Pre-Procedure Questions about Dilating

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    Hi ladies. One of my concerns and such a common pre-procedure concern is what will it be like to wake up with the dilator in place. Here are a series of posts that address just that as well as so many other aspects of dilating:

    Patient 1 Question:
    “Hi, I’m booked in with Dr Pacik in January, feeling nervous about it. I’m worried I’m going to panic / freak out when I wake up with the dilator inside. Did you have the same concerns? Did you find it easier to dilate after the procedure? I find it impossible at the moment and the thought of dilating for a couple of hours a day & sleeping with a dilator is really daunting. Are you still dilating now even though you’ve had success with intercourse? Sorry lots of questions!”

    Patient 2 Reply:
    Hi Lou! Concerning the dilating, it’s entirely normal to feel nervous about this. Prior to my procedure, even the name “dilator” freaked me out. I tried to do dilating on my own several times and just couldn’t do it. I honestly couldn’t even insert a q-tip without pain. So, I didn’t ever think I would be able to insert a dilator. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this. Basically, you wake up with the largest blue dilator already inside of you. I remember when I went back to the recovery room, I had to go to the bathroom once I woke up. This is the point where I took out the blue dilator, went to the bathroom, and was able to easily re-insert it. This was “huge” for me as I had never, ever been able to insert anything pain-free before. Then, both Dr. P and Ellen work with you by showing you how to insert and re-insert the dilators. You then have a dilation schedule where Dr. P wants you to dilate 2 hours per day and sleep with the dilators. Again, this sounded impossible to me prior to the procedure but did work well post-procedure. I used the philosophy that every single day is different with dilating. Some days, it worked really well and others, it was more challenging. I kept at it and it became a part of my daily routine. I still sleep with the dilators around 3 times per week and intend to for a full year. I know that I no longer have to do this now but still have a slight fear that vaginismus may somehow come back. I think this may be a common fear too although it is unfounded. Never be sorry about lots of questions – there can never be too many. Please feel free to ask many more.

    Patient 3 Reply:
    It is completely normal to be scared that waking up with the dilator will be scary! I remember thinking what if it doesn’t work for me or what if it is more painful than before the botox. I usually don’t have to dilate anymore. I am 2 and 1/2 years post botox. I find if it’s been awhile since intercourse it does help. I never thought I’d find a cure but the botox was my cure. I had my first gynecological exam this year that was not painful or scary or highly stressful! Please keep us up to date on your progress! I know you will be in wonderful hands.

    Patient 4 Reply:

    , don’t worry everything. Will be fine. When I came out of the procedure I to had to use the restroom, I had a nurse go with me because I still had some anastasia in me. I was in absolute amazement when I took the blue dilator out and realized that I did it! When I put it back in, it went right back in and I was so happy. I had a set of dilators at home that have never been used because I could never talk myself into using them, but now after e procedure I don’t mind at all. I use the purple for 30mins and pink 30mins every morning and night. For me sleeping it did not work so on the every other day that we are suppose to sleep in it I just make up the next morning doing 1 hr. I promise you will be able to do and you will feel so wonderful that you are able to do it. They will help you in the office on the day of surgery and e next day to help you in anyway to get comfortable using them. Ellen helped me when I thought I couldn’t do it, but once I relaxed I did it!!!! Good luck on your procedure and look forward to hearing you success stories too 🙂

    Patient 5 Reply:
    Hey Lou!!! I just had my procedure done in December and I felt much of the same way. I was very nervous, shaking, and my muscles were spasming uncontrollably. After I had the anesthesia and was lying in surgery I was still freaking out, but everyone in the room was so incredibly nice and understanding (including my husband). Before the Botox procedure (in surgery) I had one of my classic subconscious freak-outs where I jumped back on the table in order to not be touched. My husband told me that the anesthesiologist had to further sedate me in order to proceed so the doctor could insert a finger to find out which muscles were spasming. My husband and Dr. Pacik told me afterward that even unconscious I was still trying to resist any insertion and trying to pull myself away from them on the table. Funny thing is, I do not remember any of that! To tell you the truth, it kind of made me feel better in a way because that proved to my husband and me that I was not just “faking” it and it wasn’t just an issue that I made up; I wasn’t crazy anymore!!! 🙂 I still laugh about my attempted escape… 🙂 After the procedure I woke-up with the blue dilator in. I was so happy that it was actually inserted that I did not have any time to freak out. After the procedure it was very difficult for me to dilate (I never ended up being able to get the blue dilator back in the day of surgery after I took it out to use the restroom). Dr. Pacik said that I had one of the worst cases of primary vaginismus that he had ever seen; he rated me a 5++ LOL. As a matter of fact, he stated that they could create a 6th level for the severity of vaginismus that I had, but I wasn’t discouraged. I was VERY determined. Post procedure, Dr. Pacik said that my muscles were still spasming (Botox takes a few days, four days I think but it took about 5 or 6 days for the Botox to overcome my muscles spasming, to kick in) and that he could barely fit his finger in my canal. Working with Ellen, I somehow managed to fit the purple in and eventually the pink on the same day as my surgery with my muscles still clamping. I ended up going home that night and sleeping with the purple dilator in (I took Tylenol PM and slept all the way through the night). BTW, definitely bring the donut pillow. Those New Hampshire roads have a lot of bumps even if your driver is paying attention! 😉 I came back the next day and was able to insert the purple and pink dilators with some effort and was never able to insert the blue dilator at the Center due to the Botox not kicking in, but again… I was determined. On the third day, through all the piercing pain, I decided that no matter what that blue dilator was going to go in. After many tears and failed efforts, I got that blue dilator in! :):):) It is all about moving at your own pace and doing what you feel comfortable with. Every day after the third day I have been able to insert all the dilators. On the two week post-procedure date my husband and I were finally able to consummate our marriage (and his penis is bigger than the largest dilator) and a day after our first success we were already moving forward with thrusting!!!! My husband and I continue to progress in our love making. I have even been successful in love making without dilating first! I think that it is important to continue dilating after achieving intercourse so that your muscles can continue to expand and get used to an object being inserted before the Botox wears off (plus it helps to break that neurological connection with being scared and nervous). I have good days and bad days but I am always able to dilate because I do not give-up. And I swore that I was going to be that one person that the procedure was not going to work for… LOL. If I can do it… So can you!!! Oh, and today was my first time EVER wearing a tampon… So if that has not happened for you yet, you can look forward to that as well… MAGNIFICIENT!!! :):):):):) Let me know how you do Lou…. Best of luck!!!! They will be good to you. No worries!


    Hi all, thank you for all your replies & kind wishes, it really helped. :-).
    Well, I had the procedure two weeks ago and it worked!! I’ve dilated every day since the procedure – using purple & pink but blue when I can, although this still hurts (did anyone else find this too?). On day 11 after the procedure, my husband and I managed to have intercourse – I actually cried with relief & joy! I can not properly describe how I felt & still feel – overwhelmed, amazed, even disbelief too. Intercourse is a bit uncomfortable – I guess it gets “better” with practice?? The last two weeks have not been easy – it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions – happiness, sadness (when the blue wouldn’t go in), frustration, impatience – everyone achieves success in different timescales but I wanted to be one of the “quick” ones and for it to happen straight away. But the botox & dilating has worked and I know if I continue to work at it & practice, I know it will get better. In addition, I know I still have some emotional baggage – years of pain, frustration, failed attempts, humiliating doctor visits, etc to get rid of which wil take a bit of time.
    But, for those considering the procedure, it is amazing, I’m still so surprised at the success – I’ve made more progress in 2 weeks than I did in 10 years! If any one has any detailed questions, I am more than happy to answer them. I would love to share the full story of my experience.

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