Yes Theres Hope, But Treating Spinal Injuries With Stem Cells Is Not A Reality Yet

The ConversationThe 2017 Australian of the Year award went to Professor Alan Mackay-Sim for his significant career in stem cell science.

The prize was linked to barbeque-stopping headlines equating his achievements to the scientific equivalent of the moon landing and paving the road to recovery for people with spinal cord injuries.

Such claims in the media imply that there is now a scientifically proven stem cell treatment for spinal cord injury. This is not the case.

For now, any clinic or headline claiming miracle cures should be viewed with caution, as they are likely to be trading on peoples hope.

Why stem cells for spinal cord injury?

Put simply, injury to the spinal cord causes damage to the nerve cells that transmit information between the brain and the rest of the body.

Depending on which part of the spine is involved, the injury can affect the nerves that control the muscles in our legs and arms; those that control bowel and bladder function and how we regulate body temperature and blood pressure; and those that carry the sensation of being touched. This occurs in part because injury and subsequent scarring affect not just the nerves but also the insulation that surrounds and protects them. The insulation the myelin sheath is damaged and the body cannot usually completely replace or regenerate this covering.

Stem cells can self-reproduce and grow into hundreds of different cell types, including nerves and the cells that make myelin. So the blue-sky vision is that stem cells could restore some nerve function by replacing missing or faulty cells, or prevent further damage caused by scarring.

Studies in animals have applied stem cells derived from sources including brain tissue, the lining of the nasal cavity, tooth pulp, and embryos (known as embryonic stem cells).

Dramatic improvements have been shown on some occasions, such as rats and mice regaining bladder control or the ability to walk after injury. While striking, such improvement often represents only a partial recovery. It holds significant promise, but is not direct evidence that such an approach will work in people, particularly those with more complex injuries.

What is happening now in clinical trials?

The translation of findings from basic laboratory stem cell research to effective and safe treatments in the clinic involves many steps and challenges. It needs a firm scientific basis from animal studies and then careful evaluation in humans.

Many clinical studies examining stem cells for spinal repair are currently underway. The approaches fit broadly into two categories:

  1. using stem cells as a source of cells to replace those damaged as a result of injury

  2. applying cells to act on the bodys own cells to accelerate repair or prevent further damage.

One study that has attracted significant interest involves the injection of myelin-producing cells made from human embryonic stem cells. Researchers hoped that these cells, once injected into the spinal cord, would mature and form a new coating on the nerve cells, restoring the ability of signals to cross the spinal cord injury site. Preliminary results seem to show that the cells are safe; studies are ongoing.

Other clinical trials use cells from patients own bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat), or from donated cord blood or nerves from fetal tissue. The scientific rationale is based on the possibility that when transplanted into the injured spinal cord, these cells may provide surrounding tissue with protective factors which help to re-establish some of the connections important for the network of nerves that carry information around the body.

The field as it stands combines years of research, and tens of millions of dollars of investment. However, the development of stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury remains a long way from translating laboratory promise into proven and effective bedside treatments.

The promise and uncertainty of breakthroughs

Each case is unique in people with spinal cord injury: the level of paralysis, and loss of sensation and function relate to the type of injury and its location. Injuries as a result of stab wounds or infection may result in different outcomes from those incurred as a result of trauma from a car accident or serious fall. The previous health of those injured, the care received at the time of injury, and the type of rehabilitation they access can all impact on subsequent health and mobility.

Such variability means caution needs to accompany claims of man walking again particularly when reports relate to a single individual.

In the case that was linked to the Australian of the Year award, the actual 2013 study focused on whether it was safe to take the patients own nerves and other cells from the nose and place these into the damaged region of the spine. While the researchers themselves recommended caution in interpreting the results, accompanying media reports focused on the outcome from just one of the six participants.

While the outcome was significant for the gentleman involved, we simply do not know whether recovery may have occurred for this individual even without stem cells, given the type of injury (stab wounds), the level of injury, the accompanying rehabilitation that he received or a combination of these factors. It cannot be assumed a similar outcome would be the case for all people with spinal injury.

We are not there yet but there is hope

Finding a way to alleviate the suffering of those with spinal cord injury, and many other conditions, drives the work of thousands of researchers and doctors around the globe. But stem cells are not a silver bullet and should not be immune from careful evaluation in clinical trials.

Failure to proceed with caution could actually cause harm. For example, a paraplegic woman who was also treated with nasal stem cells showed no clinical improvement, and developed a large mucus-secreting tumour in her spine. This case highlights the need for further refinement and assessment in properly conducted clinical trials before nasal stem cells can become part of mainstream medicine.

Its also worth noting that for spinal cord injury, trials for recovery of function are not limited to the use of stem cells but include approaches focused on promoting health of surviving nerves (neuroprotection), surgery following injury, nerve transfers, electrical stimulation, external physical supports known as exoskeletons, nanotechnology and brain-machine interfaces.

Ultimately, determining which of these approaches will improve the lives of people with spinal injury can only be done through rigorous, ethical research.

Megan Munsie, Head of Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, Stem Cells Australia, University of Melbourne; Andrew Nunn, Adjunct Research Associate , Monash University, and Claire Tanner, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/yes-theres-hope-but-treating-spinal-injuries-with-stem-cells-is-not-a-reality-yet/

Justin Bieber Would Like To Inform You That He Did Not Pee His Pants

Newsrooms across the country came to a grinding halt on Thursday when photos ofJustin Biebersporting a curious stain surfaced online. Naturally, the image of the worlds biggest pop star strolling around Los Angeles in soaked sweatpants raised some of the most pressing questions of our time.

Is bladder control like so 2016? Was there a shortage on $400 sweatpants in the San Fernando Valley? Is this some sort of subversive political statement?

Alas, all good rumors must be put to rest. The Purpose singer later set the record straight with a poetic tweet explaining that the stain on his dick area was actually water from some flowers he had in the car.

But the ever so self-aware Bieber has apparently developed a sense of humor about himself and didnt pass up the opportunity to poke fun at the situation. He followed up the tweet with a side-by-side comparison of himself and Billy Madison, perhaps the most famous pee-in-pants-er (the official term) in the world.

You aint cool … unless you pee your pants, he wrote alongside the photo.

You ain't cool unless you pee your pants

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Finally, this long national nightmare is over.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justin-bieber-wants-you-to-know-he-did-not-pee-his-pants_us_58b04ceee4b060480e071a95?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Gay Politician Shuts Down Homophobic Troll With Hilariously Epic Phone Call

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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/gay-politician-shuts-down-homophobic-troll-with-hilariously-epic-phone-call/

Dad Has the BEST Reaction To His Daughters Little Bladder Accident

Dads are notorious for corny jokes and picking the most inopportune times to embarrass you in some way. But Twitter user @LucindaSowards’ dad picked the most opportune time to save his youngest daughter from embarrassment.

Her little sister had to come home early from kindergarten after a little bladder control incident. So how did he look when he picked her up?

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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/dad-has-the-best-reaction-to-his-daughters-little-bladder-accident/

10 Crowdfunded Products That Really Work (See For Yourself)

This piece was written by the people who run the Cracked Store to tell you about products that are being sold there.

Although crowdfunding is a great way to get an entire industry to hate Zach Braff, it’s an even better platform for consumer product pre-orders. But sometimes backers can get duped into shelling out cash for useless applications of technology, like the much-maligned beverage-sensing cup Vessyl, an item for people who can’t count their trips to the sink. So what are the best ways to avoid these expensive blunders? You should simply wait until the product is actually released and has been shipped out to consumers.

Take a look at some novel gear that actually made it down the production pipeline:

Micro Drone 3.0

Although “VR Drone” sounds like two tech buzzwords picked out of a hat, this is an actual product. See through the eyes of your drone in glorious 720p, and live out your dreams of having a detachable flying head. (Shut up. We totally weren’t the only ones that had those dreams.) This quadcopter streams 3D video to a separate headset, and can be piloted by the bundled controller or with your smartphone. Get the Micro Drone 3.0 here for 32 percent off it’s usual price — just $145.

Mous Limitless Ultra-Slim iPhone Cases

If you are a habitual phone-dropper or are just paranoid about scratching the device that controls every facet of your life, this case adds some robust protection without making it look like you’re lugging around a smart brick. Feel free to huck your phone safely down the stairs whenever you get mad, thanks to the rugged leather padding and tiny, impact-absorbing air pockets. The Mous Limitless Ultra-Slim iPhone Case is $34.99, and comes with a magnetic mount, so you can dock it on your fridge as you use both hands to desperately scrounge for food.

HUDWAY Glass Heads-Up Navigation Display

Fans of Top Gun and Microsoft Flight rejoice. Now you can add a HUD to your dash for maximum navigation awareness. This glass monitor displays speed and turn-by-turn directions from your phone, and can keep track of the road in low visibility. So if Obi-Wan ever pops into your head to babble on about targeting computers, Force-flip him the bird and keep cruising, because this baby looks dope. To simulate the rush of a 4G inverted dive opposite a MiG28 while driving to the grocery store, pick up a HUDWAY Glass Heads-Up Navigation Display for $49.95.

Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag

Whether you want to use it for high-stakes casino heists or a pleasant weekend trip, this Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag provides a weatherproof container for your luggage. This bag is made of military-grade materials, which means that you’ll have the most rugged travel bag at the corporate beach retreat. It also has some carefully designed pockets to keep your spy equipment in order while you crawl through the air ducts. Grab a Bomber Barrel Duffel for 65 percent off, just $69.99.

Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones

These earbuds are the perfect companion for your retro ’00s Bluetooth headset. They even come with a built-in iPod that holds 1,000 songs, so you can listen to hours of Vanessa Carlton, Ashanti, and George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech without needing a separate device. The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones also monitor workout activity and offer passive noise cancelling. (Which is like active noise cancelling, but with more Zen.) You can grab a pair here for $192.

PackLite Inflatable USB Lanterns

These inflatable lanterns are the just the right kind of optimistic response to rising sea levels. If our coastline creeps up to Reno, this lantern could wind up saving your life. And on the off chance humanity gets its act together, they look rad when arranged around a pool, too. They include an onboard high-efficiency solar panel to charge during overcast conditions, and can be powered over USB. Prepare for the worst with one of these adorable PackLite Inflatable USB Lanterns, available here for $19.99.

Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch

The idea of having a smartwatch almost seems redundant to some people. “I have a phone right here? Why would I want to check my Candy Crush notifications on my wrist? But the Ticwatch also gives you a wrist-mounted GPS and fitness tracker that works without a smartphone. If you want a wearable that doesn’t try to hypnotize you with animated Mickey Mouse hands or bombard you with updates from Clash Of Clans, the Ticwatch 2 is in our store for $169.99 — 15 percent off the usual price.

EcoQube C Aquarium

Caring for non-mammalian pets typically involves a lot of maintenance that the guy giving away goldfish at the carnival never warned you about. But while experience with the unconditional love of dogs and the elegant indifference of cats might not prepare you for aquatic janitorial duties, you won’t need it with the EcoQube aquarium. This fish tank is designed around an aquaponic filter that keeps the water fresh with household plants like mint and basil. The lowest-maintenance pet in the world just got even more low-maintenance-er. Give your home a sustainable fish ecosystem for just $99.99.

IllumiBowl 2.0

Getting out of bed to go blindly pee in the middle of the night is a necessity sometimes. If only there was some kind of toilet night light … Oh! That’s THIS entry! Huzzah! The IllumiBowl 2.0 is motion-activated and emits a variety of glowing hues to illuminate your toilet bowl. So even if you don’t need a respite from the shame of inadequate bladder control, you can still get the most tricked-out toilet bowl around for $12.99.

TrapTap Speed Trap Indicator

Following the speed limit signs doesn’t make you some kind of road narc, but even the most dutiful of duty-bound citizens can fall for the occasional speed trap. But now you can get speed trap alerts from the TrapTap and never again worry if you’re about to be subject to law enforcement’s lowliest sting operation. The TrapTap also knows where to find school zones and red light cameras, so you can burn rubber without all the tickets. Great for diehard motorheads and Uber drivers alike, the TrapTap can be had for just $149.

Look, you can keep chasing the cheese in The Great Conspiracy that is corporate culture like a bad reenactment of American Psycho. Or you can “Bale” out of there and start your own project. Be your own boss and live life like it was MEANT to be lived. That’s the true path to Billionaire Playboy status these days.

But if the rat race is (somehow) still for you, check out Land Your Dream Job (With Help From The Cracked Dispensary).

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/tired-falling-crowdfunding-scams-check-these-out/

Facebook censors ads for this women’s health device

BY TRACY CLARK-FLORY

Is an advertisement for a tool that strengthensthe pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy the same aspenis enlargement pillsor a pickup artist handbook? It is if it links to a website that also sellssex toys, according to Facebook.

The company has rejected a series of adsfor kGoal, a high-techdevice for “pelvic floor fitness,” on the grounds that it violates the companys banon promoting “adult products or services.” Theissue is that the kGoal ad campaignlinked to its parent companys website, which also sells vibrators, according to a Facebook spokesperson. Indeed,Minna Life, the San Francisco start-up that produces kGoal,sellstwo award-winning vibrators. The companys CEO iscritical of Facebooksdecision, citing the waysthatpolicies like this one furthermarginalize companies that addresssexual health.

The kGoal is a palm-sized toolthat is partially inserted into the vaginato assist with Kegels, an exercisein which the pelvic floormuscles are repeatedly squeezedand released. Essentially, its strength-training for thisimportant muscle group that can weaken with age and pregnancy, causing truly painful and embarrassing side-effects, includingincontinence. The device offerstwo different options for receiving feedback: either through vibration of the kGoals arm, which extends outside of the vagina,or asmartphone app. This is important because research has shown that many women actuallydont perform Kegels correctlyand that biofeedbackhelps improve technique.

“Theseare such meaningful, quality of life drivers,” says CEO Brian Krieger. “If you release urine when you sneeze or laugh or you cant go for a run anymore because youre worried about bladder control issues, thats a big deal, thats a big part of your life.”

The ads, which were targeted at women over the age of 25, featured images of the small blue device accompanied by such salacious ad copy as, “fun, guided workouts,” “tactile biofeedback” and “progress tracking with the free app.” Gulp, “fun workouts”its practically the script from “Fifty Shades Darker,” am I right? Minna Life may sell vibrators, but the kGoal is an entirely different kind of product, according to Krieger.

“Its very much not a sex toy,” he said. “Its a personal health fitness product.”

Its true that Kegels areoften touted as a wayto improve a womans orgasms.Indeed, research hasfoundat least a correlation between the strength of a womans pelvic floor muscles and herability to achieve orgasms.The potential sexual benefits, however, arentsomething touted by kGoal in the submitted Facebook ads or even on its website. In fact, its site features a video not of ecstatic lovemaking, but rather a pelvic floor therapist offering sober instruction on using the device.

More important, the potential benefits of Kegel exercise are not strictly of the orgasmic variety but extend to womens overall health. (Of which sex is a really important part!) Kegels are oftenrecommendedby doctors to prevent incontinence. They are alsoadvisedas a means of preventing or stalling pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that isnearlyas common as itsounds gross: Itswhen organs like the bladder or bowels, protrude into the vagina, often as a result of the weakening of the pelvic floor from childbirth or surgery.(Sidenote: I am doing so many freaking Kegels right now.)

These non-sexual health benefits were not enough to protect the kGoal ads from censorship, however. Late this summer, Minna Lifereceived a notice from Facebook that its ads were in violation of the platforms rules. “Ads are not allowed to promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including toys, videos, publications, live shows or sexual enhancement products,” the message read.When Krieger wrote in to inquire further, hereceived a similarmessage. “Your ad was rejected because it doesnt follow our advertising guidelines,” an email response read. “Ads may not promote the sale or use of adult products or services (ex: sexual enhancement products, seduction techniques, adult clubs and shows).”

This seems to imply that kGoal is itselfasexual product. However, the real issue is that Facebook takes into consideration not only thewebsite linked to by an advertisement but also the main focus of that websites business, saida spokesperson in an email toVocativ. In the case of these ads, the linked site is thededicated page for the kGoalon Minna Lifes website, which does not show any vibrators but does display links to personal lubricant and “Afterglow Cleaning Tissues.” The companys websitealso hosts product pages for its two vibrators, which are neverreferred to as such andare subtly marketed as providinga “perfect” or “spontaneousexperience.” The spokesperson noted that Facebooks ad policies are consistent across the globe and that ads in the “adult” category are more likely to upset internationalusers.

In other words, it isnt that Facebook said, “This goes in the vagina, must be sexual!” (A response that would be consistent with aculture-widetendency todefine and limit womens bodies, largely by treating them as inherently sexualizedthatfemale nipplesmust by definition be indecent or pornographic, for example.) Instead, the issue is essentially the kGoals proximity to vibrators.

This is emblematic of the challenges around selling sexual products. It isnt just that such companies face Olympian hurdles in doing businessincluding unfriendly advertising venues, banks and payment processors. Its also that “mainstream” companies are discouraged from venturing into anything sex-related, lest they taint any of their other products (and, similarly, “adult” companies are discouraged from venturing into “mainstream” products). This pushes businesses that touch the topic of sex to the sidelines.

That is a pointmade frequentlyby Cindy Gallop, the creator of Make Love Not Porn, a website that publishes videos of what it has dubbed #realworldsexbut she also believes that companies should confront the attitudes that create such policies, rather than accepting them as law.

“As long as you bow to societys prejudice, you are marginalizing yourself and you will never do the business you want,” she said. “Take yourself out of the shadows.”

Krieger is trying to do that in his own way. “We are a sexual health company and all of our products are tools to promote sexual health and happiness,” he says. “Sexual health is a hugely under-addressed element of life for many, many people and this type of policy exacerbates that problem and does a disservice to the millions of people who could have happier, healthier lives if they had access to information and tools to improve their sexual health.”

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/kgoal-facebook-censors-ads/

This Is How To Calm Your Bladder And Pee Less Often

Do you often feel the urge to pee and feel like you just can’t hold it? Do you head to the bathroom far more than you think is normal? You may have overactive bladder (OAB), a condition that affects about 33 million Americans. With OAB, people experience sudden urges to urinate that they can’t control, as well as the need to urinate frequently. People with OAB may also leak when they experience the urge to urinate.

Who Gets OAB?

According to the American Urological Association, up to 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the U.S. experience OAB symptoms. Women who have gone through menopause and men who have had prostate problems have a greater risk for OAB. And risk increases with age. In addition, some medications may cause or worsen urinary symptoms. These include blood pressure drugsdiuretics and a class called alpha blockers (Cardura, Minipress)antidepressants and sleeping medications.

Doctors diagnose OAB based on a physical exam, symptoms of frequency and urgency, and other test results. Urinary frequency is defined as urinating at least eight times in a 24-hour period. You may also wake up to urinate two or three times a night. In about 40 percent of patients, OAB resolves on its own within a year, but most people suffer from symptoms for years.

Luckily there is much you can do to alleviate symptoms and overcome overactive bladder.  

OAB Treatments

Lifestyle changes are a first step in overcoming overactive bladder. What you eat, how you exercise, and how well you take care of yourself all factor in your overall bladder health and your success at alleviating overactive bladder symptoms, says Karen Sebastian, M.S.P.T., a physical therapist in Honolulu, HI, who specializes in bladder control issues. Here, a primer on lifestyle practices that can help: 

1. Change your diet 

What you eat and dont eat can affect your symptoms.

Reduce: 

  • Diuretics, such as alcohol and caffeine, which stimulate muscles in the bladder, increasing urgency. Limit caffeine to 100 mg a day (about half a cup of coffee). 
  • Irritants, including acidic fruits and juices, carbonated beverages, spicy foods and artificial sweeteners like saccharine and aspartame

Eat more: 

  •  Fiber. Because the bladder and rectum are in close proximity, being constipated puts constant pressure on the bladder, says Sebastian. In fact women with OAB have higher rates of constipation than those without the condition. Load up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

2. Exercise 

While Kegels are the best exercise for urinary health (See how to do them below), having a strong back and core are also important. Were finding more and more in research that our muscles work together in groups, says Sebastian. Your abs and adductorship musclesattach directly to the pubic bone. And muscle fibers in the hip feed into the pelvic floor. They all help each other activate. To ease bladder symptoms, try three moves once a day, while lying down on your back:

  • Inner thigh squeeze. With your knees bent and feet on the floor, place a pillow between your knees and lightly squeeze to work your adductors. Inhale, and as you exhale, clench your stomach muscles to tilt your pelvis up, while keeping your tailbone on the floor. (It should feel like you’re pulling your pelvis towards your belly button.) Hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Relax completely. Repeat 10 times.   
  • Hip flexors. Position yourself as you did for the “inner thigh squeeze” exercise, but without the pillow. Inhale, and as you exhale, clench your stomach muscles to tilt your pelvis up, while keeping your tailbone on the floor. Then lift up your hips to create a bridge, and slowly open and close your knees 10 times. Lower your hips and relax completely. Repeat 2 or 3 times for a total of 20 to 30 hip rotations. 

3. Meditate 

Some women find their bladder symptoms are eased when they tap into the mind-body connection. Women who listened to a 15-minute audio recording using deep breathing and visualization exercises twice a day for two weeks cut the average number of their urge incontinence episodes from 42 to 16 per week, Loyola University researchers have reported. The women also boosted their continuous dry time from 32 to 100 hours per week.

Try this deep-breathing exercise:

Lie down and get comfortable. Allow yourself 10 undisturbed minutes. Take a few slow, deep breaths, allowing your belly to rise and fall. With each exhale let your muscles go, allowing yourself to melt into your supporting surface.

Concentrate on your breath. Inhale to a silent count of 3, allowing your stomach to rise, hold for a second at the top of your inhale, then slowly exhale to a silent count of 3. Repeat this pattern five times.  Next, continue breathing slowly and deeply, but now to a count of 4. Progress to a count of 5, then 6.

Re-focus on your surroundings. Slowly bring your attention back to the here and now. 

4. Do Kegel Exercises

Your pelvic floor muscles support your urethra and bladder, so keeping them strong is crucial to preventing leaks. Research shows that Kegel exercises, which involve contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles, can be very helpful.  Kegels are a good starting point for anyone with a bladder problem, says Lauri Romanzi, MD, a uro-gynecologist in New York City. Try this Kegel routine recommended by the American Urogynecologic Society (AUS), three times a day:  

  • Start by pulling in and holding a pelvic muscle squeeze (as if you were trying to stop yourself from urinating) for 3 seconds then relax for an equal amount of time (3 seconds). Do this for 10 repetitions.
  • Increase your contraction hold by 1 second each week until you are contracting for a 10-second squeeze.
  • Remember to rest and breathe between contractions.
  • When you start, do the exercises while lying down. As you get stronger; do an exercise set sitting and standing.

If self-help tactics arent enough to get symptoms under control, your doctor may suggest bladder training, which involves scheduling times for urinating instead of waiting for the urge, for instance, and other behavioral measures. A medication that relaxes the bladder may also be prescribed. Together these measures often improve the problemand your quality of life. 

Read more from Grandparents.com:

6 Look-Younger Tips That Don’t Work

10 Best Drugstore Beauty Buys Under $10

7 Biggest Cellulite MythsAnd What You Can Do About It

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/11/12/this-is-how-to-calm-your-bladder-and-pee-less-often_n_8547116.html

Sexual health startup invites men to do some Kegels

If you thought that doing Kegels was just for women, you were sorely mistaken. The sexual health product startup Minna Life wants to make sure that men everywhere know the benefits of the pelvic-floor exercises, like stronger orgasms and heightened sexual stamina. All they need is a little help with their Kickstarter campaign for the kGoal Boost.

For men who might be unfamiliar with how to do a Kegel, heres the low-down according to Minna Life: it’s like “lifting up your muscles as if youre stopping the flow of urine mid-stream, at the same time as youre preventing yourself from passing gas.” If you feel that tightening in your pelvic floor, then congratsyou’re doing a Kegel right!

The kGoal Boost and the app that tracks your Kegel progress. Minna Life

The kGoal Boost is not Minna Life’s first foray into promoting Kegel exercises: Back in 2014, the company introduced the kGoal,an app and device for women to track their Kegels, whichNerve described as a “Fitbit for your vagina.” Now Minna Life is back with a similar product to help men and theyre hoping to raise $100,000 in funding.

The kGoal Boost resembles a mini bike seat, which men are instructed to sit on while they contract their pelvic-floor muscles. The device tracks past exercises on an app and sets goals for the future. There are five-minute-long guided workouts on the app and guys can even play the game Bricks, using the rhythm of Kegels as they play. All in all, the kGoal Boost hopes men will incorporate Kegels into their daily routine just like any other exercise.

Kegels are usually associated with strengthening women’s pelvic muscles for better sex. (As Samantha Jones put it on Sex & The City, “All you have to do to stay tight is tighten and release it for 10 minutes a day! I’m doing mine right now!”) But various studies have shown that Kegels for men can lead to enhanced sexual function, such as increased erectile strength and more intense orgasms. Strengthening those muscles can also help with bladder control along with treating erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

From your car to the office, the kGoal Boost is easily portable. Minna Life

“Historically there’s been these taboos around sexual health in talking and thinking about ,” Minna Life Co-Founder and CEO Brian Krieger told The Daily Dot. “We believe there’s an important opportunity toprovide better tools to people in an area that deserves it. As we’ve been developing the kGoal Boost product, it’s been driven home to us that it’s a) an important part of health and fitness and b) there’s a lack of products and education about it.”

Of course, men can do Kegels without purchasing equipment. But the kGoal Boost hopes to ensure that guys are doing the exercises correctly, in addition to providing a visual reminder of seeing the device on the couch or desk chair. After all, the pelvic muscles are not ones men can see and flex in the mirror to check out progress.

While the idea of doing Kegels while sitting at at work might sound a bit risqu, Krieger is optimistic that the exercises won’t draw unwanted attention. “One comparison that I think is interesting is the Fitbit,” he said. “When I see someone wearing a Fitbit, I dont think that person is unhealthy, I think the opposite, that the person is active and takes their health seriously. From that perspective is my hope to position the kGoal Boost as a positive product that people wont be embarrassed about.”

Earlier this year, a woman who writes for The Vergetested out the kGoal and didnt have the most pleasant experience. She critiqued the size of the device, which needed to be inserted inside her body to track her Kegels. However, this will not be a problem for the kGoal Boost, as it is an external tool. “Obviously when you’re designing a product for the human body, you have to understand that theres a lot of variability in anatomy and geometry,” Krieger explained. “With the original kGoal , we acknowledge that there are some users who have some trouble on that front By creating a product that remains external and has a smooth user experience we can take away some of the friction points that keep people from exercising regularly.”

The kGoal Boost and kGoal. Minna Life

With less than a month to go, Minna Life has raised almost $60,000 out of its $100,000 goal. This is considerably behind last years Kickstarter for the women’s kGoal, which, for whatever reason, gained a lot more momentum. The kGoal surpassed its original $90,000 funding goal by $176,917, raking in a total of $266,917 from 2,221 backers. Krieger sees the discrepency between the men’s and women’s products as an awareness issue.

“Its more common especially in the United States for women to be aware of Kegel exercises and why they’re important,” Krieger said. “The level of awareness and education isnt as high with men. That’s a huge part that we’re trying to do. “We are passionate about sexual health and fitness, part of what were trying to do is spread the gospel about why pelvic-floor exercises matter.”

Photos via Minna Life

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/kgoal-boost-men-kegels/

What Happens To Your Body When You Hold In Your Pee

You’re on a roadtrip and you have to pee, but you’re not exactly in a convenient place to stop. It’s easy to think, “I’ll just wait for the next rest stop.” But you’d better not if the next bathroom is far away, according to this SciShow video.

Holding urine is bad for you, if you’re holding it for an extended amount of time. Frequently holding it in may have some negative long-term effects like urinary retention and an increased risk of infection.

Adult bladders can hold up to about two full cups of urine before the brain is signaled that the body needs to relieve itself. When you hold it beyond capacity, the bladder’s cylindrical sphincters close tightly to keep things sealed. 

Learn more about holding in your pee and about the very rare instance of an exploding bladder — don’t worry, it really is rare — in the video above. You might not take that nearby office bathroom for granted again.

Related on HuffPost:

What Every Woman Should Purge From Her Bathroom

What Every Woman Should Purge From Her Bathroom

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Stefano Oppo

Moldy Loofah/Sponge
Stefano Oppo
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Dried-Up Travel Size Beauty Products
Leaving those miniature plastic packets and tubes opened attracts bacteria. Use them or lose them!
janebelindasmith/Flickr
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Almost-Empty Bottles Of Shampoo/Conditioner, Body Wash, Etc
This is prime real estate that you can be using for other items in your shower.
Ingram Publishing via Getty Images
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Ratty Bathroom Mats And Towels
Here’s a helpful guide explaining exactly how often to wash these bathroom necessities.
Julian James Ward via Getty Images
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Shriveled Bars Of Soap
FYI: You should always store soap in a cool, dry place.
Olga Zanchurina via Getty Images
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Tattered Shower Curtain Liner
Let’s be real. When was the last time you cleaned or replaced your shower curtain liner? While it’s an annoying thing to do, it’ll keep the mold away.
Junos via Getty Images
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Expired Medicine And Topical Prescriptions
The FDA has clearguidelines for disposing of medications on its website.
Roel Smart via Getty Images
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Cruddy Hair Ties
If the elasticity isn’t there, then it’s time to let those hair ties go.
cerebusfangirl/Flickr
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Old Makeup, Nail Polish And Brushes
Yes, makeup does expire. Here are the makeup expiration dates you need to know, plus tips on how to get the most out of your products and tools.
Roger T. Schmidt via Getty Images
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Unused Skincare Products
If you’re saving your favorite jar of facial moisturizer or under-eye cream, keep in mind that those too expire.
imagehub88 via Getty Images
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Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/01/14/holding-in-pee-urine-what-happens_n_8980750.html

This Woman Picks Things Up With Her Vagina Because It’s Strong As F*ck

As if we didn’t have enough muscle groups to get “swole” by spring break, this vaginal kung fu master is tonedfrom the inside out.

Kim Anami, a 44-year-old intimacy coach and vaginal weight lifter, travels the world lifting exotic objects weighing up to ten pounds… with her vag.

It’s a feat of gynecological proportions, a testament to the strength of life-giving vessels everywhere.

Anamialso claims she can have 20 orgasms in a row.Listening now? I bet you are.

Here’s what we can learn from her Instagram feed:Using a piece of string tied to a jade egg, she inserts the egg into her vagina and lifts all kinds of things.

From a chandelier…


to a bowl of paella…


and a robust young coconut.


Her vag can lift jars of pesto, no problem.


Suspend pieces of history like pieces of cake.


And pump iron with the big boys.

The benefits of having a strong vagina are invaluable, Cosmopolitan reports. A stronger vagina means better bladder control, a glowing complexion, a heightened sexual appetite and greater emotional satisfaction.

But don’t go lifting dumbbells just yet. Strengthening your vagina takes time and patience. Anami has been practicing vaginal kung fu for 20 years now and could be considered a master of the ancient Taoist practice.

So take your time and stay safe, friends. The journey to a ripped — err, muscular — vagina is a long but fruitful one.


Surf’s up!

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Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/woman-picks-things-up-with-vagina/1374964/