Inconsistent success with dilators

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    Hi all,

    I started seeing a physical therapist this past month to treat vaginismus. She suggested I buy dilators. However, I have been stuck on the smallest one for a month, and about half the time I can’t even insert it all the way. It’ll be weird because some days I can insert it with minimal discomfort and the next day I’ll be unable to get it in more than an inch and am met with burning pain. Is this normal? Also, is it normal on days when I do not have success to also have pain after my attempt at insertion?



    I have heard other patients experience this same problem. For some reason, on those days, your muscles are just more tense. Could be you had a more stressful day, or its a certain time of your cycle. When the muscles are more tense, you will experience more of that burning pain, as you are pushing against more tense muscles.

    I usually advise pts who don’t have success with dilation insertion within the first few minutes, to take a break and try again at a later time. I usually encourage a hot bath or shower to try to relax the muscles.

    Doing something relaxing before dilation is key too. Getting your whole body in a less anxious state will help with successful dilation. Meditation, reading, listening to music, watching a favorite tv show etc.

    You might also be a good candidate for diazepam suppositories, your gynecologist could prescribe them for you. Diazepam is a muscle relaxer, and it can be compounded into suppositories for the vagina. Using them nightly can help relax the muscles and make dilation easier.


    Great advice from Melissa! I can testify that sometimes the tension is there and other times it isn’t. What matters is coming at each attempt as a totally new opportunity, as hard as that sounds. It’s hard not to psych yourself out sometimes but just because you’ve had a tough insertion one day doesn’t mean the next one will be bad. Keep it up and trust yourself! You can do it!


    I have recently started dilating also. I can confirm that for me it’s also an up and down process, I find that one day I’ll be able to insert with little difficulty and the next day will be totally different, I’ll come up against a “wall”, sometimes with some muscle spasms. I find it helps to dilate after a shower or bath, and I put on a comedy show to have something else to focus on. I also tried CBD oil which I was dubious about but did have a small good effect. If I’m having a particularly stressful or tense day I skip dilating as I know it’ll be difficult and I’ll feel like giving up.
    Keep at it though, I never thought I would make the progress I have. My gyno called me the “worst case he’d ever seen” of vaginismus, so if I can do it, you can 🙂


    Thanks everyone for your advice. This is very helpful and I feel motivated to keep trying. Thanks especially to Melissa – I’ll ask about Diazepam.

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