Losing heart with dilators

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    I’ve been visiting this forum for a while now, but was nervous about signing up. Decided to join today though, as the support you all have for each other is so encouraging and comforting and I could really use some encouragement and comfort right now!

    I’ve had vaginismus for seven years and am starting to lose hope that I’ll ever overcome it. Luckily I have a really supportive partner, but we’re both getting to the end of our tether and starting to despair. We only managed to have pain-free sex for the first six weeks of our relationship before I developed vaginismus and feel so cheated.

    I know some forum users have never managed intercourse, so I hope it’s not insensitive for me to say I feel cheated, but if I’m honest, that is exactly how I feel. I’m in my later twenties, am getting married next year and feel as though I should be in my prime. Instead I feel like a let-down.

    I have been using vaginal dilators for the past year and a half and seeing a sex therapist, but I’m stuck on trainer number 3 and have been for a while. This has caused me to stop using them altogether, which has upset my partner. I’ve been wondering if there’s anything else that can be done, other than work with the trainers? I’ve read about some folks in America getting botox, but I don’t think they offer it in the UK. I’ve also spoken to my therapist about surgery to widen my vagina, but she doesn’t recommend it as she says the problem is psychological, not physical.

    Any advice for anyone in a similar situation would be so appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.


    Hi Cassandra. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so very sorry for your struggles with vaginismus. I am so happy you have found Maze and joined the Forum. Please know we are all here to support you 100%! Concerning dilating and getting un-stuck, the thing that I found following my Botox procedure in 2011, was the resistance that normally prevented me from dilating in the past disappeared post-Botox. Once the struggle to insert them was gone, I was able to insert all of the sized pure romance dilators. I found dilating for 2 hours per day with the purple, pink, and largest blue as well as sleeping with the purple dilator every other night helped significantly to stretch me as well as reduce any anxiety associated with painful intercourse. With this dilation schedule and the lack of resistance, we were able to transition to pain-free intercourse. Thereafter, I gradually reduced my dilation schedule. Now, 5 years later, and we are still enjoying pain-free and fun intercourse and have a 13-month old little boy (a dream come true).
    So many patients have traveled over from the UK and there is an excellent thread related to this:

    Botox Treatment for UK Patients

    Further, Rachel has shared in the past her experience of visiting New York City and Maze Women’s Sexual Health is right outside of NYC:

    “When you come for your treatment you have time in NYC. We caught a broadway show-Billy Elliott which was amazing and did all of the tour buses and the empire state building. I did this before the treatment and found it took my mind off being nervous!! I was so over stimulated with everything in NY I didn’t have time to worry!!”

    Also, Arose has written:

    “I’m from the UK, we found Dr Pacik’s programme through just searching online, and after trying dilation at home for several years with stunted progress, we decided to make the trip to the US. In fact, I had the treatment today!! Everyone is really very welcoming, and whilst the Botox hasn’t kicked in yet (it takes a few days), i have been dilating fine, and have no pain. I definately recommend you consider this treatment… good luck!”

    Please, please, again know that I am here for you 100%!!! Sending support and hugs to you today!!!


    Welcome to the forum Cassandra.

    Something to consider as an alternative or in addition to dilation is pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic Floor Physical therapists are trained to work with patients who are experiencing pelvic pain and muscle tension. They will do internal and external exercises with you, as well as help with the dilators.

    Consistent dilation is often key for successful treatment for vaginismus. Also, I have found that sometimes having the best tools for the job can make a big difference. I think often the jump from the third dilator to the fourth dilator in some sets of dilators is too wide, and many need an in between size to bridge that gap.

    Here are some links to other dilators you can try:

    Pure Romance: This is the set of dilators used for the botox surgery

    Syracuse Medical: These are hard plastic dilators, but come in many sizes. You cannot sleep with these, only do daily exercises.

    Soul Source: they have a wide variety, and you can purchase individually, similar to pure romance.

    Glass dilators:

    Don’t give up! You were able to have pain free intercourse in your past, I don’t see any reason why we can’t get back to that again!




    Ive had botox in london, same day around hour and all was done, had sedation too so didnt feel anything, it was private and cost 900 pound, but worth it.

    Im struggling too with last dilator, just seems too big.


    Thank you so much for your replies. It’s so nice not to feel alone in this. I’ll definitely take a look at the other dilator sets, as I only have the Amelie Comfort one currently. Will also look into botox in London. Thanks all. Cx


    I know the process to finding the right solution can be really emotionally draining….Hang in there Cassandra!!!!


    Hi, I am new to this forum. Your situation sounds just like me – I am stuck on dilator number 4 and it feels so demoralising. I feel myself getting moody and unaroused now too whenever I go to do the exercises with the dilators which doesn’t help. But I’m trying to stay positive so I don’t get stuck in a rut… Just think how far you’ve come!! Slow and steady wins the race xx


    Hi Hannah, I know using the dilators can be really difficult. Hope you are sticking with it. Just keep trying. Is there a big difference between the size 4 and the next dilator? Perhaps getting a size in between those 2 sizes would be helpful?

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