Dilating Fear is Beatable

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  • #18906
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi all. I recall being so nervous pre-procedure about the whole concept of dilating and it took me going through it and actually doing it to know that I could. For anyone who also feels anxiety concerning dilating, please know that it IS possible to do and you will see amazing changes in your body by using vaginal dilators. For me, they helped me both physically (stretching my vagina prior to intercourse) and mentally (I know longer associated insertion w/pain and became used to the feel of having a dilator inside of me and it helped to reduce so much anxiety prior to intercourse).
    In the past, Bitesize has written:
    “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!”

    What advice do you have for moving beyond the fear of dilators? Any thoughts and comments would be super helpful.

    #19214
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    Hey all,

    New to the forum and looking for some positive words! This thread and all of these Dilating topics are super helpful to me, but the majority of them, like this, are related to post-botox treatment. I am obviously considering the botox treatment, and I hate to admit (and my Congtythamtu PA has said) because of my lack of any successful penetration before coming to Congtythamtu, and my initial anxiety with the smallest (XS [or is it XXS?], silicon) dilator, I’m probably a pretty bad case of vaginismus where the botox treatment would make the recovery much much easier and quicker.

    I discussed the cost of the botox treatment with the billing manager and, correct me if I’m wrong, I was told there’s no way to know how much my insurance will cover until after the procedure :(. So my current mindset is that even if dilation treatment is slow and a bit painful + discouraging sometimes, I’m currently in no rush to have intercourse so if I am making any progress, I’d rather save the (possibly) $6K and stick with dilation therapy.

    That being said, I’m nervous! I’m only a few days in, and I experienced some bleeding and pain the day after my first time getting it in by myself. Then, I was unable to get it in after 30 or so minutes of trying, and was feeling so incredibly discouraged and just went to bed :(. The next day, it took me 45+ minutes and tons of lube before I got it in, but I got it in! Didn’t have much pain, either.

    I feel like I don’t have the right muscle memory; I’m always unsure if I’m in the right spot at the right angle, and I’m nervous about pushing it in if it’s not in the right spot… I don’t know if this is normal or not. Any help, guidance, or positive words would help me endlessly!

    #19215
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    Edit: I changed my name after, I thought just the username would show up… Will see if I can fix when I get to computer, I’ve been using mobile! Sorry about that 🙂

    #19238
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Sks823. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so, so sorry for what you have gone through with vaginismus and I am very proud of you for working with the dilators. Please know that I am here for you through this. I wanted to share with you some dilating tips that I hope will help.

    Regarding the technicality of dilating, this is entirely normal and a good question that I also had when I first started using the dilators. Dr. Pacik and Ellen have an excellent video available on YouTube that is super helpful and gives tips for inserting in the right spot and at the right angle:

    How to Use Vaginal Dilators:

    Other helpful thoughts and tips on the technicality of dilating that I wanted to share with you:

    “I have sometimes found that just getting the dilator as far in as I can without pain and then leaving it there in that position for a few minutes and then allow my mind to escape somewhere else…then after a few minutes I gently push the dilator again and often times I find that it will slip right in without pain.”

    “[C]ramping was due to me tensing up. I would know because my butt would also be clinched tight when dilating. I had to constantly keep telling myself to relax my body. Easier said then done, but it gets better! Tighten up your toes then relax them, tighten up your fist then relax them. Keep doing that throughout your body(while dilating). It always helped me!”

    And very, very motivational and inspirational thoughts:

    “I think the best way to think about this is this: the muscles in our vaginal walls have never really been stretched before. I keep telling myself I wouldn’t expect my body to be able to run a marathon if it had been in a wheelchair for 20 years. One step at a time. You’ll get there in your own time and in your own way. Don’t get discouraged!

    “Perseverance and positivity is the key with this, and you are not alone in what you’re experiencing – keep going!

    “Vaginismus is something that not only affects our bodies but even more so our minds…at least that is how it has been for me. Because it is something so close and personal it is not something that we share and personally, it made me feel like I was a freak, not a woman. When those awful feelings of failure come, tell them to get out. I know it may sound silly, but if you have to shout it out. You are doing so well and are on the road to being rid of Vaginismus.”

    Please, please know that I am here for you and you are doing amazing

    #19240
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    Wow… Heather, I seriously can’t thank you enough for the helpful, kind, incredibly thoughtful response. The dilator is getting in slightly easier each time I dilate which gives me hope,,and your post and words give me even more hope!

    Again, I can’t thank you enough for the response and sweet welcome. Will definitely reach out again…

    #19241
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Sks! That is excellent, excellent news that the dilator is getting in easier each time!!! Keep up the great work and know that I am here for you!!!

    #19242

    lulu
    Participant

    Sks,

    I wanted to let you know that if you haven’t called your insurance they may be able to tell you what would be covered. Congtythamtu would probably be able to tell you the way it should be billed such as codes and etc. so your insurance would be able to give you a better idea of coverage. Keep in mind, it usually isn’t 100% accurate but is an estimate. I had Anthem and they covered a small portion of the procedure with Dr.Pacik. I know some woman have had almost all of the procedure covered. Insurance is slowly becoming more aware of vaginismus and starting to see it as a real condition it is.

    I also wanted to let you know that you should be very proud of yourself for trying on your own without Botox. I was always able, by willpower, to make it through exams even though they were very painful before the procedure. However, I know in my heart that I would have never been able to use dilators or have painless intercourse without the procedure.

    #19265
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Lulu! I will definitely Congtythamtu again for billing codes / my insurance for more info if I start to think more seriously about the procedure; I’m very glad to know that’s an option. 🙂

    #19266
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    I also wanted to let Heather / whomever comes to this thread for support know that I’ve moved up two dilator sizes since my previous post! I have ~1 appointment a week, and I’ve moved up in my last two appointments! I started out with the very smallest, and I’m now on the 3rd of 8 sizes. Dilating at home, like I had said in my previous post, got easier each time with the 2nd size (Day 1/2/3 of new dilator is painful and can be difficult, but then my mind/muscles remember that it FITS, and fits FINE, and dilating is a lot easier).

    I just got the 3rd size yesterday and there was a LOT of pain during my appointment, but instead of dreading dilating I am determined to get to Day 4 or 5 or whatever of dilating, when I know my body will remember “this fits! you’ll be fine!” and it’ll go in much easier.

    Lots of love and positive thoughts to you!

    #19271
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Sks823!!!! Yaaaaay! This is so, so, so awesome! You are doing so great!!!!

    I absolutely love what you wrote:

    “(Day 1/2/3 of new dilator is painful and can be difficult, but then my mind/muscles remember that it FITS, and fits FINE, and dilating is a lot easier).”

    This, too, helped me beyond measure when dilating. I always went back to my first time doing it and whenever I felt that it was difficult, I, too, would tell myself “it fits” “your fine” and I would remember how it fit before and then knew that it would be possible!!!

    I can’t tell you how much I love this and how important this was for me as well!!! Keep up the great work!!! Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way!!!

    #19287
    mm
    mazemelissa
    Moderator

    I loved reading through this string of posts.

    Sks823 you are doing amazing. Keeping positive is so important.

    Moving up in dilator size can be challenging for those first few days, “It fits and your fine” is a great message to keep telling your self.

    Keep up the amazing work!

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