Vaginal dilators help in the treatment of numerous pelvic pain disorders
Vaginal dilators help in the treatment of numerous pelvic pain disorders 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 dilators do and how they're beneficial.
What Do Vaginal Dilators Do?
Dilators, also referred to as vaginal trainers, are used to restore vaginal width, depth, and elasticity to allow for intercourse, tampon use, medical exams, as well as other sexual health purposes.
These unique pelvic floor trainers are also commonly recommended after certain types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and surgery such as after hysterectomy. Other common conditions among women that benefit from the use of vaginal dilators include vulvodynia, menopause, atrophy, vaginismus, muscle spasms around the opening of the vagina, and gender affirming procedures.
Benefits of Dilator Training
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 medical exam, or those who are undergoing gender affirming treatment and surgery may benefit from using vaginal dilators.
Using Your Vaginal Dilators: Step by Step
- Wash the dilator with warm water and soap.
- Designate a place in your home that is safe and comfortable for your vaginal trainer practice preferably a place that is quiet and calming.
- 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 trainer.
- Select a vaginal trainer that looks appropriate for you or that a health care provider has suggested.
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.
- 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 trainer to the opening of the vagina and carefully insert it on an exhale
- 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.
- 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."
Repeat the dilator training process 1-2 times per day, and progress to larger vaginal dilators according to your goals.
Dilator Therapy Can Help Treat the Following Issues:
⦁ Pain with Sex
⦁ Vaginal Stenosis
⦁ Changes with Menopause
⦁ Chronic Pelvic Pain
⦁ Gender Affirming Surgery
Imagine feeling relief from vaginal pain, improving overall sexual health and being able to do the things you want:
⦁ Enjoy Sex
⦁ Be able to use a tampon
⦁ Be able to tolerate a medical exam if needed
⦁ Feel less pain during daily activities
Keys to Successful Vaginal Training for Vaginismus and Vaginal Pain
Vaginismus treatment includes the use of trainers 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.
Make sure to check out our other pelvic pain and dilator videos.