Vaginal dilators can be a very useful tool to help with painful intercourse and pelvic floor dysfunction. They are often one of the first things recommended for these conditions by pelvic floor physical therapists (PTs), healthcare providers trained in sexual health and pelvic pain, and…. the internet. Studies show that searching the internet for health information is the third most popular online activity for all internet users. Specifically, studies have found that adolescents and young adults in particular look to the internet for information regarding sexual health1. NewFlora’s mission is to provide high quality information to help you find answers to your sexual health questions. Will you benefit from NewFlora’s vaginal dilators?
The answer is, it depends. They may be right for you, they may be right for you at a later time, or they may not be right for you at all. This depends on your symptoms, your story, and where you are at in your health journey.
Would you benefit from using NewFlora vaginal dilators?
More than likely, the answer is yes. Our vaginal dilators are appropriate for anyone dealing with tight pelvic floor muscles causing difficulty with vaginal penetration (sex, toys, tampons, and gynecological exams). Dilators may also be recommended after vaginal/vulvar surgeries, certain gynecological cancer treatments like radiation therapy, preparation for childbirth, or postpartum to improve scar tissue if you had an episiotomy or tearing. They are also necessary if you are undergoing gender affirming surgery (vaginoplasty). Many will also use them as a tool to feel more comfortable easing into intercourse after experiencing pain or trauma to desensitize their muscles, tissue, and fear around insertion. The ultimate goal of using a dilator is to improve pain and ease of penetration.
NewFlora’s vaginal dilators as tools for self help
The great thing about dilators is that they allow you to help yourself and they are empowering. This does not mean it takes the place of high quality care but it does mean that you can be self-sufficient and take matters into your own hands with the right treatment plan. To learn more about how to use dilators, check out our blog here.
Why use dilators?
Dilators are used for a variety of reasons including painful intercourse and painful sex. Below is a brief overlook of common symptoms, diagnoses, and medical procedures that are often associated with dilator therapy. To find out more about these specific conditions check out our blog on painful intercourse and associated diagnoses here.
- Sexual pain from cramping, burning or stinging
- Muscle spasm around the vagina with attempted penetration
- Inability to tolerate vaginal penetration for sex, tampon use, or medical exam
- Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Scar tissue
- Episiotomy or tearing with childbirth
- Gender-affirming surgery (neovagina)
- Desensitization and exposure therapy
- Childbirth preparation / Perineal Stretching
Getting the right healthcare advice
While dilators are an incredible tool, they have to be used for the right job. You wouldn’t use a hammer to tighten a screw right? While they will help with improving scar tissue, desensitizing fear around penetration, and can improve muscle tension, they will not be able to treat all causes of pain but they may be involved in the overall process.
Too often, healthcare professionals that are not trained in sexual health and sexual pain prescribe dilators inappropriately. This is also true of finding information on the internet because it is highly accessible and these are sensitive topics. This results in a lot of frustration in the person suffering. They often are accused of not doing their exercises or told they just need to push through the pain before it gets better. In most cases, the underlying issue is not fully addressed. If this is your case, please seek professional help with a trained sexual medicine provider. To read more about pelvic floor PT and how to find a provider, read more here.
Check out NewFlora’s pelvic health products here:
- Von Rosen, A. J., Von Rosen, F. T., Tinnemann, P., & Müller-Riemenschneider, F. (2017). Sexual Health and the Internet: Cross-Sectional Study of Online Preferences Among Adolescents. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(11), e379. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.7068