Kegels — they’ve become popularly discussed in the world of female sexuality in recent years. Many women ask: Do Kegels work? The short answer is ‘yes,’ but the true answer is even more exciting — Kegels can provide women with so many health benefits that many of us still aren’t even aware of!
Don’t believe me? I recently had the privilege of interviewing MaryEllen Reider, co-founder of the wellness and muscle control device, Yarlap, to find out more about the many benefits of Kegel exercises.
Tell us about yourself. Where were you born? Your background? What are some of your hobbies? What kind of work/activities were you involved with before you started with Yarlap?
My name is MaryEllen Reider. I am a 26 year old co-founder of Yarlap, the wellness device to treat urinary incontinence and improve sexual performance and experience through muscle control. I was born in Columbus, Ohio!
I spend a lot of time researching and finding out what’s new in the pelvic floor world and the social media realm. I probably spend too much time on social media. I enjoy getting to know our customers through social media and speaking events, and inspiring people about why Kegel exercises and Yarlap are so important.
My goal in life is to empower women through their pelvic floor muscles. You could say I created my dream job. I interned for Women for Women International in Kosovo helping women through that NGO and fell in love with giving women the information and resources to help improve their lives.
Now we (Yarlap) has emerged as a leading voice in the pelvic floor and tech wellness space due to our passion, commitment and my dad’s medical publications and creations.
How did you and your co-founder get the idea for Yarlap, and who is your co-founder? What steps were crucial to getting it off the ground? (or should I say, pelvic floor… hehe😉 )
My co-founder is my dad! Everyone laughs when I tell them that my dad designed the device.
My dad’s cousin had urinary incontinence (bladder leaks) really badly. My dad helped design similar devices for the National Healthcare System of France, Great Britain, Germany and Scandinavia. His cousin is incredibly close to him and it broke her heart when she could not find the treatment she was looking for.
After 2 years and FDA clearance, Yarlap was created (a lot of clinical work and paperwork was involved). Imagine this football-playing guy writing down what women wanted when it came to pelvic floor care — that was/is my dad!Getting ourselves in the media was very crucial. Telling people our story and why we matter is everything.
What are your greatest highlights/moments that really jump-started Yarlap’s success? Favorite memories along the way, success stories you’ve heard from users and so on? How do you think it’s impacting women and their health, sex lives, confidence, etc?
A great moment would be when we started catching on in the media because Yarlap is a device that treats an issue and helps improve quality of life. Getting platforms to listen and allow us to really share that message really helped us.
When we get women who tell us their success stories they usually always start out with: “Well, this might be too much information buuuutttt….” And I always reassure them that they are not alone. You would be surprised how many women think that they suffer alone; 1 in 3 women suffer from bladder leaks.
We have had women calling in to tell us they are having the best sex of their lives. We have women telling us that they are in love with us because we treated their issue so quickly.
My favorite is an 80-year-old woman who called us to tell us very intimate details of her sex life and how much it has improved with Yarlap. It has been my favorite phone call to date. I loved that she felt comfortable enough to tell us about her bladder issues and sex life being treated.
Taking the stigma against issues like incontinence and saying, “hey, you aren’t alone AND there’s a treatment you can get at-home” is really new. Opening up conversations to empower women in and outside of the bedroom is vital. That’s our mission at Yarlap. We want to break that stigma and open the conversation about the pelvic floor up.There is no room to be ashamed or embarrassed. No one has time for that kind of negativity. We’re here to help out and make it better. We’re actually here to make those leaks go away – literally!
What did you find especially difficult, and what did you find especially intriguing and rewarding about creating Yarlap? Tell readers about any awards/accolades your brand has achieved that you’re proud of 😊
The most rewarding thing, hands down, would be when we get people writing in to us telling us about how their lives have improved drastically from Yarlap. A lot of women who have bladder leaks alter their routines. Imagine having your whole day and life dictated on when you’re going to accidentally have an accident.
Then they get this treatment and they’re just ecstatic because something worked! When they use Yarlap, it does the workout for them. They don’t have to worry if they’re using the right muscles for the right amount of time. That’s all clinically preset. You pick your comfort level.
We have been nominated for the Women’s Health first ever Femtech Awards in Sexual Wellness. Our technology has led to our president being published in The Journal of Women’s Health, Issues and Care.
What advice would you give to women looking to try Yarlap, or Kegels in general? I feel that their benefits are still relatively underdiscussed. Do you agree? Do you think there’s a social/cultural reason for that, if so?
My advice would be to always do your Kegels. I know that it’s easy to constantly forget about them or take pelvic floor muscle strength for granted now, but you really want to make sure your muscles are strong and healthy for the future.
When it comes to talking about your pelvic floor, a lot of people are worried it’s too personal. I think that people have been told that wellness, intimacy and health are all separate subjects. In reality, they’re all feeding into each other. We should not be compartmentalizing it. We should be openly discussing what’s going on.
Many people have heard of Kegels, but not a lot of people understand the whole scope of how important they are. Usually we read about doing them for bedroom reasons, but they go way beyond that.Pelvic floor muscle strength and toning through Kegels and pelvic floor exercises are really important to bladder control. Your pelvic floor holds your uterus, bladder and visceral organs in place. If you do not have that tone or strength, they sag. You can prevent this by really making sure your pelvic floor muscles are happy and healthy.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Do your Kegels! Never be afraid to ask for a little pelvic floor assistance. If you aren’t sure that you are doing them correctly, ask your healthcare professional (general practitioner, gynecologist, physical therapist, etc.) And if you need help, consider Yarlap, because we do the workouts for you! Yarlap enhances and supports your pelvic floor therapy with AutoKegel. It does the workout as it was intended to be done.
Also, feel free to openly talk about your pelvic floor. The more we talk about it openly, the less the stigma there will be against it. It’s super important for women, so we really need to break that stigma that it’s “too personal” to talk about. Shout it from the rooftops!
Also, some quick fun facts about Yarlap:
- Yarlap enhances and supports therapy
- Yarlap with AutoKegel does a workout for you
- It is FDA-cleared to treat incontinence in women; stress, urge and mixed
- It is FDA-cleared to maintain urinary continence in women
- You can improve sexual wellness through muscle control
- Yarlap has a history of quality and success in design
- It is drug-free and non-surgical
- It treats the cause, not just the symptom
- And it’s available online and on Amazon!
Thank you so much!
We’re so glad MaryEllen took the time to provide us with an interview. We hope she’s inspired you to keep opening up the conversation surrounding sexual wellness. And don’t forget to do your Kegels! 😊