Dilating in Advance of Ob/Gyn Appointments

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    Hi ladies. I just had my annual ob/gyn exam on 2/4 and it was a complete success. I am well over a year post procedure but still dilate in advance of these exams. I know that I don’t physically have to as I don’t have any pain but I always feel more relaxed and ready to have the exam if I’ve dilated in advance. This time, I dilated with blue while at work, which was quite the experience – had to sit up and on my side. LOL. I removed the dilator prior to driving to the doctor’s office. Once there, we made small talk and she then did the exam with the metal speculum and I felt no pain at all. I was also more relaxed as I had dilated, again, in advance of this exam. For the veterans who are over a year post procedure, do you also dilate prior to ob/gyn exams? If not, do you do anything in particular to relax in advance of these tests?


    Hi Heather!

    thanks for this advice. I’m still building up the courage to book my gyn exam. Anxiety seems to be the biggest issue here, especially as I remember how traumatic the exam was with Dr P prior to the procedure. In fact, it is this memory of reacting uncontrollably and the pain that went with it (even though I know this was purely anxiety based) that makes me worry that I will not be able to cope with a gyn exam.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to overcome the anxiety issues relating to gyn exams and generally being touched/finger insertions? Whilst being fine with intercourse, I have still not yet overcome these issues.



    Janet Pacik

    The following links to various articles and blogs on our VaginismusMD website are about the GYN exam. Hopefully reading these articles and blogs will help lessen your anxiety as they contain many excepts from our patients’ experiences. The VaginismusMD Forum is also a great place to read the posts from other women on this subject. Just do a search for “GYN exam” and many many many posts will come up.






    http://www.vaginismusmd.com/vaginismus-md-forum/ — just do a search for “GYN exam”


    Hi arose. It’s so nice to read your posts and I hope you and your hubby are doing great. I’ve always felt like the ob/gyn exam was the biggest personal hurdle to overcome and definitely caused me to have more anxiety than anything else post-procedure. I was 100% comfortable with dilating and intercourse with my hubby but was still nervous about this as I had so many bad previous experiences with it. I would be lying if I said that I don’t have a tiny bit of anxiety present still with these exams but it has moved from a 10,000 plus prior to Dr. P’s procedure where exams were literally impossible to now around a 1-2. I definitely dilate well in advance of the exam with the largest dilator and this makes me feel so much more prepared for the exam, both mentally and physically. For my first few exams post-procedure, I actually arrived at the exam with the dilator in place; explained to the doctor that I had previously had vaginismus and this was necessary; and she simply gently removed it and immediately following inserted the smallest speculum. One thing that I’ve never wrote about as well is the actual timing of the exam. It is over in minutes and is so, so quick. For my last one, on 2/4, it took only around 5 minutes max. Another thing that I used to hate the idea of was placing my feet in those stirrups. I explained this to her and did not have to do this and simply scooted to the very edge of the bed where she was able to do the exam and, again, very gently remove the dilator and immediately insert the much, much smaller speculum right in. I know you will have success with this arose. I would definitely suggest dilating in advance and also speaking to the physician about your feelings and using the smallest speculum. And, again, you will see that the dilator that you already have in place is much, much larger in size and this will further prepare you both physically as well as decreasing anxiety. Hope this helps you and can’t wait to read more of your posts.


    I received my notification in the mail that it is time to make my annual appointment and I will have to be honest that it has been sitting on the counter for over a week. This is a huge hurdle for me. Every night before I go to bed I tell myself I’m going to make the appointment the next day, but so far haven’t. Thanks for sharing your experience, Heather. I really wish that I had more confidence to make the appointment.


    Arose, Nakita, I know you’ll both do great at your next exam! If you’re able to dilate up to the blue and have sex, the gyno exam will be a walk in the park on a sunny day. I haven’t even gotten up to the #6 blue dilator myself, but a few years ago, when I was only able to dilate up to the #4 in the pure romance set, I had my first ever pain-free gyno exam! I had no idea that a woman, especially one with vaginismus, could walk out of one of those almost skipping for joy! It was the most awesome exam ever, as weird as that sounds. Just a heads up though, when they do the cervix swab, it feels kinda weird. I didn’t care though; I was just ecstatically happy to be able to feel that in the absence of pain.


    Thanks, Vashalla. I’m so nervous and still haven’t made the appointment yet. I’m so glad that you were so successful and I can totally understand about skipping for joy. I hope that I will be able to share that I was too. :0) Thank you for the encouragement. It means a lot.


    Hi all. The subject of ob/gyn appointments is always very relevant. To the Maze team, do you have any thoughts or advice regarding ob/gyn exams both while having vaginismus and also after being treated for it. To the veterans reading this, what helped you to get through your ob/gyn exam post-procedure?

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