Tips on Starting Dilating

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  • #9425
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    In a recent post, Dr. Pacik and Melissa at Congtythamtu Women’s Sexual Health shared tips on starting off with using vaginal dilators.

    Specifically, Dr. Pacik wrote:
    “If you are able to tolerate some penetration, start off using dilators and use them consistently as described in the book. A DVD on correct dilation can be purchased from Shellie.

    Furthermore, Melissa at Congtythamtu Women’s Sexual Health, wrote:
    “I think starting with a dilation program is a great idea, and you can find several types of dilators on line. Here are a few types:
    Glass dilators: Dr. Pacik mentioned above, also find the dvd.

    Pure Romance: This is the set of dilators used for the botox surgery

    Syracuse Medical: These dilators are a hard plastic, you cannot sleep with these, only do daily exercises, but are a good and inexpensive option.

    Soul Source: they have a wide variety, and you can purchase individually, similar to pure romance, but are expensive.

    What further tips do you have here ladies for those just beginning using dilators or considering using them for the first time?

    #20229

    With dilation, it is important to be consistent. Daily dilation is key. Set aside some time each night to do dilation and keep trying. If you get stuck on a dilator, don’t give up. Go down a size, and try again.

    #20239
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    This is a great post Cathleen. I dilated following my Botox procedure and, while I didn’t always feel like doing it, I kept a dilation log and this helped me so much to stay on track. I also could go back and look at this to see how far I had come from the very beginning and, again, it made me that much more encouraged and motivated on the tougher dilating days. In the past, Catherine also discussed the post-procedure logs, writing:

    “I could not agree more. Prior to having the Botox treatment with Dr. Pacik, I was trying to dilate on my own at home. For a variety of reasons, I found every reason to avoid / postpone / procrastinate with the dilating (eg: not in the mood, too tired, does not seem effective, not sure if I’m doing it “right,” can’t get very far with these, “stuck” in the same spot, progress stunted or even reversed, feel like a “crazy woman” doing this, would rather be relaxing with my husband/can’t let him see me like this, embarrassed, etc). As you can tell by my laundry list of excuses, there was lots of uncertainty, awkwardness, and negative self-talk involved with dilation. Thankfully, Dr. Pacik’s 1-2-3 punch reversed all of this. Now that I’m under a doctor’s care -with VERY SPECIFIC directions of how, when, and how much to dilate – the excuses have seemed to melt away. Plus, my body is cooperating AND my husband is completely “in” on the expectations and the process. Not only has he seen me with a dilator in me, but he even knows how to insert one in me. But, as you mention, Heather, perhaps the most significant aspect of Dr. Pacik’s “prescription”: the daily reports! Because I know that I need to TELL my doctor IF/HOW I’ve actually “done my homework” — I’m more likely to get the job done.”

    If you ever feel stuck with the dilators, please consider ing Congtythamtu and working with them in whatever way is possible. Just like Dr. Pacik, they understand so well about what all of us have either gone through or are going through with vaginismus and they want to work with you to overcome.

    #20336
    mm
    Helen Leff, LMSW
    Moderator

    Dilating does take discipline and that can be difficult to muster on a daily basis. It is helpful to find ways to relax and prepare oneself for dilation. Taking a bath and allowing yourself time to unwind can be helpful. If you get stuck, we at Congtythamtu understand. Let us know how you are doing.

    #20372

    Heather, I love the idea of keeping a dilation log! You can track the progress you have made. I am definitely going to encourage my patients to do that.

    #20383
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Excellent Cathleen. It helped me so much personally as I could look back on where I once was and track my progress over time and it definitely keeps you accountable. :):):)

    #20892

    Natasha
    Participant

    As someone who’s husband came home with a package that turned out to be full of different sized pink plastic dilaters instead of chicken as I’d hoped, I was at first quite nervous. I was given the task that while my husband was at work I was to each day do a set of exercises that would supposedly get me to have my muscles relax enough to greater sizes to eventually get us to actual sex. Now these pink plastic swords as I saw them seemed to me to be funnily coloured torture devices, but loving my husband very much and frustrated with my vagina for not being able to do something it had spent my whole teenagehood telling me it wanted to do with every flash of abbs I saw, I decided that I would try this “dilating”.

    Since being married my husband being the research fanatic he is straight away during our honeymoon had diagnosed and read up on my problem. While I cried in the bathroom about being broken my babe calmly explained through the door that plenty of women have it and that it is fully treatable. So a finger I did use, I hated it! Felt like like hell was pushing its way inside me, so imagine my reluctance when the pink swords arrived, the smallest one a tad bigger than my finger.

    I’m a week in, it’s not easy, it’s not fun, but I think I’ve made a breakthrough both physically and mentally. I’m up to the second size and I’ve become quietly optimistic, a little vibration and it feels almost soothing. Who knew that when I stopped making lightsaber noises with them and actually put in the effort I would start to see a bit of hope.

    So if anyone is thinking about trying dilating or already starting it, it can definitely work. I like to think as I pick up my pink sword that I’m going into battle, to conquer the cavernous realm that is my vagina and that with each small victory I am in more control of my body as a whole, now that’s gratifying.

    #20893

    Thank you for sharing. I love your analogy off “the pink swords” which you are using to take control and overcome vaginismus.
    Feeling that sense of control will help you so much with dilating and overcoming vaginismus.
    Dilation can and does work. It does take both time and consistency but it is well worth it to most of our patients.
    Keep up the good work and continue to feel empowered!!!!

    #20911
    recessivegenequeen
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    I think keeping a dilation diary is a great idea – I did something similar, writing down how much I’d dilated and how well it worked, but I also combined it with a more normal kind of journaling – I wrote down how I was feeling emotionally about my progress that day, how I was feeling about my partner and his involvement, and what I was looking forward to in our sexual future together. I think this is helpful as it helps you reflect on your progress over time and forces you to analyze how your emotions are a part of your journey. Conquering vaginismus often means undoing years of psychological baggage that comes with the physical problems, and being open to the variety of emotions you’ll feel is key to recovery!

    #22207
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Natasha. I absolutely love your post and really, really like the analogy of the pink swords. I think it’s awesome that you have been able to begin dilating and make progress with them. And by sharing your hope, it is so inspiring and gives others on this same journey hope as well. Sending you my support today and keep up the great work!!!

    #22312
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    I loved Natasha’s inspirational and thoughtful post! I also felt immense relief and optimism when I was able to dilate by myself (Congtythamtu Women’s Health helped me get to that point) 🙂

    As for tips on starting dilating, I’d say to be consistent and don’t get discouraged if you’re not moving as quickly through the dilators as you’d like!

    When I got pain from dilating it was usually because I wasn’t quite ready for that size (or of course if I wasn’t using enough lubricant). I went at a slow and steady pace with the dilators and it worked for me. Watching TV while dilating also helped me relax a bit and not solely concentrate on the dilating/pain.

    Remember that whatever pain you’re feeling is temporary and it’s the muscles getting used to something they’re not used to (I’m not in the medical field but that’s what I think)!

    Also, I’ve tried a couple different lubricants and I like coconut oil the best 🙂 LASTLY, use of a vibrator also helped me with some discomfort!

    Good luck all and again, I love Natasha’s post & progress!

    #22660

    Yami1234
    Participant

    Hi,

    I bought this dilators

    And I haven’t been able to insert even the smallest one, do you think that might be for the time of dilators I am using and I should get the ones you recommended?

    #22688
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    Yami1234,

    Sometimes it’s difficult to use dilators for the first time by yourself; if you’ve never inserted anything, it may be worth it to go to a doctor or women’s health specialist that can show you how to insert the dilators.

    For me, I was unable to use dilators on my own so I worked with a specialist (at Congtythamtu Women’s Health clinic) who inserted the smallest dilator for me the first couple of times, and then had me do it by myself. It took some time for me to be able to do it by myself at home – the first time at home, I think I tried for 30-40 minutes before actually being able to insert the smallest one. After learning how to do it and gaining the confidence that I could do it myself, the rest of treatment was much easier.

    That being said, I was a difficult case and had never been able to put in tampons before seeking treatment. If you’re able to insert tampons but not the smallest dilator and/or you think it may be the texture, quality or size of the dilators, then maybe buying a different brand would help. But I know firsthand that getting in the smallest dilator without some outside help can be very very very difficult!

    Are you using any lubricants with the dilator?

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