This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at insight@mumsnet.com if you'd like to know more about how they work.

NOW CLOSED: Post-natal pelvic floor and bladder problems - the last great taboo? Talk and you could win £100 voucher

(160 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Jul-12 09:34:15

There is a Pelvic Floor Toner that is on GP prescription but it is not being offered to new mothers as a matter of course - how would you sell it? How would you get it 'out there'? Share your ideas and you could win a £100 High Street voucher.

We've been asked by the team behind the PelvicToner to find out what Mums think about their product and to ask how they would market it if they were in charge of the product.

The team say "The PelvicToner is the only clinically-proven pelvic floor exercise device that is available on GP prescription and therefore free of charge to any women holding a Maternity Exemption Certificate. The incidence of Urinary Stress Incontinence (USI) in women outweighs practically all other health conditions (put together) yet the reaction of women at large, lobby groups and many in the medical profession, is just to accept it as a tribulation to bear - something to get used to or one that can't be resolved. This is just not true, and over 80% of cases can be quickly and simply cured with an effective exercise programme."

"The scale of the problem is enormous. There are approximately 15,000 births each week and clinical estimates are that 5,000 of these mothers each week will go on to develop USI. The problem typically starts with childbirth but just gets worst after the menopause. Since January 2011 GPs have been able to prescribe the PelvicToner which in clinical trials proved to be at least as effective as supervised pelvic floor training with a physiotherapist, but to offer significant advantages in that it 'enabled the confident identification of the correct muscles and provided effective exercise using a mild resistance'. It was also recognised that the PelvicToner improved compliance with the exercise programme not least because the patient noted significant improvements within a matter of days, unlike the physiotherapy programme where improvement was not expected within three months."

So - the team behind the product know it's good (they have sold over 100,000) and have loads of evidence to prove it can help with this widespread condition, but face issues from GP's not prescribing it and women not knowing it is either available or effective.

As a way of getting folks talking about this topic we wanted to ask Mumsnetters - if you were in charge of marketing this product what would you do?

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?
~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?
~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?
~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?
~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?
~ What information would you like to know about the product?
~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?
~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?
~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

Any other comments on this issue welcome - PelvicToner very much want to get folks talking about this issue.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get £100 in High Street vouchers.

thanks
MNHQ

nickelbarapasaurus Tue 17-Jul-12 15:03:36

I would probably not pay more than £25-£30 for one.

nickelbarapasaurus Tue 17-Jul-12 15:05:24

taking on from even CMOT's first post - at my 6 week check, I was asked if I was doing my PFEs, of course I was. I answered yes, that's it. They didn't ask me what I was doing specifically, they didn't ask me how they were going, they didn't give me a leaflet showing me how to do them properly (so I still don't know), but most importantly, they didn't tell me that if I was worried about the progress within a certain period of time, that I could go back and discuss it.

Kveta Tue 17-Jul-12 15:17:22

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?
yes - or how about a MN product test?

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?
I will be asking my GP about it at my 6 week check next week - I would certainly start with my GP or HV (HV said at 2 week postnatal check that I should go to her if I still have issues after a few months)

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?
through Health Visitors

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?
the website you link to in the OP was pretty persuasive to me!!

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?
£30

~ What information would you like to know about the product?
size, does it have a storage pod or something? can totally see my toddler getting hold of it...

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?
with close friends, yes - not random toddler group mums

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?
oh christ, not through a friend, how excruciating would that conversation be? "I am literally pissing myself laughing friend!" "oh well why not buy this plastic rocket to stick in your bits to stem the flow of piddle?" no thanks. would rather go to HCP or buy online

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?
no idea, how do drug companies get their products promoted?

I think I lost my pelvic floor when I had my son. I still have issues now he's 5 sad

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?
Discounts are always good.

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?
If I had a female GP, then maybe, but my own GP (a man) would just tell me to lose weight, or do pelvic floor exercises, which I do religiously.

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?
Notice boards in GP's surgeries, with an 'ask your GP' sign.

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?
If it was available to me on prescription and was guaranteed to work if you used it properly.

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?
It says on your lovely link £29.99 If I couldn't get it on prescription (i.e. prescription charge only) then I wouldn't bother.

~ What information would you like to know about the product?
How to use it, prices, different sizes (or even colours - I would buy something just because it was blue!)

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?
I've never discussed this with anyone before blush

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?
Not too embarrassed, just I know he would say 'lose weight, do exercises' but I would be tempted if they were available at the contact groups above.

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?
No idea. Turn them all into post-baby women? Then they'd understand. Not wanting to pigeon-hole male GP's but that's just my personal opinion.

mamij Tue 17-Jul-12 16:10:53

I had urine retention post natal with both pregnancies, and had a catheter and self catheter both times. I did pelvic floor exercise pre and post natal. I certainly would have been prepared to try something that would have helped me!

It's a bit of a taboo subject and I think most women are afraid to talk about it. Having 'real life' stories in parenting magazines, incorporating it into antenatal classes (was not mentioned in NHS or NCT classes I attended), might help.

It shouldn't been seen as a 'problem' but something that just may happen post natal.

Pinot Tue 17-Jul-12 16:27:20

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?

Of course!

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?

No - its a part of being a Mum, unless its v extreme.

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?

Back pages of womens magazines?

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?

That it is effective - not a gadget. Mooncup would be an example.

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?

£19.99

~ What information would you like to know about the product?

The obvious - size, how you use it and independent reviews.

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?

Jokes not formal chat!

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?

Noooooooo! Just online!

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

It's a waste of precious NHS funds. Private purchase only.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 17-Jul-12 16:30:07

We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product? Yes - goes without saying really!

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why? It is always worth going to the GP. "They get bad press, but they are medically qualified.*

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised? Women's magazines & other websites that women regularly use.

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you? A message that conveys how useful and effective the product will be.

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy? I don't know - very hard to answer without knowing how much it costs to make.

~ What information would you like to know about the product? How it works, how long it takes for the effects to be felt, any side effects

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo? Is anything taboo these days?

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc? No, I'm not embarrassed to talk to my GP - that is bonkers. There isn't a gruesome everyday occurrance they haven't heard.

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner? Not sure who they is? The manufacturer could probably persuade GPs by getting the BMJ & BMC on board. Lots of good press in medical journals, plenty of PR events for local Primary Healthcare Trusts, get some doctors on board & do speaking events. It isn't rocket science - just take a look at what drug reps do!

JosephineJones Tue 17-Jul-12 16:35:50

Is there robust evidence that using this product is more effective than doing pelvic floor exercises as recommended by midwives and GPs?

If so, can we please have a link to the study/studies in question? If not, should Mumsnet really be promoting this and assisting with its marketing?

WowOoo Tue 17-Jul-12 16:43:03

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?

Yes

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?

I'd go to GP. If it were cheap enough, I'd buy it.

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?

Parenting magazines, NCT website, newspapers.

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?

What the benefits would be.

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?

Around £20

~ What information would you like to know about the product?

How best to use it for maximum effect.

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?

Fine with close friends and family. I wouldn't want to with work colleagues or school gate aquaintances.

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?

Wouldn't be embarrassed to talk to GP as long as it was one of my favourite ones. Toddler group or postnatal group would be ideal.

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

Demand has to come from women themselves so if there are many women who have this problem, they should ask.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Jul-12 17:22:26

Thanks for the comments so far guys - PelvicToner folks are really interested in your views and comments.

They say "The page about the clinical trials is www.pelvictoner.co.uk/biomed.htm and from there there are links to the actual published papers"

Indith Tue 17-Jul-12 17:23:27

Well I have recently been to the GP to be checked out as I felt like I had just given birth and was battling the first post natal poo the other week after going running. Pelvic floor is weak but not a disaster and I just have to do my exercises lots and lots and lots. I asked about the gadgets and this particular GP didn't think there was much point to them and I suppose she is right, I would never find the time to go and insert a gadget several times a day but I can do several reps of exercises. I am also doing targeted post natal exercises for the abdomen which involves correcting posture and all of that also helps to tighten up the area.

I believe that product is around £27? I had a look at stuff on Amazon a fw weeks ago.

I think it is a bit taboo. However, like most things if you take a deep breath and start the conversation everyone joins in. MN is good for things like that but I have talked about it with friends in RL too.

I think half the problem is that the 6-8 week check is supposed to be for mums and babies but just ends up being for babies, nobody checks you, nobody checks your tummy for a separation, nobody asks about leaks, nobody asks if you have trouble with bowl movements. Since my dc2 was born I ahve had to push outwards on my perineum for poos as they push into the vaginal wall. This is accepted as ok and frankly it shouldn't be. I just hope that now I'm done having children if I concentrate on my pelvic floor it will improve.

I'm not sure about a MN discount, I don't think MN should be seen to endorse one product when for most women doing their exercises regularly is all that is needed.

ComplexityAndFecundityOfDreams Tue 17-Jul-12 17:25:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Tue 17-Jul-12 17:28:11

Do a freeby on the back of newborn nappies, or collect 4 vouchers type deal. Those nappy packets sit on your counter and you use them 8 or so times a day, at some point what's written on them will penetrate the baby blur.

TheSmallPrint Tue 17-Jul-12 17:35:35

I think this is a major problem and really does need addressing. I had a third degree tear with my DS and was 'lucky' enough to be referred to physio for my pelvic floor issues (and also separated stomach muscles). Sadly it was about two sessions.

Saying that, I was quite traumatised by that birth experience and the thought of someone telling me to stick a toner up my vagina to help would have made me run a mile - it took me two years to get the courage up to go for a smear (it was due a couple of months after the birth) and I was tearful even then.

nextphase Tue 17-Jul-12 18:04:01

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?
Yes, why not?

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?
How "leaky" do you need to be before it is classed as medical rather than an irritation? Probably not go through the GP, but have considered buying on line.

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?
Bounty packs? Maternity pad packets? Like the back of toilet door suggestion above.

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?
Not sure, but the picture with the open springs visible are pretty scary to think about putting them in sensitive places! That would put me off!

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?
The comparison to tena pads is a good one - it made me up my limit.

~ What information would you like to know about the product?
I'd like to see it "shut" - ie what would actually be next to my skin. It looks and sounds like there are pinch points. OUCH!
The website doesn't look like one I'd buy off. Could we get it from boots or similar?

It has also become apparent post babies that kegels are something that should be done throughout your life, not just during pregnancy, which was the message I got.

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?
I have one, maybe 2 dear friends I might broach the topic with. As a general conversation, no way!

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?

No, no, no and no again. Please no!

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

Is there a longer term cost benefit for the NHS in terms of corrective actions later if we all get our pelvic floors sorted?

rufus5 Tue 17-Jul-12 18:36:54

I'd be more inclined to talk about this to my HV or MW rather than my GP about urinary incontinence. I think if you want this product promoted to new mums it is better coming from these professionals who are talking to the mums about personal issues and recovery from birth anyway. What would encourage me to buy it would be price (not more than £15), information on how to use it and how it works, and effectiveness (i.e. evidence of how long it takes to improve pelvic floor with the recommended usage).

OhNoMyFanjo Tue 17-Jul-12 18:48:15

Ime it isn't the women but tge gp. Mine has said come back at 12 months post birth so therefore this wouldn't be free to me. She said tgat as far as she's concerned tge body doesn't recover fully till then anyway.

Knowing they can give this I think I will make an appt slightly earlier and see

OhNoMyFanjo Tue 17-Jul-12 18:48:43

Btw it is defo something I believe I need help for hence my name!

JosephineJones Tue 17-Jul-12 19:00:22

Thanks for linking to their page on clinical trials.

I haven't had time to look in detail but I thought it worth mentioning that the study cited did not conclude that pelvic floor exercises with the product worked better than exercises without - just that it was no worse. They also pointed out that it "aided women to identify their pelvic floor confidently" and is safe and well tolerated.

It seems that it's more to do with increasing patient choice and encouraging people to keep up with the exercises. I'm not sure that is a good enough argument for persuading GPs to prescribe it.

Whirliwig72 Tue 17-Jul-12 19:14:05

Can I just add that with these tonal systems it's sometimes a bit confusing as to whether they can be used or not if there is any kind of prolapse occurring. My own experience us that I went to Gp with my stress incontinence after birth of gargantuan ds2 but was given very little help beyond 'do your exercises' and an invite to an outpatient education appt at my local hospital which I couldn't attend anyway due to lack of child care provision. hmm. I did a bit research of the pelvic systems available in boots but was hesitant to buy as I'm not sure if I'm prolapsed or not (no medical prof has ever confirmed this). With thus in mind I'd say that these may need to be supplied via Gp referral to be most effective.

cleanandclothed Tue 17-Jul-12 19:53:53

I have now had 2 third degree tears and have bought 2 devices (not this one) for improving the pelvic floor so I may buy it, I would certainly listen to the GP if they talked about it. I have no continence issues, and do intend if at all possible to go back to high impact exercise, so it is not now I am worried about, it is post menopausal issues. I just hope I keep up the motivation to keep doing the exercises for another 30 years! So the advertising I would find most persuasive would be an 'its for life' kind of thing - not new mothers specifically.

TheMysteryCat Tue 17-Jul-12 20:02:16

We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?
- yes!

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?
- I'd go to GP

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?
- health magazines?

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?
- that it was clinically proven to work effectively

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?
- no more than £20

~ What information would you like to know about the product?
- how it works, how long and how regularly you need to use it

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?
-not taboo really, but something i would feel most appropriate to discuss with my GP or my mother only.

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?
- would go to GP

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?
- substantial and qualifiable evidence it is the best/one of the most effective ways to help women with pelvic floor issues.

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?

Yes please, if enough of us buy then it's got to be worth a couple of pounds off.

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?

I would only buy it if I had heard/read that it got results. Go to GP? No, suffer in silence. blush
~ Where else do you think it can be advertised? Why not in women's magazines? Especially if it was an infomercial-type thing, or where they did trails of readers, as they do with eg skin creams.

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you? It works - and here's how, and it's not expensive.

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy? £20 to £30

~ What information would you like to know about the product? Has it been tested, does it work?

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo? Maybe mention the subject in general but not get down to admitting a specific problem.

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?

I'd rather buy from Boots

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

Education - how elkse to GPs learn - is there a magazine? Lancet article?

hanahsaunt Tue 17-Jul-12 20:21:07

I think it needs to be talked about before the birth as well as after especially on second and subsequent pregnancies and even more so again if there has been an SPD issue.

My HV was v big on raising awareness of PF exercises and provided lots of useful info. I think it needs to be available to them and even to midwives to prescribe because they do the majority of ante, peri and post natal care.

It's not something I would generally talk to friends about but not taboo either.

lifesrichpageant Tue 17-Jul-12 20:22:19

~ We know Mumsnet is a good place to start (hence this thread!) but would you like to see a discount on Mumsnet for this product?

yes, couldn't hurt at all

~ Do you think it's the sort of thing you would buy or got to the GP for (if you were to experience this issue)? If not, why not? If so, why?

definitely yes. women are often told 'there is help available' but they have no idea what that means. most women will probably start with their GP.

~ Where else do you think it can be advertised?

Women's magazines, GP's surgeries, antenatal clinics, NCT, fitness publications

~ What kind of message would be most persuasive to you?

that this issue is fixable!!

~ How much do you think it would cost to buy?

30/40 quid

~ What information would you like to know about the product?

Everything - how it works, side effects, how to use it, when to stop using it, how often and for how long, etc etc.

~ Is this the sort of topic you talk about in real life with other mums or are pelvic floor and bladder issues taboo?

I talk about it with people who I know very well.

~ If you are too embarrassed to talk to your GP would you rather buy from a friend or alternative practitioner or through a toddler group contact etc?

not really. As it's 'medical' in nature I'd feel uncomfortable buying it from an intermediary.

~ How do you think they could persuade more GPs to prescribe the PelvicToner?

Not sure how this works....I suppose by targetting GP's in areas with lots of young families, busy surgeries, female GP's, family practice clinics, etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now