How to Use Rectal Dilators

Amanda Olson - DPT
By Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC

What are Rectal Dilators and How Do They Work?

Rectal dilators are a useful tool to address painful pelvic floor issues such as levator ani syndrome, spasms of muscles around the anus, pelvic pain, proctalgia fugax, functional constipation, and stenosis of the anus or rectum following surgery or certain cancer treatments.

These issues can affect people of all sexes and genders. While these conditions result in pain and can bring emotional distress and impact relationships, the good news is that they are fixable.

Rectal dilators are a tool often utilized in conjunction with pelvic floor physical therapy or rehabilitation to address pain and muscular issues around the anus and within the pelvic floor.

They are used to gently stretch and open the anal canal. Some symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction around the anus include:

  • Pain with sitting
  • Sensation of spasms at the anus
  • Pain or difficulty with bowel movement
  • Stenosis from anorectal radiation therapy
  • Scars from surgery
  • Pain following a fall or injury
  • Pain with anal intercourse
  • Pain in the rectum with orgasm

Muscular co-ordination issues and chronic clenching of the levator ani and puborectalis muscles of the pelvic floor can result in painful trigger points or tender points, and difficulty opening the anus and rectum.

Furthermore, cancer treatments and surgeries can result in painful adhesions or scar tissue around the anus creating difficulty opening the anus. Intimate Rose Dilators are smooth medical grade silicone cylinder shaped devices that gradually increase in size.

This combination of smooth silicone and gentle progression in size allow for gentle stretching and training of the pelvic floor muscles, anus, and rectum to allow for better rectal capacity.

How to Use An Anal Dilator

Begin each rectal dilator session by washing the rectal dilators before use with a mild soap and warm water. Pat the dilators dry with a towel.

Find a comfortable position to do your rectal dilator session. Each person responds differently to positions. A few common comfortable positions may include laying on your back with knees bent, lying on your left side, hands and knees position, or deep squat position.

Do your rectal dilator sessions in soothing and quiet location such as your bed or a yoga mat on the floor.

To Begin:

  1. Place 1-2 tablespoons of water-based lubricant on both the anal opening and the tip of the dilator. Do not use a silicone or petroleum-based lubricants as they will ruin the medical grade silicone dilator.

  2. To insert, place the tip of the dilator a 45-90-degree angle to the rectum. Breathe deeply by inhaling through the nose and exhale through the mouth, then gently ease the dilator into the anus. Continue to breathe deeply and glide the dilator deeper with each breath.

  3. Continue to gently ease the dilator into the anus until the dilator is fully inserted, that is when the rim base is in contact with the outer skin of the anus. Remain for a few breaths, and then the dilator can be removed.

  4. Wash the dilator with mild soap and warm water and pat dry the dilator thoroughly.

  5. Once a dilator is easy to insert you may move up to the next dilator. The size of the dilator you continue to work towards will match your end goal.

While pain in the anus is a very physically and emotionally challenging issue, there is hope. Rectal dilators can be used to help restore or improve elasticity for better opening of the anus.

Medical grade silicone dilators help to create a gentle transition and maximize comfort while you work towards your goal.