New to dilating
December 7, 2018 at 9:00 pm #24021EmdeejayParticipant
I was recently diagnosed with vaginismus after ignoring my vaginal problems for most of my life. I’ve been dilating for 5 days. At first I was surprised at how well I seemed to be doing, I inserted the smallest dilator relatively easily with lubricant and moved on to the next… but now I feel like it can’t be going this well and I must be doing something wrong. I wasn’t given much instruction by my gyno and the box of dilators had an instruction dvd of all things, I don’t have a DVD player any more.
How long should I be keeping the dilators inside me? Does the irrational anxiety I feel before dilating get any better with time? I feel like I don’t instinctively know what direction inside me to push the dilators, how do I know if I’m hitting clenched muscles or something I shouldn’t be? Will I ever get to a point where the dilators move in and out easily, or will it always be a slow tight movement?
If anyone can answer these questions I’d be super grateful. I’m working towards confiding in someone about my vaginismus but until then, I’m finding reading about others with the condition really helpful… for years I thought I was the only one on the planet like this.
EmDecember 11, 2018 at 9:34 pm #24062
Hey Em! These are all good questions! Dilating can be really confusing if there’s not someone who trains you on them or is present to check up on you through several appointments like I had at Maze, but there’s plenty of stuff you can pick up from these forums, fortunately! Here are a few tips:
– If you are finding a dilator extremely easy to work with, that’s good! It also probably means you’re ready for the next size up. When you start with a larger dilator than you’re used to, there’s a slight burning sensation at first – that’s the muscles stretching themselves and getting ready for penetration by larger and larger objects, which is what we want. Once you’re comfortable putting in and taking out a dilator, get used to moving it around more – pulling it in and out, wiggling it around, and generally getting the muscles comfortable with a variety of movements.
– The anxiety you’re feeling pre-dilation gets better. Dilating is kind of like working out, in a weird way. At first going to the gym feels unnatural and like a lot of work, but after awhile you learn the sensations and the steps and get used to the routine.
– You hear a lot of different things about dilating lengths of time, but the most important thing I would say is that you should do it EVERY DAY, even if it’s just for five minutes. Some people sleep in their dilators but I got bad sleep that way and it isn’t necessary. If you can sit around with a dilator in for 20 minutes, that’s great, and can give you time to start on a familiar size before moving up to a larger one. There’s certainly no need to keep it in all day though!
– Inserting the dilators also gets easier. I strongly recommend inserting them while lying on your back – it’s easier to get them in the proper position. The motion of insertion definitely gets smoother. When you insert something into the vagina, the first ring of muscles on the inside of the vaginal canal is what clenches and tightens, so once the object gets pushed back this part of the vagina, the dilator slides in super easily the rest of the way once you’re used to penetration. It takes awhile for the muscles to stretch, but soon the dilators will slide in a lot easier.
I’m glad you’ve found these forums and can take some comfort in them. Keep up the good work! I know you’ll get there!December 13, 2018 at 6:18 am #24071EmdeejayParticipant
Thank you for replying, this is all really helpful, especially as my gyno didn’t really give much instruction. I am now working with the 4 1/2 inch dilator and I am hitting difficulties but the good news is my anxiety is getting better and instead of giving up and going back into denial I’m keeping with it. I’m currently dilating between 10 and 20 mins a day. It’s the deepest muscles that are causing problems but hopefully in time I’ll get there
Thanks 🙂December 13, 2018 at 10:43 am #24078Cathleen Kneidl, RPA-CParticipant
Keep working with those dilators, I know it’s hard, but the more consistent you are, the better the results. Sounds like you are doing great, keep up the good work!!December 18, 2018 at 8:52 pm #24092
This is great news Em! I can say that the hardest part of the whole endeavor is maintaining consistency and not giving up. As long as you keep coming back to dilating every day, even when there are setbacks, you will get there in the end. It’s the only way out into the light – you take one step at a time.January 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm #24187grb123Participant
Hello, this is my first post, I’m very new to all of this and I’m very overwhelmed. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations about what set of dilators to buy? My gynaecologist only told me to look around (which isn’t very helpful). What has worked best for you? I’ve seen some people like glass and others silicone. I just don’t want to make a purchase and realise that they’re not right since it’s quite a lot of money.
Thank you!January 23, 2019 at 1:57 pm #24189Cathleen Kneidl, RPA-CParticipant
Here at Maze, one of the sets of dilators we use are the Pure Romance dilators. They are silicone, and patients do well with them.
It is very individual though. Some people do prefer the glass dilators. They both work well. Hopefully some participants will chime in with some recommendations to help you make your decision.January 25, 2019 at 4:16 am #24217
I can vouch that the silicone pure romance dilators are really nice – they were rigid but something about the silicone wasn’t intimidating at all. The sizing escalation was nice too. I highly recommend!January 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm #24245grb123Participant
Thank you very much for your advice.
I’ve done as much research as I think I can and the pure romance set do look really good. However, I cant seem to order them as the website doesn’t deliver to the UK. Does anyone no how I could get around this? Or if it’s not possible another similar alternative?February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm #24267Leslie Turner, WHNP, CNMParticipant
Several different sites appear to carry the Pure Romance set; I recommend you contact some to inquire re delivery options. We’ve also had patients who have purchased dilators from vaginismus.com and have been happy w their purchase.
Congratulations on beginning dilation. It can be overwhelming at first, so definitely keep coming here for support on your journey to healing vaginismus.
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