Having pain down there you may consider replacing your standard dildo collection (not that it was in use…) to set of dilators in different shapes and sizes. Vaginal dilators are designed to help you with at home physical therapy making it easily accessible in your own bed, sofa or whatever you feel comfortable lying on. Although it takes a long way and a lot of discipline to go through successful therapy.
Dilators, what it is?
Dilators are dildo-like shaped devices usually sold in special kits where few sizes are available. Manufactured on base of toxins-free, safe and soft materials can be used to penetrate vagina with help of proper lubricant.
Dilators are used in range of pelvic floor dysfunctions: vaginismus, vulvodynia, provoked vestibulodynia, vaginal atrophy, vulvar dermatoses etc.
How it works?
Range of sizes gives possibility to gradually and comfortably stretch the vaginal opening and the vaginal depth over time. Starting with the smallest size women can progress to bigger ones by taking small steps. Time span between each size will vary on your needs but it needs at least a week, keep in mind it can take few weeks too before jumping to next level. Huge no-no to quick changes between sizes, vagina must adapt slowly to fully gain from training. When you’re in a rush you may ended up disappointed and in much pain (my own experience).
How to use it in steps?
- Lie down with your knees bent. Find comfortable position and relax whole body. If you feel stressed or tensed try deep breathing or some yoga prior training. For some women gynecologists recommend to use portion of topical lidocaine gel on vagina opening (wait few minutes for lidocaine to start local anesthesia).
- Use a lubricant on the smallest dilator.
- Very slowly try to insert dilator in your vagina, pausing sometimes if moment of discomfort hits you. Let your muscles adapt, relax and proceed further when ready. Never force it.
- When it is on tolerable depth within your vagina you should hold it there for 10-15 minutes before pushing it out with your vaginal muscles.
Upper description shows basic training suitable for beginners. When you feel confident and ready to try new exercises you may get a bit more crazy and try something more “wild”J Usually dilators kit is delivered with special manual with most important exercises that can be performed. Here are just some I used in my therapy:
-gently rotate dilator in your vagina
-with dilator inside your vagina try to move it diagonally to press gently in area of vaginal opening, hold it there for 30-60 seconds and release
– with dilator inside your vagina maintain gentle pressure against an exact area of discomfort and hold it there for 30-60seconds and release slowly giving it time to relax. Then repeat few times depending on how your vagina reacted to treatment in a first place.
-while dilator is inside vagina you can play with usual pelvic muscles exercises, like kegel etc.
-while dilator is inside vagina you can try to keep it in and later push back with strength of your vaginal muscles. You may sweat over this one, it is a real challenge 🙂
What kind of lubricant?
Water based lubricants will be the best (same for intercourse). One of my physiotherapist suggested ultrasound gel too. This option might be much cheaper although I wouldn’t recommend it as gel seem to “dry out” faster and changes structure into clots quickly which doesn’t look appealing after few minutes of training.
For some using dilator just few minutes prior planned intercourse is enough to relax muscles well, unfortunately that isn’t a case for most of us. By experience of many women and suggestions from therapists best practice is to keep it a routine. Exercising at least 3-5 times per week makes whole training more efficient. Frequent, short sessions are the best.
Skipping dilators rehabilitation for a while sadly get you back to lower size level. Seems, our vaginas are losing physical form much faster than rest of our body.
Still, if your vagina has worst days due to understandable only for her reasons, don’t force it and skip training as it may cause more harm.
Pros and cons of therapy?
* gives opportunity for continuing rehabilitation at home
* treatment can be done any time you wish, without any special appointments
* possibility to exercise at home or wherever you can relax completely, there’s no shame – you can create space only for yourself
* during training you can play music you love, watch favorite TV show (although watch out to not to lose track of training, you know how easy it is to get lost in movies plot)
* dilator sets can be used in your sex life practices spicing it up a bit. Used during foreplay can give your partner insight in principles of vaginal physical therapy. Fun and exercise combined J
* dilators are well manufactured and nicely designed
* easy to clean and store (each producer supplies additional box or bag for storage)
* it might be difficult to find time for yourself and space to relax completely if you’re nursing children or live with many people under the same roof
* training requires good discipline
* requires a lot of patience (but what in pelvic pain disorders isn’t?!). It can take 3 or more months for your vagina to expand enough for vaginal intercourse.
* Price, dilators are brought to us by only few companies which means they aren’t cheap yet. Price starts from 30€ up to 100€. You can even get fancier type with price skyrocketing to 200€ per set.
My own experience
I believe this is very crucial method to fight with pelvic pain but I wasn’t able to see much improvement on myself since I’ve never been keeping routine. Now I‘m getting back to treatment after long break. Comparing with other women experiences seems it is worth another try, especially that investment was already done 😉
For more details feel free to contact me in comments or by email! I’d be glad to hear your insights too.