Hi newbie – I had vaginismus for almost 10 years and started dilating after getting the botox procedure, and I DEFINITELY felt like my progress yo-yoed at times! This is an under-discussed but super normal part of the process. Like many aspects of our bodies and their health, there is a LOT of fluctuation and variety day to day. Your vagina’s tightness and sensitivity can change throughout the weeks based on the phase of your menstrual cycle, your stress/tiredness level, and tons of other factors. It doesn’t mean you’re losing progress, but emotionally it’s definitely frustrating and can set you back. It helps to work with smaller dilators even if you aren’t necessarily hitting your highest level every day just for consistency.
As for your issues transitioning to intercourse, have you been able to comfortably insert dilators larger than your partner’s penis? Do you think there might be more anxiety for you about that type of penetration? Feel free to share more info about what the sensations or emotions are when you try to have penetrative intercourse.