What Are Dilators and Do They Really Work?

A vaginal dilator is a medical device that is designed to help in the treatment of numerous medical conditions and pelvic pain disorders in women by helping to train both the body and the brain to tolerate pain free penetration.

You can use them in various ways to achieve this goal and improve overall sexual health. Combined, with dilation therapy, a vaginal dilator is a safe and effective form of treatment for many issues including:

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

Using vaginal dilators and therapy is also commonly recommended after certain types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and surgery such as after a hysterectomy.

Getting Started With Therapy

For women with vaginal scar tissue, adhesions, post cancer vaginal stenosis, a condition like vaginal atrophy, and agenesis, vaginal dilator therapy can help to provide a gentle stretch that over time leads to improvement in elongation and width and of the vagina's canal, as well as improvements in mobility and elasticity of the vaginal tissue. 

For people with pain involving muscular overuse or spasms, including vaginismus, levator ani syndrome, vestibulodynia, and dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), dilator physical therapy can be used to help train the brain and the pelvic floor muscles to have better coordination to expand and relax during sexual activity which can improve patients sexual health and sex life.

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 with the larger sizes of dilators. The process is sometimes referred to as vaginal dilation.

Common Conditions

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

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Medically Reviewed & Updated: October 6, 2020