Tips to Overcome any Discomfort with Dilators

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    Hi ladies. At various times post-procedure, I experienced some discomfort with the dilators. While going through this, I knew that it wasn’t the normal pre-procedure vaginismus pain that prevented any insertion, but it was just an uncomfortable feeling/soreness at times. I consulted Ellen and Dr. Pacik about this via e-mail post-procedure and found them to be very, very helpful and also so supportive.

    In an excellent blog, Dr. Pacik has written some very helpful tips to overcome any discomfort that you may have with the dilators:

    “Early in the process dilation may be uncomfortable and create soreness. Sometimes it starts off being comfortable and then it is hard to find a position that allows for pain free insertion. This may cause distress (because the dilation was going so well) but needn’t be because most women do experience discomfort with dilation at some time. Sometimes the lube dries up and extraction of the dilator is uncomfortable. By simply twisting the dilator first this loosens it so that it can be removed more comfortably. Most dilators are too long and it is important to avoid inserting the dilator so far that it hits the cervix which can create discomfort. This discomfort of hitting the cervix is also true for intercourse when the penis is too long. When using the Pure Romance dilators the pink #5 dilator needs to stick out about one inch and the blue #6 about two inches. For painful extraction, experiment with the different lubes including silicone lubes. The water based lube gets absorbed overnight and dries out. One may be sore from the dilation process because the vagina is not used to this new frequency and duration of using dilators. This gets better with time. It is OK to use ibuprofen or Tylenol at this time. The correct dose of ibuprofen is three 200mg tabs (over the counter) three times a day. This can be used for about a week if needed. If you find a position of comfort, this may be your position for transitioning to intercourse. One should therefore experiment with different positions including squatting for dilation and then intercourse. Most women with vaginismus have spasm involving the entry muscle. The higher muscles may be tight but usually not in spasm. Therefore once one gets past the entry muscle, about one inch (2.5cm), the dilator practically “falls in” and the rest of the dilation process becomes easy. It is also helpful to do a series of Kegels, with complete relaxation of the pelvis on the 5th Kegel, and then insert. Also the use of a vibrator has been shown to help relaxation when dilating. Always use lots of lube.”

    Have you experienced any discomfort at various times with dilating? How did you overcome this and what would you recommend to other women who may be experiencing this?


    Yes, I find that there are times when it is not comfortable to dilate. It was usually because I skipped too many days/nights, I was stressed or dry and not using enough lubrication. I find if i take deep breaths, and try to empty my mind by watching something on TV to distract me. As well I view the discomfort as a good discomfort like I do when I have worked out and my muscles are sore. It is a good kind of sore. I’m stretching my muscles. If it became very uncomfortable and didn’t seem to go away, I would take a break and try again later or the next day. The key for me was to know that there will be good days and not so good days and to not be hard on myself. Each day is a new day. Each day is a small success because prior to the procedure I was not able to dilate with much success :0)

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