How long do you dilate post-procedure?

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    So to begin, for anyone who hasn’t read my other posts, I am a double arm amputee as well as right leg. I have primary V and things are more complicated for me, which is a whole category of anxiety on its own. I have arms that end at the elbow and wrist, so there is a bit to work with there, but overall my biggest fear and anxiety re: V is the dilating. I really, really hate that aspect of it and wish it didn’t have to be a factor in any capacity. Also I’m single.

    I am planning on having the procedure done soon. Up to this point I have used dilators minimally – I can hold them, I can point them towards myself, and I can kind of push them towards a position of somewhat being inserted. Whether I can go all the way or not for a successful insertion, I really don’t know because Vsaginismus stops me. So it’s hard to tell. Sometimes I feel like I could potentially do it. Other times I’m scared to death that I’m completely incapable and will end up sabotaging my own treatment and winding up back at square one after the botox all because I can’t dilate properly. I’m really upset about this prospect.

    How long do you have to dilate post-procedure before you don’t have to anymore? Or do you have to forever? Or at least, how much/how long do you have to avoid it before the procedure basically reverses itself and you’re back to the pain? I will do what I can but this is my greatest fear. It’s a lot of money and hope to invest only to be let down. I have literally no one that can relate to me with this specific issue and it’s overwhelming. I want to be hopeful about this but my situation is so unique and complex and potentially capable of ruining success for me. I’m very scared about that.

    If I have to use dilators for the rest of my life and use them to ‘warm up’ before sex every single time, for up to an HOUR beforehand from what I’m reading on here, I feel like I will be in my head too much to enjoy sex. It’s all so mechanical. How am I supposed to want and love and initiate sex when it requires homework/pre-workout every time including a massive physical disability obstacle???

    Any and all info/answers re: dilators and the post-procedure time frame both in immediate duration (use it for 10 mins, one hour, etc) and long-term time frame would be appreciated.

    Thanks guys.

    Dr. Pacik

    Hi ceegee. I just read your post and am so, so sorry about your struggles with primary V. I had vaginismus all of my 20s and into my early 30s. During that time, I told absolutely no one except my then boyfriend/now husband and the doctor we visited. It felt so isolating and I am so, so, so happy that Dr. Pacik created this Forum so nobody else has to experience this level of isolation with vaginismus anymore. Although I cannot physically see you, we can still connect and you know that others out there understand so well everything that comes with vaginismus. I can’t describe in writing how much this procedure has helped me and changed our lives. Prior to it, I couldn’t insert a thing b/c of the big V. I wanted to so badly but just couldn’t get beyond the wall of resistance/pain and exams were just a nightmare and entirely impossible. I never thought the Botox procedure would work because of my past experiences with exams but it did (THANK GOD). There are so many aspects that helped it to work for us. First, both my husband and I noticed almost immediately that the resistance (great wall) was gone which made it possible to insert the dilators and later him when this never ever could happen before because despite how much we pushed and tried and wanted it to work, nothing could go in at all. Second, and so importantly, the support we received from Dr. Pacik and everyone in the office was like nothing we had ever experienced before and was so different than our prior terrible doctor visits for attempted exams. They care so, so, so much about you as a person as well as your success. After my procedure, Dr. Pacik and the staff kept in close contact with me which helped so, so, so much to reduce my anxiety post-procedure. At the time of my procedure in 2011, the glass dilators were not available so I solely used the pure romance dilator set. They are made of softer silicone material, different colors, and very importantly for me, have handles on the bottom which made them easier to insert and remove. I used these dilators very strictly in the beginning post-procedure and slept with one every other night. I then talked to Dr. Pacik and the staff and tapered back the time I dilated and sometimes, would solely dilate at night while sleeping. It may sound so strange and I know it would to me before the procedure, but this is a possibility post-procedure b/c the Botox makes the resistance/hitting a wall feeling dissipate so insertion is now possible. I used them for a while before intercourse. I know now that I didn’t physically need to because I was stretched enough, but at the time, I felt like I needed to as it reduced my anxiety and I knew I was ‘ready’ for intercourse. Then, once we just went for it and tried intercourse without dilating first, it worked fine and was comfortable. After this, I never mentally felt like I had to prior to making love. The same thing is true for ob/gyn exams. For an even longer time, I felt like I had to dilate before as it reduced my anxiety and I knew I would be ‘ready’. Then, a day came where I had a late day appointment and couldn’t dilate before and it was a fine pain-free exam. After this, I never dilated again prior as I knew it had worked and I now felt like I didn’t need to. Now, quite a few years after my June 2011 procedure, I haven’t dilated in years and continue to have pain-free intercourse plus pain-free exams. The Sybian that Dr. Pacik referenced in his post does look very, very helpful. And, without the resistance/hitting a wall feeling post-procedure, this seems like it could work very well. Also, sleeping with one of the comfortable sized dilators post-procedure could be super helpful too. Please, please know that I am here for you and you have my support 100%!!! Sending you hugs from Boston today!!!!

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