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    I have been using dilators for almost a month now, but it seems as thought nothing is happening. I still feel a burning sensation whenever I initially insert one. Once I leave it inside of me for a few minutes and attempt to take it out and insert it again there is no pain. I can’t help but feel, however, that the initial pain is reinforcing the muscle tightness. I’m really just not sure what to do. Are there any exercises I could do to relax my pelvic floor muscles so as to not feel that pain upon insertion? Any tips or advice would be very much appreciated.

    Dr. Pacik

    For women who are able to tolerate some penetration but not intercourse there would be benefit in getting the DVD “Ins and Outs of Dilation” This can be ordered on the contact us form. Most often women are not dilating correctly and progress is minimal.


    Hi Pineapple47. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so sorry for your struggles with vaginismus and am so happy that you have found this Forum. I, too, struggled with it for several years and understand the frustrations that accompany it.

    I think it is excellent that you are using the vaginal dilators. I have used the Pure Romance Dilator set as well as Pacik glass set. By practicing with the varying sized dilators, I cannot even describe in writing how much it helped me. Physically, I did this for 2 hours per day and slept with one every other night. This allowed me to become stretched which helped to reduce my pain. Mentally, it helped me as I became more and more confident that dilating did not hurt and also dilated for a couple of hours in advance of transitioning to intercourse.

    I want to share the link for the second issue of the VaginismusMD Newsletter that discusses all-things dilating. Specific topics include: Styles and Materials of Dilators, Getting Started with Dilation, Anxiety Control, Advanced Dilation Techniques, and Transitioning to Intercourse.

    Are you using the Pacik Glass Dilator or Pure Romance Set? I have used both and have thoughts on each that I can share with you. In addition, what type of lubricant are you currently using? I have used so many different types and, again, can share with you concerning my thoughts on them.

    In an earlier post today, I wrote:
    One in particular lubricant that I do like is YES lubricant.

    Dr. Pacik has written in the past:
    “When dilators feel too dry on removal it is due to the water based lube absorbing. Here are a few tricks: Use a silicone lube first, then the water based on top of this. The silicone based lube will still be on the dilator in the morning; Try using olive oil as a base on the dilator, then the water based lube; Twist the dilator before removing to break the seal.” And, the YES site directly mentions this technique to help aid woman with vaginismus.

    I also have used Hydrocortisone cream in the past and others have written the following concerning this:

    “Dr. Pacik’s suggestion to use Hydrocortisone Cream has been a HUGE help for me. My lady bits are just so dang sensitive!!! I bought Hydrocortizone10 in the Cooling Gel formula for during the day and I’ve felt SO much better – then I’ve been using the Hydrocoritzone10 in the ointment for adding to my lube mix with dilating at night. I honestly can’t believe how much that’s helped me feel better the last couple days.”

    Finally, you wrote: Are there any exercises I could do to relax my pelvic floor muscles so as to not feel that pain upon insertion?

    In an excellent Blog, Dr. Pacik discusses tips for dilation, including:
    “Most women with vaginismus have spasm involving the entry muscle. The higher muscles may be tight but usually not in spasm. Therefore once one gets past the entry muscle, about one inch (2.5cm), the dilator practically “falls in” and the rest of the dilation process becomes easy. It is helpful to do a series of Kegels, with complete relaxation of the pelvis on the 5th Kegel, and then insert. Also the use of a vibrator has been shown to help relaxation when dilating. Always use lots of lube.”

    He further writes:

    There may be some women who do not know how to do Kegels. A Kegel is a purposeful contraction of the pelvic floor. Think of having to pee and tightening the pelvic floor to prevent urine from escaping. This is a Kegel. By doing a series of strong Kegels (5-10) and each time releasing, then resuming again, one tires the pelvic floor which can make dilation easier. Of interest is that even though women with vaginismus tend to go into spasm with attempted penetration, the pelvic floor itself is sometimes weak in this group. Strengthening exercises were developed by Dr. Kegel
    Here is a link of how to do these exercises.

    I hope this helps and look forward to reading your further posts. Sending support and hugs today!

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