How to use Vaginal Dilators for Vaginismus
For some women, the vaginal muscles involuntarily contract when they attempt vaginal penetration. These contractions may be excruciating and prevent the woman from having sexual intercourse or even inserting a tampon.
Vaginismus affects around 1 out of 5 women around the world. Although the causes are not yet clear, many doctors agree that anxiety during sex is one reason. For others, vaginismus may appear after menopause since the vagina becomes less elastic, narrower, shorter, and drier.
If you suffer from this disorder, there is little cause to worry. Vaginal dilators are devices that will most likely help you treat vaginismus. Moreover, if you pair treatment with GoLove's CBD lubricant, the process will be more comfortable, as it soothes and moisturizes delicate skin.
Vaginal Dilator Therapy
Vaginal dilators are a medical tool used to relax and stretch the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues which helps reduce pain. They also help desensitize hypersensitive vaginal tissue. A vaginal dilator is a tube-shaped device that allows the vagina to expand and become more comfortable with the size of the dilator in time.
Most vaginal dilators come in kits, with sets of five or six dilators increasing from small to large in size. The smallest is usually no bigger than a thin tampon or a pinky, and the largest is closer to a medium sized banana as a rough guide.
To begin vaginal dilator therapy, start by inserting the smallest dilator in your kit, gradually increasing the size over time as insertion and penetration begins to feel more comfortable. They are usually made of medical-grade silicone or hard ABS plastic. However, it is often better to use firm dilators made of hard plastic rather than the soft, silicone made dilators. This is because the firm plastic dilators move and stretch your pelvic floor muscles better than their silicone counterparts.
Although the experience differs from person to person, vaginal dilator therapy should never be excessively painful, and it is mainly described as a feeling of pressure. If there is pain, try to relax and start again, but if the feeling persists, then the dilator size you are using is probably too large. Consider moving to a smaller dilator and repeat the process.
Vaginal moisturizers such as lubricants are products that help increase the moisture in your vagina. These can make dilator therapy and sexual activity easier, as they are extremely helpful in reducing the pain caused by vaginismus. GoLove's water-based CBD lubricant helps minimize discomfort and solves unwanted dryness to create a full-body calm, relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. This pH-balanced lubricant is latex-safe, hypoallergenic, and increases natural wetness levels easing any discomfort from inflammation.
A vaginal moisturizer should be used at least three times per week or more often if you need to. The best time to use them is before nighttime because it absorbs best while sleeping. Plus, it washes easily from the dilators.
How to do Vaginal Dilator Therapy
Begin by creating a calm and private environment. Put on some background music and oil diffuser with calming aromas to help reduce tension you may be experiencing. Lie on your back or lean against something comfy where you can let your legs fall to the sides without too much pressure. Be sure to bend the knees slightly
Apply the CBD water-based lubricant to your dilator and the opening of your vagina so it can be inserted with as much ease as possible. Some women like to do vaginal therapy while in the bathtub as warm water can help soften tissue. Any space where you can lean back cozily will help.
If you find yourself feeling particularly anxious about insertion, spend at least 2 to 3 minutes doing some breathing exercises. When you feel really, separate the labia with one hand to the side and use the other to insert the dilator. Using gentle pressure, insert the round end of the dilator slowly into your vagina.
Always insert it straight toward your backbone or at a slightly downward angle. Keep inserting it until you feel pressure or muscle tension, then stop. If it hurts, stop and start again; never use force. Practice, not persistence makes perfect.
Remember, you are in control of the dilator. Go at your own pace and progress when you are ready. Slow movements are usually best.
Move the dilator inside your vagina gently for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Add more lubricant if you feel it needed during the process. Push the dilator in and out 25 times to help stretch the length of your vagina. Then, rotate it in wide circles at the back, middle, and opening of your vagina to help extend the width of it.
It is also helpful to use more than one size dilator. You can use a larger dilator for the entrance of your vagina and a smaller dilator deeper inside your vagina until you feel comfortable enough to use the following size dilator fully.
This depends on the program that your physician or vulvar specialist developed for you. However, some people recommend a good amount of 20 minutes, twice a day, 10 to 30 minutes a day, or 5 to 7 times a week until the issue is resolved.
How to Clean a Vaginal Dilator
After dilating, make sure you clean your tools. Wash your dilator with hot, soapy water, and then dry it with a clean towel or paper towel before storing it back in your kit. Also refer to your kit for best cleaning practices.
After using the dilator or even while using it, you may have a small amount of vaginal bleeding. Do not worry, this is totally normal. You may want to wear a panty liner after finishing your therapy.
If you have a lot of bleeding, such as an amount that would soak a pad, or if the bleeding continues for longer than one day, contact your healthcare provider. Finally, if you get urinary tract infections (UTIs) often, you may want to urinate after using your dilator.
Increasing Your Dilator Size
The goal of vaginal dilator therapy is to increase the size of your dilators over time. Once you insert one size of a dilator fully into your vagina and do not feel any discomfort, that means you should move to the next size up. The ultimate goal is to insert the largest size dilator without any pain.
With patience, dilators can work, although the timing may vary depending on why you are using them. Experiencing pain when inserting something small like a tampon will resolve within the first four weeks, as long as you are feeling progress in the right areas. Pain with penetration from larger objects can take from 6 weeks to 8 months to improve. Constant vulvar burning, endometriosis, or any other chronic condition can take a year or more.
When to use Vaginal Dilators for Vaginismus
It is recommended to do vaginal dilator therapy 3 to 4 times per week, but you should never do it two or more days in a row. Doing dilator therapy many days in a row can cause pain or irritation. Try alternating days for your vaginal dilator therapy.
Instead, try doing Kegel exercises (squeezing and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles) on the days you are not using your vaginal dilator; these should not be painful. They will help relax your vagina muscles to make the insertion of the dilator easier.
If you forget to do your dilator therapy or just simply do not have the time for it, not to worry. Simply try starting again and come up with a plan or a routine that suits your schedule and lifestyle.