Sherrie Palm Interview with InControl Medical: Next Generation for Pelvic Floor Strength

Interviews with Key Opinion Leaders within healthcare and industry provide valuable insights into multiple aspects of the POP dynamic.  As pelvic organ prolapse awareness increases and women recognize symptoms and request screening from their clinicians, the value of treatment variety will magnify. Every woman’s needs are unique; some women want surgery, some prefer non-surgical treatments. APOPS continually explores all treatment options to better inform our following.

A trip to InControl Medical (ICM) was of considerable value to better understand the pelvic floor strengthening devices this forward thinking company provides. I would like to share some information captured during my meeting with Amy Bomberg, VP of Sales Development, a refreshingly outspoken women’s pelvic health advocate.

Sherrie Palm~Amy, please explain for our following the vision behind InControl and how ApexM came to be a medical device for women’s pelvic health.  Also please share a little history of the device, the developer, the vision.

InControl Medical (ICM) is a company focusing on pelvic floor health.  Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to symptoms such as: bladder leakage, migration of the internal organs to the vaginal canal, bowel leakage, poor sensation during vaginal intercourse and prolonged postpartum recovery.  ICM has 5 products to help ranging from prescription only devices to FDA cleared over the counter devices (ApexM) for the treatment of female urinary incontinence.  All our products were developed based on clinician and consumer feedback of what is needed. 

It all started when  Buzz Peddicord, the founder/inventor of the product, had a conversation with his mother who asked him to solve the problem of her bladder leakage because of his experience in medical device development.  Buzz founded InControl Medical in 2010; after much research, exploration, patents and approvals, ICM’s products were born.  ICM’s vision is to make pelvic floor disorders a thing of the past. ICM’s intent is to increase awareness that there is an effective product to address female bladder leakage which can be used in the comfort of your home, comes with a guarantee,  and can be effective to prevent pelvic floor concerns from occurring. As women, we typically think of pelvic floor issues as part of aging and that doesn’t have to be.  Your pelvic floor is a muscle group that needs to be taken care of, along with exercising, eating right, and being mindful about our health. We shouldn’t forget this very important area (pelvic floor) that makes us women. I also think it’s important to mention that all our products are manufactured in Brookfield, WI in an ISO rated, FDA cleared manufacturing facility.  Our products are assembled by women, for women.

Sherrie Palm~Can you describe exactly how ApexM helps address pelvic floor weakness in women?

Muscle stimulation and bio feedback have been used by pelvic floor physical therapists for over 30 years semi-successfully.  We took that same technology and improved it by making our probe inflatable.  The ability to inflate fits the contacts snug against the pelvic floor creating a comfortable contraction, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles for you.  Most units out there currently use a fixed diameter probe which needs to be sized to fit and if it doesn’t fit properly, can cause arching. In addition, we added a low frequency which sends a signal to the muscle surrounding the bladder.  This muscle can sometimes “spasm”, causing us to have the “urge” to use the bathroom before our bladder is full.  The signal relaxes the bladder muscle (detrusor muscle), restoring normal functioning of the muscle.  (You go when you actually need to.)

I think it is important for people to know we used science, physiology and common sense to develop all our products.  They are easy to use, in your home, on your own time and most importantly, they work.

Sherrie Palm~What is the feedback InControl has gotten from women who have used their devices?  What percentage would you say experience benefit from using ApexM?

Our feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  We get stories weekly from women who thank us and share what they have been through.  We have over 50,000 devices currently being used.  We guarantee ApexM and have less than a 1% return.  There are very few, if any, medical devices that are guaranteed to work. We have articles and reviews in Prevention, Glamour, Shape, Cosmo, Buzzfeed.  We’ve been talked about on Dr. Steve show, by Dr. Drew, Steve Harvey and on countless news health programs. 

Sherrie Palm~What would be the most likely reason ApexM would not work for some women?

The device may not work if your incontinence is not due to weak pelvic floor muscles or the sense of urgency to "go" as occurs with functional incontinence. What is functional incontinence? Unlike other forms of incontinence, this type doesn't involve problems with the urinary system, muscles, or nerves. Instead, it occurs when a person is unable to reach the bathroom in time to urinate because of physical or mental limitations. An additional issue may be when a woman isn't able to accomodate the probe due to atrophy or vaginal hysterectomy; in those rare cases, InToneMV would be the better choice. It is also important to recognize that women who have advanced pelvic organ prolapse grade 3 or higher may not achieve improvement but may want to expermient since the types and degrees of POP severity vary significantly from woman to woman. 

Sherrie Palm~Does ApexM need to be prescribed by a clinician?

No, ApexM does not need to be prescribed by a clinician.  Although, don’t be surprised if your clinician would recommend it to you!  We have clinics and physicians all over the world recommending our products, including Cleveland Clinic, Yale, Northwestern and Kaiser.

Sherrie Palm~Pelvic Floor strength and integrity impacts multiple aspects of female pelvic health. ApexM is marketed and approved for urinary incontinence, but is there potential for women to experience improvement in other health concerns such as pelvic organ prolapse severity or fecal incontinence?

ApexM is FDA cleared for the treatment of female stress, urge and mixed incontinence.  But yes, having a strong pelvic floor is helpful in many areas.  We currently have research going on with our products for pelvic floor pain, tearing after vaginal delivery, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual health issues.  We have a ton of anecdotal evidence that our products help in all these areas, but of course want the research to back it.  There are no harmful side effects with using ApexM.  

APOPS shares select pelvic organ prolapse product and treatment information intended to provide beneficial health and support information for women who suspect they are experiencing or have been diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse. Content including text, graphics, images, and audio provided are for informational purposes only, do not imply product endorsement, nor are they a substitute for guidance by a healthcare practitioner.