Dilating with Glass Dilators
February 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm #8440mshopgirlParticipant
Dr. Pacik has asked me to start a discussion about the glass dilators that are now available to patients. I know that the use of glass dilators is very new in terms of the use in Dr. P’s office, but apparently glass dilators have been used for years to help treat vaginismus (thanks for the bit of history Dr. P!). At first, I was really, really nervous about the idea of using glass to dilate, but after using them for almost 2 weeks, I feel like they are the best fit for me.
I am currently 13 days post procedure (the big day was February 14) and have been exclusively dilating with the glass dilators. Dr. P used the silicone dilators during my procedure and I woke up with the Big Blue inserted. I used the silicone purple, pink and blue to dilate right after my procedure, but I was very uncomfortable with the length of the silicone (especially the pink and blue). Dr. P had a few glass dilators in the purple size at the office and suggested that I try one at the hotel that evening to see how it worked for me. I was very uncomfortable (sharp pains) the remainder of the day and night of the procedure and switched between the purple silicone and its glass counterpart. The following morning, I arrived at the office with the glass dilator (purple) as I found it was more comfortable to sit. On day 2 (the day following the procedure) I used only glass dilators during my dilation sessions at the office. Dr. P happened to have a few full sets of glass dilators (purple, pink and blue) available for purchase ($160 for the set, I believe), and my husband and I immediately jumped on the chance to allow me to dilate with glass.
Like I stated above, I really believe that the glass dilators are the best fit for me, but they may not be right for everyone. Ideally I think anyone who is close enough to Dr. P’s office or is going to have the procedure in the future should try dilating with glass, even for just a bit, to see how it feels for them. For me, the two things that make glass good for me is that (1) they are a few inches shorter than the silicone (they don’t stick out at all once they are inserted, at least for me) and have a base that is ergonomic on the bottom to fit well into the vag opening (thanks Ellen!), and (2) the glass is slippery so insertion and removal is much easier (I found that the silicone dilators, at least for me, tended to stick to my skin when inserting and removing).
The glass dilators, like the silicone ones, are non-porous so there is no risk for TSS. I have been using Slippery Stuff lube which Ellen talks about in the DVD (you will get it post-procedure); we purchased it from Amazon. I wash the glass with mild soap and water after each use and then let them air dry (I am looking for some kind of drying rack as the glass dilators are hollow on the inside).
My complaints about the glass dilators are limited, but there are a few: (1) the dilators, since they are hollow, tend to hold water inside that takes a while to dry (I am dilating enough that there isn’t time for it to dry between sessions) and it makes my underwear a little damp after wearing a dilator, and (2) the dilators are slippery enough that some times they slide out really fast if there is nothing there to hold it in place (underwear or shorts). As for the first complaint, I think a better drying method would help (like drying rack or something). I have briefly considered a hair dryer, but the glass tends to get warm and I would be afraid of burning myself. I also live in Seattle where the air is damp, so that might also contribute. As for the second complaint, I just have learned that as soon as I am ready to remove the dilator, I have to have a hand in place to catch the dilator as soon as my underwear come down.
The only other thing I had an issue with, in terms of the glass dilators, was that the first night I slept with the glass in (the night of the procedure), I found it a bit painful to remove in the morning; the glass seemed to be sticking to my skin (much like my experience with the silicone). I found that slowly turning the dilator as I was slowly removing it really helped. I think that there were a lot of factors in play at this time – 24 hours post-procedure, local anesthetic had just worn off, still using lube with lidocaine – and I haven’t had the issue since. I also think using the Slippery Stuff lube helps; I have found insertion and removal much more bearable since I started using Slippery Stuff, I really can’t say enough about it!
Sorry for the novel, but I hope it helps!April 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm #9822Dr. PacikParticipant
Patients sometimes notice that there is mild discomfort when the dilators are removed, especially after dilating overnight. Water based lubes tend to absorb leaving a “dry” dilator.
There are a few ways around this. As mentioned the dilator can be twisted prior to removal breaking the seal. Another method is to use a silicone based lube as the bottom layer, then coat this with the water based lube. As the water is absorbed, the silicone still remains slippery. One can also use olive oil as the base, and this too tends to maintain lubrication.August 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm #10157K HowardParticipant
I am 3 days post procedure today and I must agree that the glass dilators are so much better for me. I’m a very petite person and my vaginal canal is definitely on the short side. The glass dilators are much shorter which is great for me because the other dilators would stick out so much on me. Also as initially mentioned, due to the design they are so much easier to move around in which helps because you’re not necessarily sentenced to a bed for the two hour dilation period of time.
I will admit I was a bit leery of them but when I woke up after the procedure the glass dilator is what I had inside of me. I’m so happy that it happened that way!August 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm #10166Mabel1226Participant
I am 6 weeks post-procedure and I share the same sentiments concerning the glass dilators. When I left the office I wasn’t sure how I would get along with the glass set and didn’t purchase them until my last day there. I even remember Dr Pacik saying they were more comfortable one could even run errands in them and I thought, “He’s got to be joking!”. By day 30 I was running errands with the glass pink in place! When I’m at home I wear bicycle shorts to help keep them securely in place. This allows me to bend and move and not have to think about them!August 16, 2012 at 5:54 am #10175aroseParticipant
Cycle shorts is a great idea, as I tend to waddle around like a little girl needing the loo!!
As for lube, I use the Yes lube – the oil based one first with the water based one on top… I have never found that the dilators stick even after a long overnight session, whereas it is less comfortable removing them when just using the water based one.
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