Post- Procedure Questions

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  • #9354

    leonielee
    Participant

    Hello All,

    I just completed my procedure on May 4th and arrived home today. The procedure went great, and the next day follow-up counseling was absolutely invaluable. My problem now, is that I’m still in quite a bit of pain and discomfort from the procedure, and it is making it very difficult to dilate. The pain is pretty high (which doesn’t help with the anxiety, either), and I feel like I am re-agitating the incision that was made for the partial hymenectomy I received. Has anyone had similar issues post-procedure? How did you cope?

    Thank you!

    #13750
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Leonielee. Huge Congrats on having your recent procedure. I wanted to share with you some thoughts which includes a prior post of another Forum member who also had a partial hymenectomy in addition to the Botox injections. Please, please know I am here for you always!!!

    Bethany writes:

    “Hello!

    I had my Botox treatment yesterday (Monday, the 13th). The whole day was pretty much a blur! I was so nervous and unsure…didn’t know what to expect.

    My husband was in the procedure room with me and saw everything that Dr. Pacik was doing.

    Dr. Pacik did have to remove some small amount of tissue from around my hymen. Because of this, I did have some pretty extensive (in my opinion) bleeding afterwards. I was only prepared for a small amount of spotting. So, the lots and lots of blood was somewhat scary for me.

    I did wake up with the Blue #6 dilator in place. I was completely numb still, so it felt completely painless. I was also then able to take out Blue and insert Pink. By then the numbness was wearing off a bit. Pink was not too bad to get in and out. Then, it was time to head home with Purple in. By this time I was fully out of the numbness. I felt every inch of #4. The ride back to the hotel was pretty awful. I cried most of the ride. My emotions were all over the place. I then proceeded to make a very teary call to my mom, blabbering about bleeding and pain and uncomfortableness, etc.

    I kept #4 in for several hours after we got back to the hotel. I even fell asleep for a while with it in.
    I then took it out for an hour or so, for a little break.
    I inserted #3 blue for a while, which was obviously more comfortable.
    Then, I switched back to the purple #4 to sleep last night.
    I did take some Advil PM and that seemed to help. I do agree with many of the other posters who talked about sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. That definitely helped.

    On Day 2, returning to the office for counseling- I started the morning off by taking out Purple #4 to shower. Then, I started back at #3 blue for about 15 minutes. Went back up to purple and we drove to the office. Still pretty uncomfortably. I was clenching my teeth and muscles the whole time there.
    Once we arrived we worked on some dilating with Dr. Pacik. It was not impossible to get pink it- but, it was not fun either. I did attempt Big Blue without success. This was okay, but still a little disappointing.

    After we finished at Dr. Pacik’s I left without any dilator in place and we took the afternoon off to see some of the NH countryside. It was a really good time of bonding and sharing time with my husband. We did talk some about the procedure and my vaginismus (more than we really have in the past!). Then we came back to the hotel and I attempted to dilate with the #4 (purple) glass dilator. It was easy to insert, more painful to leave in and it kept slipping out(even with tight panties, two pairs, a pad and leggings) I was able to leave it in for a little while and then switched to the silicone #4 purple.
    Sitting in the dilators seems IMPOSSIBLE! Will this get better when the Botox kicks in???!!! I could dilate ALL Day if I could sit and get work done at my computer without being in excruciating pain. I kept trying to contort myself into crazy positions to see if I could tolerate the dilator sitting down somehow. Any Advice on this would be GREATLY appreciated! At this point, standing it the most comfortable position for me. Standing and not moving! Ha! Okay…I will just stand still for two hours everyday… Laying down on my back is also okay…but not as comfortable as standing.

    After leaving the #4 purple in for nearly an hour, I attempted to go back up to #5 pink. I was able to get it most of the way in, but the searing/burning was still present. It actually felt better when I moved the dilator in and out-as strange as that seems. I was only able to tolerate it for a short time, standing up and holding it in place.

    Now, I am SOO sore. Oh my goodness. I feel like my downstairs has been put through a clothes wringer. I have been taking my regime of Advil today and will take some Advil PM here in a moment.

    I think I was under somewhat of a false idea (of my own making), that I would just magically emerge from the procedure and be pretty much cured. Not that I wouldn’t need to dilate, but that I would not feel the considerable pain I am currently feeling while dilating. My case of vaginismus is considered somewhat less severe, so I am not sure if this is why I created these false hopes.

    I know I am only one day after the procedure, but I guess I am still feeling somewhat discouraged at the amount of pain. This is the kind of pain I have been avoiding for the last 5/6 years and it just brings up lots of bad memories.

    Is there any reassurance that dilating will get less painful when the Botox kicks in?
    Also- when do you stop feeling SO sore?

    Thank you everyone!! I appreciate it.
    I have already been encouraged by many posts on here.
    xoxo
    b. “

    My reply:

    “Hi Bethany. Huge, huge CONGRATS on having your procedure! I am so very happy for you!!! Please know that all of what you are feeling right now post-procedure (so happy to write post-procedure) is very common. Remembering back to after my own procedure in 2011, I had to dilate with the pure romance dilators while lying down on our couch for a while. I, too, always felt like they were the most comfortable to have in while standing or lying on my side on the couch. Every single person is different but I never remember sitting upright with the dilators in until I got the glass ones many months post-procedure. At that point, I was adequately stretched from both dilating in the past with pure romance and intercourse and I think this is why it didn’t hurt while sitting straight up. I still, however, sometimes sat on the side of my butt which I’m sure looked quite interesting to my co-workers as to why I looked so relaxed brief writing. I promise you so much that the sitting thing does get much better in time. I also wanted to share a great link that Vashalla posted in the past about a special chair she ordered from Amazon that helped her while dilating:

    Sitting Success

    You also asked:
    Is there any reassurance that dilating will get less painful when the Botox kicks in?

    Post-procedure, I noticed that dilating got a lot more comfortable as the Botox kicked in and the more days that I did it. I found it to be a roller-coaster at times in my first week post-procedure – a couple of days very good dilating with little pain and then a day that was very uncomfortable and then back to less pain the next day. Dr. P has written about this roller-coaster that occurs and I wanted to share a couple of helpful posts with you.
    Mabel 1226: 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. I, too, felt “guilty” for starting back at the purple before going up again. I am now 54 days post-procedure and still can’t get the blue glass in unless the pink glass has been in for 2 hours. One step at a time. You’ll get there in your own time and in your own way. Don’t get discouraged!
    Dr. Pacik: Post procedure dilation is a “roller coaster” ride during the first 1-2 weeks after treatment. The muscles are still tight and “talking back” as they are being stretched. Since most women feel they will be the one person for whom Botox does not work, any difficulty with dilation immediately verifies these feelings. Then the muscles loosen up as the Botox is taking effect and the week or two of dilation is starting to be noticeable with less pain and therefore less anxiety. Now it is just a question of continuing with the program of dilation, and most of my patients at this stage begin thinking of transitioning to intercourse.
    SP: Dr. Pacik is correct that dilating early on is a roller coaster ride. You are making progress and definitely celebrate every success! Even once you start trying intercourse you will have days where it goes smoothly and days where you wonder if the procedure worked. Stay positive and keep trying. I remember thinking will intercourse ever not have to be a “robotic” process. A little over 3 years now from my procedure I can tell you I rarely have to worry or get prepared to have intercourse. You are doing great and soon you will not even think about all the dilating and struggle. 🙂

    You further asked:
    When do you stop feeling SO sore?

    I definitely felt soreness for a couple of weeks post-procedure as there was just so much activity in the area where before there was none. Most recently, a November treated patient wrote a great post with a suggestion for Hydrocortisone cream and this was followed up by Dr. P:

    “Dr. Pacik’s suggestion to use Hydrocortisone Cream has been a HUGE help for me. My lady bits are just so dang sensitive!!! I bought Hydrocortizone10 in the Cooling Gel formula for during the day and I’ve felt SO much better – then I’ve been using the Hydrocoritzone10 in the ointment for adding to my lube mix with dilating at night. I honestly can’t believe how much that’s helped me feel better the last couple days.” –

    “It is common for women to have some skin irritation as a result of post procedure dilation. There is suddenly a great deal of penetrative activity that did not exist in previous years. 1% hydrocortisone is an over the counter topical that is anti-inflammatory and can be purchased either as a cream (faster acting) or as an ointment (longer lasting). It is generally used as a pea sized amount rubbed into the irritated area twice a day and can be used for 1-2 weeks.”

    Finally, Bethany, I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite posts post-procedure that examines the roller-coaster that is dilating in the immediate days right after the procedure but that it does get much, much better (see below)!!! I am, again, so very happy for you and your husband and am right here for you always!!!!!!! You are doing excellent!!!!!

    Firenze:
    So I officially had (am still having) my first meltdown post-procedure. In my last post, I wrote about how I was having trouble with the blue dilator (#6) and now I’m having more and more problems with pink, #5. Up until a few days ago, I had no problems at all with it. Last night, after dilating with purple, I put pink in, but it was the most uncomfortable it had been until this point. I was only able to keep it in for about 30 min. I slept with purple overnight with no pain or problems and dilated with it for about an hour this evening (again no pain) before trying pink. It took 30 minutes for me even to get pink in! The longest until today, has been about 5 minutes to insert. Once I got it all the way in, it was so uncomfortable, I had to take it out after a few minutes. The weird part is that it didn’t really hurt at all (just resistance) until I got it in that last bit. I know there will be bad days, but I really thought it would be getting easier and easier to use pink, not more difficult by the day. I’ve been upset ever since I took it out. Will backing down for more than a day help? I’m not sure what to do. If anyone else has experienced this, please let me know what worked for you.

    Firenze:
    Hi everyone, I came down with the flu and was unable to share the exciting news that me and my boyfriend were able to have intercourse after 5 years of being together!!! It doesn’t even feel real typing that 🙂 It happened this past Saturday, on Day 11, right after I was having a couple of really frustrating days in a row. It goes to show how much of a rollercoaster this is!
    Late last week, I had been having a lot of trouble with pink (long insertion time and soreness). I took it easy that Friday, dilating with only purple and sleeping with it overnight. When I woke up Saturday morning, I decided to try pink again and it went in much easier and I had a lot less soreness. It seems like the morning is a much better time for me to dilate, so I wish this was more of a possibility for me during the week. Anyway, my boyfriend and I decided to try intercourse after I had pink in for a bit, completely low pressure! We just wanted to see what happened, but I kept saying if it didn’t happen, not a big deal, which helped a lot with my anxiety. We tried missionary and it worked!!! I didn’t have any pain which completely surprised me after I had been having so many issues with soreness. We didn’t try any thrusting and I didn’t want it to end haha. We haven’t been able to try since then because I’ve been sick, and I’m scared and excited to try again! If we did it once, we can do it again, right? 🙂 Dr. Pacik’s program and the botox helped me achieve in 11 days what I had been working to do in physical therapy for over 2 years! Thanks to everyone here for their support!”

    #13751

    leonielee
    Participant

    Thanks so much Heather! This does help. I tried the hydrocortisone cream and it helped a bit but not a whole lot.

    #20203

    k8
    Participant

    I am 5 days post-op:) (so happy to say that word!!!)
    Mat my followup appointment i got the biggest pink dilator in no problem, within 15 seconds. The next couple days i was good but today and yesterday there has been pain at the entrance of my vagina upon penetration of the dilators and extreme itchyness. Is this normal or should i go to the dr to check for an infection? I am wondering if it is my “tear” from the operation healing up but im not sure.

    #20223
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi k8. Huge CONGRATS on having your procedure. I think it would be a good idea to check with your Doctor and just rule out any infection. Post-procedure for me was a roller-coaster in the immediate days of dilating. Some days were great and the very next day, I would feel discomfort.

    Dr. P has written about this roller-coaster that occurs and I wanted to share a couple of helpful posts with you.
    Mabel 1226: “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. I, too, felt “guilty” for starting back at the purple before going up again. I am now 54 days post-procedure and still can’t get the blue glass in unless the pink glass has been in for 2 hours. One step at a time. You’ll get there in your own time and in your own way. Don’t get discouraged!
    Dr. Pacik: “Post procedure dilation is a “roller coaster” ride during the first 1-2 weeks after treatment. The muscles are still tight and “talking back” as they are being stretched. Since most women feel they will be the one person for whom Botox does not work, any difficulty with dilation immediately verifies these feelings. Then the muscles loosen up as the Botox is taking effect and the week or two of dilation is starting to be noticeable with less pain and therefore less anxiety. Now it is just a question of continuing with the program of dilation, and most of my patients at this stage begin thinking of transitioning to intercourse.”
    SP: “Dr. Pacik is correct that dilating early on is a roller coaster ride. You are making progress and definitely celebrate every success! Even once you start trying intercourse you will have days where it goes smoothly and days where you wonder if the procedure worked. Stay positive and keep trying. I remember thinking will intercourse ever not have to be a “robotic” process. A little over 3 years now from my procedure I can tell you I rarely have to worry or get prepared to have intercourse. You are doing great and soon you will not even think about all the dilating and struggle. 🙂”

    I also wanted to share a prior a suggestion for using Hydrocortisone cream:

    “Dr. Pacik’s suggestion to use Hydrocortisone Cream has been a HUGE help for me. My lady bits are just so dang sensitive!!! I bought Hydrocortizone10 in the Cooling Gel formula for during the day and I’ve felt SO much better – then I’ve been using the Hydrocoritzone10 in the ointment for adding to my lube mix with dilating at night. I honestly can’t believe how much that’s helped me feel better the last couple days.” –

    “It is common for women to have some skin irritation as a result of post procedure dilation. There is suddenly a great deal of penetrative activity that did not exist in previous years. 1% hydrocortisone is an over the counter topical that is anti-inflammatory and can be purchased either as a cream (faster acting) or as an ointment (longer lasting). It is generally used as a pea sized amount rubbed into the irritated area twice a day and can be used for 1-2 weeks.”

    I hope this helps and huge, huge, huge CONGRATS on your procedure again!!!

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