Dilators help in the treatment of numerous pelvic pain disorders

Vaginal dilators are designed to help in the treatment of numerous pelvic disorders in women and since you are here you are most likely wondering how to use them.

We will cover that in our step by step guide but first let's talk about what a vaginal dilator does and how it's beneficial.

What Are Vaginal Dilators For?

Dilators, also referred to as vaginal dilators, are used in conjunction with dilator therapy to restore width of the vaginal opening, depth, and elasticity to allow for sexual intercourse, tampon use, medical exams, as well as other sexual health purposes.

These unique medical devices are also commonly recommended after certain types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and surgery such as after hysterectomy.

How Do Vaginal Dilators Work?

Vaginal trainers work by helping to train both the body and the brain to tolerate pain free penetration. They can be used in various ways to achieve this goal.

For people with scar tissue, adhesions, post cancer vaginal stenosis, vaginal atrophy, and agenesis, the dilators can be used to provide a gentle stretch that over time leads to improvement in elongation and width and of the vaginal canal, as well as improvements in mobility and elasticity of the vaginal tissue.

For people with pelvic pain involving muscular overuse or spasms, including vaginismus, levator ani syndrome, vestibulodynia, and dyspareunia (pain with sex), they can be used to help train the brain and the pelvic floor muscles to have better coordination to expand and relax to allow for pain free penetration.

This works by providing a gentle stretch in combination with breathing and pelvic floor relaxation techniques to help train the muscles and recover mobility in the vaginal tissue gently and progressively.

Common Conditions

Other common conditions among women that benefit from the using proper dilator training protocol include vulvodynia, menopause, atrophy, vaginismus, muscle spasms around the opening of the vagina, vaginal stenosis and gender affirming procedures.

Do Dilators Really Work?

Using dilators like the Intimate Rose Silicone Vaginal Dilators help women with a myriad of vaginal and feminine issues. For example, women who have undergone radiation treatment, surgery in the vagina or pelvis, or those who are experiencing vaginal pain, dyspareunia or pain with sex, pain with penetration of a tampon or during an exam, or those who are undergoing gender affirming treatment and surgery may benefit from using vaginal dilators. 

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How to Insert a Vaginal Dilator: Step by Step

  1. Wash the dilator with warm water and soap.

  2. Designate a place in your home that is safe and comfortable for your vaginal trainer practice preferably a place that is quiet and calming.

  3. Use a generous amount of lubricant that is water based on the vaginal dilator and the opening of the vagina. The use of a water based lubricant is important to preserve the medical grade silicone of the dilator.

  4. Select a vaginal dilator that looks appropriate for you or that a health care provider has suggested.

  5. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet planted. Some people may prefer to lie on their side instead; if that is the case, be sure to have your knees bent and the top leg supported by a folded pillow between your knees.

  6. Begin your training by breathing in and allowing your belly to expand, followed by exhaling and allowing your belly to slowly fall. The act of slowly exhaling can naturally open the vagina. Repeat the deep breathing pattern and continue to do so steadily and deliberately. Gently bring the vaginal dilator to the opening of the vagina and carefully insert it on an exhale.

  7. Keep the vaginal dilator inserted in the vagina and repeat the slow, deep breathing cycle for 15 minutes or the length of time recommended by your health care provider.

  8. If you experience discomfort, visual imagery is helpful for relaxing the pelvic floor muscles around the opening of the vagina. There are several images that can work. Pick the one that is best for you: "imagine that the vagina is like a rose, blooming outward and opening," "imagine that the vagina is like an umbrella, opening and expanding," or "imagine that the vagina is like an elastic band, flexible and mobile."

How Often Should You Use Vaginal Dilators?

Repeat the vaginal dilator training protocol process mentioned above 1-2 times per day, and progress to larger vaginal dilators according to your goals.

IR Trainers for Sexual Health in Women

Increasing Your Dilator Size

When you can comfortably use a dilator in multiple positions and with movement, you are ready to move on to the next size. Position changes with the dilator in allow for variation in pelvic floor muscle, pelvic organ, and vaginal canal position.

By practicing using the trainer positions such as laying on your back, hands and knees, deep squat, and lying on your side, your organs shift around the vaginal opening and canal and the trainer and allow for gentle mobilization of the tissue.

You can also compress the dilator gently into the walls of the vagina. To do this, imagine that the vaginal opening is a clock, and gently move the trainer in a slow circular method pausing at each “hour” of the clock to gently press the dilator into the wall of the vagina.

Dilator Therapy Can Help Treat the Following Issues in Women:

⦁    Painful Intercourse
⦁    Vaginismus
⦁    Vaginal Stenosis
⦁    Vulvodynia
⦁    Vaginitis
⦁    Changes with Menopause
⦁    Chronic Pelvic Floor Pain
⦁    Gender Affirming Surgical Procedures 

Relief From Pain Caused by Penetration

⦁    Enjoy Sex
⦁    Be able to use a tampon
⦁    Be able to tolerate a gynecological exam if needed
⦁    Feel less pain during daily activities and intercourse

Keys to Successfully Using Vaginal Dilators for Vaginismus, Atrophy and Pelvic Health

Vaginismus treatment includes the use of vaginal dilators while learning to relax the pelvic floor muscles. To decrease pain with vaginal penetration, the keys to success are consistency and routine practice. 

Your health care provider may have a unique training plan for you outside of the recommendations made here. Always consult with a health care provider before starting a new training plan.

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