Overcoming fear of the dilators

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  • #8590
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. In thinking back pre-procedure, one of my greatest fears was whether I would be able to do the dilating. I had ordered dilators from vaginismus.com but was never able to insert them. I had also tried but could not insert tampons. I worked with an excellent sex therapist and expressed these “dilation” concerns and she assured me that I would, in fact, be able to do it. And, I was entirely successful!!! I had never been able to insert anything prior to this procedure. I seriously believe that if I can do it, anyone can do it. And, if you are reading this as a future patient waiting for treatment and just can’t see how you will be able to do the dilating … YOU WILL! This is exactly how I felt and, once you wake up with the dilator already in place, you will even surprise yourself at how you will be able to insert, remove, and re-insert the dilators pain-free. Ladies, what was your greatest surprise with dilation post-procedure? For those patients who were successful using dilators in any form prior to treatment, what was the difference you noticed in using the pure romance and/or glass dilators post-treatment???

    #10165
    Allie
    Participant

    Heather, thank you so much for posting this. I was just reading K Howard’s post about her treatment and I’m not gonna lie I was having MAJOR anxiety reading about the dilating. 🙁 I too ordered the dilator set from vaginismus.com and was never successful with them. I am still super nervous but I do feel better after reading your post. 🙂

    #10186
    K Howard
    Participant

    This is a great post Heather…Allie, it is extremely normal to have anxiety/fears regarding the dilators. I know that for my first go around with this procedure I was completely terrified when I received the Pure Romance set in the mail. I thought that there would be NO WAY I was gonna be able to put any of those “things” inside of me. Even with the most recent procedure I was still nervous about the dilation but I tell you the truth, when I woke up this time, the light bulb went off again and I felt like “wow, I can’t believe it is in there and it is a glass one!” You truly will be able to do this and after your procedure, we will all be reading YOUR post about how awesome you did! I cannot truthfully say that it is always easy but the two things that really keep me going is knowing that if I really need to, I can dilate with a smaller dilator and work my way back up (and know that I’m not a failure if I have to do so) and having the support (sometimes overwhelming for me) of my husband. Just know that you will overcome this and we are all here rooting for you!

    #10189
    Allie
    Participant

    Thank you. 🙂

    #10190
    K Howard
    Participant

    You’re welcome. I can’t wait to hear your experience.

    #10203
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Allie. I promise you that you will be able to successfully use the dilators. I know if someone would’ve said this to me pre-procedure, I would’ve been skeptical as I couldn’t insert a q-tip without it causing excruciating pain. How could I insert a dilator? But, I promise you, it DOES WORK! It’s amazing what happens to your body and mind once you actually wake up with a dilator in place. For me, this was a huge “turning point” and drastically changed my way of thinking and feeling about the dilators. I knew that it had successfully worked and thus, would always work and I no longer associated insertion with pain. You will do AMAZING and we are all here to support you!!!

    #10801
    tigerkitty
    Participant

    I’ve started dilating with the vaginismus.com dilators and absolutely feel the same way – just looking at the largest size makes me squeamish and hopeless about ever reaching that point. How on earth can something that large fit inside me, never mind how much it will probably hurt me?! I’m still learning to cope mentally with using the dilators, but physically I’ve managed to insert the second size with some discomfort. I can only hope I continue to be successful. As long as you do your best to harness your emotions and calm yourself down when you begin the dilating process each day, eventually your anxiety levels drop and things become a little easier.

    #10747
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    I highly recommend the glass dilators from Dr. Pacik’s office. They are much more comfortable and are not as intimidating to look at. They are smooth and are very easy to use. I highly recommend that you call Dr. Pacik, tigerkitty. He would be so helpful to you in answering all of your questions and recommending the best succesful treatment for you. He has dedicated his life to helping women like us who suffer with Vaginismus. He is very kind and compassionate and it would be so beneficial for you to talk to him.

    #11745
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. One of my greatest fears pre-procedure was dilating (see my above post). How would I ever be able to dilate when I hadn’t been able to even insert a q-tip in the past without the feeling like I was hitting a wall and pain/burning. I was simply terrified of everything about the dilators. Dr. Pacik has addressed this fear and writes the following:

    Q. I am terrified of even the thought of dilators. How is it possible for me not to have pain with dilators? “Most women with severe vaginismus and severe painful sex are unable to use dilators on their own. During the treatment with Botox under anesthesia, a long acting anesthetic is injected so that the entire vagina is numbed for about eight to twelve hours. By the time the patient returns the next morning, having maintained a dilator for 24 hours, the vaginal muscles are sufficiently stretched that dilation to the larger dilators is easy and not painful. During this time a topical anesthetic is used to coat the dilator and this adds to the comfort of post procedure dilation. Later, patients are able to continue their dilation program easily without the need for topical anesthesia.”

    To the veterans reading this, what was your greatest surprise with dilation post-procedure? For those patients who were successful using dilator kits on your own pre-procedure, what was the difference you noticed in using the pure romance and/or glass dilators post-procedure???

    #11757
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    For me, I couldn’t believe that I as able to actually insert the dilators. And I love, love, love the glass dilators as they seem to go in so much smoother for me and having gone through menopause find them to be more comfortable and do not dry out so quickly.

    #11759
    Bitesize
    Participant

    I think one of the most encouraging things for me is seeing the progress that I’ve made. When I got my first dilator some months ago (I’ve been getting mine one by one through my PS therapist) it looked terrifying, now even the one the next step above it looks very small and unimpressive!! I think the most important thing to remember is that no matter how impossible it seems, they’re definitely not as scary as they look first time round and once you’re used to them you forget how much anxiety they initially caused. I always try to remind myself that this thing is beatable and it will never be bigger than me!

    #11760
    candi
    Participant

    GREAT!! Keep that wonderful spirit. You Will get there (and so will I) both of us.

    #11783
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    What a great attitude, Bitesize! Very encouraging and you are doing a great job of being persistent with your dilating! You are on the road to healing!

    #11792
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    This is an amazing attitude Bitesize and you WILL overcome!!!!!!

    #12254
    tiffa
    Participant

    I did it without any treatment/consultation from therapist/gynecologist, because I am still waiting for the referral letter, and also the appointment to start the treatment would be long.

    I also got the dilators set from vaginismus.com

    Hence I started it myself, yesterday’s only my second day and second time trying. First time, I only can insert the smallest, then the second one not able to put in, only the tip.
    Then second day, yesterday, naturally I able to insert the second size up comfortably.
    I tried to move on to the third one, and seemed impossible, kinda burning sensation on the pelvic floor.
    I do some research online and found that the third size is really a challenge for many people.
    I will keep tryin!!!

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