All Things DILATING
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
December 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm #8370
Hi ladies. DILATING deserves a separate and distinct category all on its own. Briefly, I remember this being one of my biggest fears pre-procedure. I had no idea how I would ever be able to dilate successfully if I could not even insert a q-tip without pain. I couldn’t have been more wrong in my fears and worry and was able to successfully dilate post-procedure. I was trained on how to do this by both Dr. Pacik and Ellen who exhibited patience with the process and very thoroughly explained it and worked with me through it all. It was just so, so much easier to do than I anticipated. This category is entirely dedicated to dilating questions (i.e. What is it like to wake up with the dilator in place? Tips on inserting and re-inserting? Use of Lidocaine/Surgilube Mixture? Should my husband/partner be involved with dilating? How often should I dilate? For how long should I dilate?). Again, I had so many of the same questions prior to my procedure, as did so many of the other women who have been treated.December 30, 2011 at 10:06 am #9443LifiParticipant
Great idea for a thread! I am finding that sleeping with the dilator every night helps. Every night it becomes easier and easier. Then I am even able to insert it in positions that were impossible to before.December 30, 2011 at 11:19 am #9444
Hi L. Very true!!! I found that sleeping with the dilator in every night helped so much in the beginning. I would sleep with purple all night long and once I woke up and removed it, I could easily insert pink. I then began sleeping with pink and would wake up and be able to insert blue much easier as well. I also think that the transition to intercourse is much easier in the morning after dilating the night before because the dilating makes you that much more open. Great post!December 31, 2011 at 10:16 am #9446LouParticipant
Hi, I’m booked in with Dr Pacik in January, feeling nervous about it. I’m worried I’m going to panic / freak out when I wake up with the dilator inside. Did you have the same concerns? Did you find it easier to dilate after the procedure? I find it impossible at the moment and the thought of dilating for a couple of hours a day & sleeping with a dilator is really daunting. Are you still dilating now even though you’ve had success with intercourse? Sorry lots of questions!December 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm #9449
Hi Lou! Concerning the dilating, it’s entirely normal to feel nervous about this. Prior to my procedure, even the name “dilator” freaked me out. I tried to do dilating on my own several times and just couldn’t do it. I honestly couldn’t even insert a q-tip without pain. So, I didn’t ever think I would be able to insert a dilator. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this. Basically, you wake up with the largest blue dilator already inside of you. I remember when I went back to the recovery room, I had to go to the bathroom once I woke up. This is the point where I took out the blue dilator, went to the bathroom, and was able to easily re-insert it. This was “huge” for me as I had never, ever been able to insert anything pain-free before. Then, both Dr. P and Ellen work with you by showing you how to insert and re-insert the dilators. You then have a dilation schedule where Dr. P wants you to dilate 2 hours per day and sleep with the dilators. Again, this sounded impossible to me prior to the procedure but did work well post-procedure. I used the philosophy that every single day is different with dilating. Some days, it worked really well and others, it was more challenging. I kept at it and it became a part of my daily routine. I still sleep with the dilators around 3 times per week and intend to for a full year. I know that I no longer have to do this now but still have a slight fear that vaginismus may somehow come back. I think this may be a common fear too although it is unfounded. Never be sorry about lots of questions – there can never be too many. Please feel free to ask many more.January 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm #9456silverperlParticipant
It is completely normal to be scared that waking up with the dilator will be scary! I remember thinking what if it doesn’t work for me or what if it is more painful than before the botox. I usually don’t have to dilate anymore. I am 2 and 1/2 years post botox. I find if it’s been awhile since intercourse it does help. I never thought I’d find a cure but the botox was my cure. I had my first gynecological exam this year that was not painful or scary or highly stressful! Please keep us up to date on your progress! I know you will be in wonderful hands.January 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm #9465Amanda MillerParticipant
@Lou, don’t worry everything. Will be fine. When I came out of the procedure I to had to use the restroom, I had a nurse go with me because I still had some anastasia in me. I was in absolute amazement when I took the blue dilator out and realized that I did it! When I put it back in, it went right back in and I was so happy. I had a set of dilators at home that have never been used because I could never talk myself into using them, but now after e procedure I don’t mind at all. I use the purple for 30mins and pink 30mins every morning and night. For me sleeping it did not work so on the every other day that we are suppose to sleep in it I just make up the next morning doing 1 hr. I promise you will be able to do and you will feel so wonderful that you are able to do it. They will help you in the office on the day of surgery and e next day to help you in anyway to get comfortable using them. Ellen helped me when I thought I couldn’t do it, but once I relaxed I did it!!!! Good luck on your procedure and look forward to hearing you success stories too 🙂January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm #9469LouParticipant
Hi all, thanks for all your responses, I really appreciate it. I’m scheduled in for next week and I am getting more and more nervous now. I hope that I have as much success as you all.January 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm #9490
Hi Lou! Please know that we are ALL here for you and your procedure is going to go GREAT!!! Have a safe and good trip over this weekend!!!January 6, 2012 at 5:58 am #9496Dr. PacikParticipant
Lou-I’m so happy that the ladies are giving you so much support. Every patient is a bundle of nerves and many cry before their treatment. This is completely normal. I’ll have a chance to say hello before your treatment. Once you are in the recovery room we will sedate you enough to remove the anxiety. This is described in my YouTube on anesthesia: “Discussion of the Safety of Anesthesia” http://www.vaginismusmd.com/resources/video-files/ It will be helpful to review this YouTube before arriving. I look forward to meeting you. Dr. PacikJanuary 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm #9529<3ParticipantQuote:Quote from Lou on December 31, 2011, 10:16
Hi, I’m booked in with Dr Pacik in January, feeling nervous about it. I’m worried I’m going to panic / freak out when I wake up with the dilator inside. Did you have the same concerns? Did you find it easier to dilate after the procedure? I find it impossible at the moment and the thought of dilating for a couple of hours a day & sleeping with a dilator is really daunting. Are you still dilating now even though you’ve had success with intercourse? Sorry lots of questions!
Hey Lou!!! I just had my procedure done in December and I felt much of the same way. I was very nervous, shaking, and my muscles were spasming uncontrollably. After I had the anesthesia and was lying in surgery I was still freaking out, but everyone in the room was so incredibly nice and understanding (including my husband). Before the Botox procedure (in surgery) I had one of my classic subconscious freak-outs where I jumped back on the table in order to not be touched. My husband told me that the anesthesiologist had to further sedate me in order to proceed so the doctor could insert a finger to find out which muscles were spasming. My husband and Dr. Pacik told me afterward that even unconscious I was still trying to resist any insertion and trying to pull myself away from them on the table. Funny thing is, I do not remember any of that! To tell you the truth, it kind of made me feel better in a way because that proved to my husband and me that I was not just “faking” it and it wasn’t just an issue that I made up; I wasn’t crazy anymore!!! 🙂 I still laugh about my attempted escape… 🙂 After the procedure I woke-up with the blue dilator in. I was so happy that it was actually inserted that I did not have any time to freak out. After the procedure it was very difficult for me to dilate (I never ended up being able to get the blue dilator back in the day of surgery after I took it out to use the restroom). Dr. Pacik said that I had one of the worst cases of primary vaginismus that he had ever seen; he rated me a 5++ LOL. As a matter of fact, he stated that they could create a 6th level for the severity of vaginismus that I had, but I wasn’t discouraged. I was VERY determined. Post procedure, Dr. Pacik said that my muscles were still spasming (Botox takes a few days, four days I think but it took about 5 or 6 days for the Botox to overcome my muscles spasming, to kick in) and that he could barely fit his finger in my canal. Working with Ellen, I somehow managed to fit the purple in and eventually the pink on the same day as my surgery with my muscles still clamping. I ended up going home that night and sleeping with the purple dilator in (I took Tylenol PM and slept all the way through the night). BTW, definitely bring the donut pillow. Those New Hampshire roads have a lot of bumps even if your driver is paying attention! 😉 I came back the next day and was able to insert the purple and pink dilators with some effort and was never able to insert the blue dilator at the Center due to the Botox not kicking in, but again… I was determined. On the third day, through all the piercing pain, I decided that no matter what that blue dilator was going to go in. After many tears and failed efforts, I got that blue dilator in! :):):) It is all about moving at your own pace and doing what you feel comfortable with. Every day after the third day I have been able to insert all the dilators. On the two week post-procedure date my husband and I were finally able to consummate our marriage (and his penis is bigger than the largest dilator) and a day after our first success we were already moving forward with thrusting!!!! My husband and I continue to progress in our love making. I have even been successful in love making without dilating first! I think that it is important to continue dilating after achieving intercourse so that your muscles can continue to expand and get used to an object being inserted before the Botox wears off (plus it helps to break that neurological connection with being scared and nervous). I have good days and bad days but I am always able to dilate because I do not give-up. And I swore that I was going to be that one person that the procedure was not going to work for… LOL. If I can do it… So can you!!! Oh, and today was my first time EVER wearing a tampon… So if that has not happened for you yet, you can look forward to that as well… MAGNIFICIENT!!! :):):):):) Let me know how you do Lou…. Best of luck!!!! They will be good to you. No worries!January 10, 2012 at 12:06 am #9531
@ Randa, welcome to the forum and I loved reading all of your posts. My sincere CONGRATULATIONS on your tremendous success!!! You’re story was so, so inspiring and educational as well! You wrote “my husband and Dr. Pacik told me afterward that even unconscious, I was still trying to resist any insertion and trying to pull myself away from them on the table.” So many physicians who don’t understand the condition have told women with vaginismus to relax, it’s all in your head, and even to just have a drink to make it easier. Your story is evidence that it truly is a medical condition that occurs, even while unconscious, and thus, can be successfully treated as such. I like your reference to your “attempted escape” … LOL…You also wrote “[Dr. P] stated that he could create a 6th level for the severity of vaginismus that I had, but I wasn’t discouraged … I was very determined.” This was so wonderful and inspiring to read and for everyone reading this, it’s a testament of just how much one can accomplish with determination!!! Sincere CONGRATS on achieving intercourse and also congrats on using the tampon today! This is EXCELLENT. Thank you so, so much for sharing your story and I look so forward to reading more of your posts.
@ Lou, DAY 1 is done … wooooooooh! We’re all here for you and know that you will do GREAT! Please keep us posted on your progress!!!January 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm #9538
@ Lou, we all CONGRATULATE you on completing the program and can’t wait to hear how it went. :):):)January 14, 2012 at 10:13 am #9540AnonymousGuest
Lou- have you had the procedure already? If so, how amazing was it to wake up and see that you had the blue dilator in you?! I will never forget that day, it was an incredible feeling.January 14, 2012 at 10:17 am #9541AnonymousGuest
Sorry I did not realize there was a second page to the forum when I responded … Lou please keep us up to date on your progress. So happy for you!
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