| Tara Langdale
How Long Should I use a Vaginal Dilator for Menopause? A Complete Dilator Instruction Guide
Menopause can be a difficult time for many women. One of the most challenging symptoms can be vaginal atrophy, which can cause dryness, irritation, and pain during sexual activity. Fortunately, vaginal dilators can help alleviate these symptoms and restore sexual health. But how do you know how long to keep a vaginal dilator in? In this complete guide, we'll answer that question and provide you with instructions on how to use a vaginal dilator.
What is a Vaginal Dilator?
A vaginal dilator is a medical device used to expand the vaginal walls. The dilators start very small are typically made of medical grade plastic and comes in various sizes. Using a vaginal dilator can help alleviate symptoms of vaginal atrophy, such as dryness and pain during intercourse.
What is Vaginal Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to your body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause. Atrophy is symptom of menopause. Your quality of life can be greatly improved with vaginal estrogen and vaginal trainers/dilators.
For many women, vaginal atrophy not only makes intercourse painful, but also leads to distressing urinary symptoms. Because of the interconnected nature of the vaginal and urinary symptoms of this condition, experts agree that a more accurate term for vaginal atrophy and its accompanying symptoms is "genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)."
Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis
With moderate to severe genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), you may experience the following vaginal and urinary signs and symptoms:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal burning
- Vaginal discharge
- Genital itching
- Burning with urination
- Urgency with urination
- More urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Light bleeding after intercourse
- Discomfort with intercourse
- Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
- Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal
How to Use a Vaginal Dilator
If sexual activity is painful due to a pelvic pain condition or pelvic disorder, use dilators at least 1-2 times per day. If you skip a day it is okay. Take your time and breath. Here are some instructions by VuVa Dilator Company to help you with your pelvic therapy journey:
Directions Before Using your VuVa™ Vaginal Dilators
- Wash dilators with a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. Let the dilators air dry. Vanicream Bar soap is a good option to clean dilators with.
To Get Started
- In a private and comfortable place, lay on your back and put both knees up with your feet on the bed (no wider than your hips) or lay on your side and pull your legs up with a pillow between your knees.
- Lubricate the smallest VuVa™ Vaginal Dilator and vagina canal opening generously with a lubricant your choice. IMPORTANT: Do not use petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline). Slippery Stuff is water based and does not cause irritation. Keep all the dilators within reach.
- Finding the right size VuVa™ Vaginal Dilator can be tricky. If you find that you can only tolerate the tip going inside when using the smallest dilator, that’s ok and is not uncommon. However, if that is the case, it may be best that you start with the exercises (See the instructions below). Please do not force the dilator inside.
- Using gentle pressure, insert the smaller round end of the smallest dilator into your vagina. Make sure that the dilator shaft is inserted as deeply as is comfortable for you. Do not insert entire dilator -- leave the larger, round, flat end outside of vaginal opening.
- If there’s no discomfort (you can put the little one inside, squeeze and let go around it on the inside like you’re holding back gas and pee and take it out without any pain or irritation – not even a little bit), you need to use the next size bigger.
- You’re looking for minimal pain when you put the dilator in the vagina (pain level not more than a 1-2/10, with 0/10 being no pain and 10/10 the worst pain ever) —the type that you might just describe as “annoying” or “uncomfortable.” Moderate pain (pain levels 4-6/10) is too much, and severe pain (pain levels 7-10) should be avoided.
- Once you’ve found the proper size, please use your dilator 5-20 minutes twice/day. When you can actively insert and remove the dilator as well as contract and relax around it with no discomfort, move up to the next size.
IMPORTANT - WOMEN: Do not walk around with dilator inserted. Do not use dilators during sexual intercourse. Do not sleep with dilator inserted.
- Wash the vaginal dilators after use with mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. Let them air dry.
Use a VuVa™ Vaginal Dilator comparable to your partners size 20 minutes before intercourse to relax tight muscles and bring blood flow to the area. You have now created a relaxed environment for penetration.
How Long Should You Keep a Vaginal Dilator In?
The length of time you keep a vaginal dilator in depends on your comfort level. Some women may be able to tolerate wearing a dilator for up to 20 or 30 minutes, while others may only be able to tolerate it for a few minutes. It's essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. You can gradually increase the length of time you wear the dilator over time as part of your treatment therapy.
Benefits of Using a Vaginal Dilator
Using a vaginal dilator can have numerous benefits, including:
1. Alleviating vaginal atrophy symptoms, such as dryness and pain.
2. Helping improve sexual health and function.
3. Restoring vaginal elasticity.
Using a vaginal dilator can be a helpful tool for women experiencing vaginal atrophy symptoms. It's essential to talk to your doctor before using a dilator, determine the appropriate size for you, and take things at your own pace. Remember to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. By using a vaginal dilator, you can reclaim your sexual health and function.
VuVa Dilator Company Helpful Links: