Whatever the reason you have been recommended to use vaginal dilators, it’s useful to start by learning how to use them. If you are not sure what your condition is, check out the applications of vaginal dilators and see which product is best suited for your needs.
Please note: These guidelines should be considered as general information about the use of vaginal dilators. Please consult your physician about your condition and follow his/her recommendations thoroughly.
Check your health
Make sure you have no active pelvic infection or that enough time has passed after you’ve had pelvic surgery. Always ask for your physician’s recommendations specifically for your condition. Do not take advice from friends, as each person is different and treatments should be given according to each patient’s needs.
Make a routine
Think of dilation therapy as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or washing your hair. Act like it’s a normal thing to do, even if at first it may seem awkward. Pick a time, like first thing in the morning or last thing before going to bed, so you’ll easily get used to it and never forget it. After a few days, the awkwardness will go away, and you’ll get better at using the vaginal dilator. You can even do other things at the same time, like reading or watching TV.
Keep scheduled appointments with your physician
It is important that your physician monitors your progress. After a while, you may be given a slightly larger dilator to continue your dilation therapy. Always bring your dilators with you to your appointments.
Prepare your dilator
Wash your dilator with warm water and mild soap, then dry it off. This way, you’ll also get it warm so that it will be more comfortable to use.
Create your personal place
Pick a place where you can have privacy. You can hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside of the door so that other members of your family won’t interrupt you.
Take a few minutes to relax
Lie on your back and start focusing on your breath. Inhale deeply and slowly, so that your belly rises with the breath and falls when you exhale. This technique is called diaphragmatic breathing and it helps you relax. While you breathe, mentally scan your body for any areas of muscle tension and imagine how they all loosen with each exhale. Focus on the vaginal area and let it soften with each breathe out. Relaxing music on the background can help.
USING THE DILATOR
Apply lubricant on the dilator
Use a small amount of water-based lubricant on the tip of your vaginal dilator.
Take the right position
Lie on your back in a semi-reclining position and bend your legs the same way you do when having a pelvic exam.
Gently insert the dilator
- Rest the narrow end of the dilator against the vaginal opening, continuing relaxed diaphragmatic breathing.
- Gradually insert the dilator to a tolerable depth within your vagina. Push the dilator at an angle towards your lower back. To ease its way you can gently rotate the dilator, massage it in a circular motion, or move it forwards and backwards.
- You should feel pressure, but not pain. If you feel any discomfort, pause for up to a minute at a time, continuing to breathe, until you are comfortable again.
- Continue to press gently, stopping at regular intervals to accommodate your body to the size of the dilator.
- Aim to use the dilator for 5 to 10 minutes each session.
- When you are finished, gently withdraw the dilator and give yourself a minute before getting up.
- Wash the dilator and store it in a safe place.
- There should be no pain and no blood. If any blood occurs, contact your physician.
- Never force the dilator beyond the level of personal comfort.
- Never use someone else’s dilator.
- Clean and dry your dilator thoroughly after each use.