gynaecologists also see an effective application of the EPI-NO in promoting vaginal muscle tone after birth.
Further clinical trials currently underway are investigating the long-term effects of the EPI-NO training on recovery and pelvic floor muscle tone. The balloon is pumped up gently until the pointer on the pressure gauge reaches (4) and then fed into the vagina. Ten minutes of training every day is sufficient to restore strength to the muscles of the pelvic floor. The pointer on the pressure display deflects when the balloon is compressed.
How far should the balloon be inserted into the vagina during training?
The balloon is inserted half way into the vagina. It will protrude about 2cm (0.8 inches) out of the vagina. Ensure that the balloon is inflated inside the vagina. If you can’t inflate the balloon very much in the initial training session, securing the balloon can be achieved by closing the legs.
This would also prevent the EPI-NO from slipping out of the vagina during training. To prevent the balloon from being drawn too far into the vagina, the protruding end can be held with your hand. It will take only two or three training sessions for you to determine the optimal position of the balloon to your body.
What can EPI-NO Training achieve?
EPI-NO training can exercise the pelvic floor muscles from any time during pregnancy and four to six weeks postpartum (after your baby is born) the pelvic floor muscles are restored. From 37 weeks during pregnancy, the perineum and the birth canal are gradually and gently stretched during your training, and you prepare for the sensation of delivery by easing the balloon out of the vagina.
See more information on 'How to use the EPI-NO'
When should I commence using EPI-NO?
We recommend commencing the EPI-NO stretching exercise three weeks prior to the calculated date of your baby’s birth. Read more information about How to use EPI-NO.
Can I commence using EPI-NO earlier to be even better prepared?
Optimal stretching results are achieved in the three weeks prior to childbirth. Commencing training earlier than the thirty-seventh week should be undertaken only under the guidance of your doctor or midwife. However, you can use EPI-NO anytime during pregnancy for exercising your pelvic floor muscles. Read more about How to Use EPI-NO.
How often and for how long should I train with EPI-NO?
It is recommended that the EPI-NO be used once or twice daily for 10 to 20 minutes for each training session.
My friend is expecting a baby, should I hand on my EPI-NO to her?
As it is not possible to sterilize the EPI-NO Birth Trainer, it is recommended for personal use only!
If I train with EPI-NO is it still necessary to take part in a birth preparation course?
Yes. A prenatal course under the supervision of a qualified midwife is useful and recommended.
If I train with EPI-NO is it still helpful to massage the perineum?
Yes. The EPI-NO has proven to be the most effective method of avoiding injuries to the perineum, but perineum massage should nevertheless be additionally applied.
What is an episiotomy and what consequences can it have?
An episiotomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the perineum during the second stage of labour when the baby’s head is crowning. It was thought that an episiotomy lessened the incidence of perineal tears. According to WHO, about 60% of women receive an episiotomy during their delivery. The cut is surgically stitched after the birth.
The practice of performing episiotomies as a standard procedure is highly controversial. Women may experience complications after an episiotomy. Complications include slow healing sutures; pain when urinating and during bowel movements and when sitting and walking. For many women, resumption of sexual intercourse after birth is painful and for some, long-term sexual dysfunction can result.
Can EPI-NO training over-expand the vagina?
No, quite the contrary.
By gradually and naturally stretching the perineum as a precautionary measure it is possible to avoid long-term perineal damage. When you pull a tight sweater over your head, the neck expands and returns to its original shape. Similarly, during childbirth the opening of the vagina must expand to allow the passage of your baby’s head. The EPI•NO training accustoms the vagina to the stretching required in childbirth and facilitates a return to normal.
Can I use EPI-NO if I already have had a previous episiotomy or a perineal tear?
The EPI-NO training stimulates blood circulation and the muscles. This can make scar tissue more flexible and easier to stretch. If you have local pain and discomfort consult your doctor before starting.
Are EPI-NO Delphine/ Delphine Plus patented?
Yes. The world wide patents of the unique EPI-NO balloon design are owned by Dr. Horkel (the inventor) and TECSANA.