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What Are Dilators?
05/23/2022

What are dilators? Is it a sex toy? A kegel exerciser? Some terrifying leftover from the Victorian era?

A dilator is essentially a tube shaped device designed to help gently stretch your vagina. They help to restore and expand your pelvic floor muscles and vaginal tissues. After menopause, due to declining estrogen, your vagina becomes drier, less elastic (stretchy), narrower, and shorter, which is often why the (somewhat annoying) phrase 'use it or lose it' comes into play. That painful tightness, a combination of atrophy and vaginismus, can often lead to apprehension around penetration.

If you want to check out some options, we recommend:

https://www.soulsource.com/

https://www.intimaterose.com/

https://www.amazon.com/CalExoticsDr-Berman-Intimate-Basics-Dilator/dp/B00121B0H8

https://milliforher.com/

These vary (a lot) in price and style, so it helps to know what your needs are.

Your Needs:

  • I have mild tightness, and can still be intimate.
  • I have moderate tightness, it is very hard to be intimate.
  • I have severe tightness and pain, I cannot be intimate at all.

How To Use a Dilator:

  1. Apply a water-based lubricant to the dilator and the opening of your vagina.
  2. Slowly and gently insert the round end of the dilator into your vagina.
  3. Do a set of Kegel exercises. This will help you relax your pelvic floor muscles and insert the dilator a little further.
  4. Gently move the dilator inside your vagina for 5 to 10 minutes. Add more lubricant if you need it during this process. How to move it? Move the dilator in and out, Move the dilator in small circles, use different sizes if necessary, reapply lube.
  5. Remove the dilator from your vagina.

The goal is to work your way up the sizes until you are more comfortable with the larger sizes of dilator. This is NOT just about sex. It is easy to think that the sole purpose of a dilator is so you can have penetrative sex, but that dismisses the fact that many women enjoy penetration with toys, and the more important point - it hurts! Atrophy and vaginismus can hurt regardless of sexual activity - and there's always the dreaded speculum... So, using dilators to maintain vaginal health is something you can do for you!

This study is an excellent resource as well, but if you don't feel like reading, the TL;DR version goes like this - if you use dilators, consistency of use, alongside meditation, you can improve vaginal discomfort > "Factors that showed trends toward improved patient outcomes were length of dilation treatment (greater than 3 months) and use of meditation and soothing music."

Read the full study here:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32014450/

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