| Tara Langdale

What happens when my dilators don’t work? by VuVa Dilator Company

For more than 50 years, Doctors, healthcare experts and gynecological therapists have been prescribing vaginal dilators to treat a wide range of sexual health problems in women. The goal for the vast majority of women is to heal from pain, or to restore and maintain vaginal capacity in order to have a natural and normal sex life. Vaginal dilator therapy has huge success rates for many women, hence its popularity… but of course there are always instances when things don’t quite go to plan. So, what happens when your dilators aren’t working?

In this article we answer this important question and a few others. We’ll address possible reasons why a dilator isn’t working, and what to do if dilators didn’t work for you.

You have to think of it this way, the dilator is trying to work, but your muscles are so tight, you might be struggling to move up to that next size. Even though your next size dilator didn’t work yet, that doesn’t mean it never will. You may just need a little extra help.


Read on to find out what happens when dilators don’t work…


Why isn’t my dilator working?


When you first start using a dilator, it can feel a little strange, but you soon become accustomed to it. However, it is important to use the dilator in the correct way from the beginning to be sure you are optimizing your results. Vaginal dilating isn’t particularly complicated, but the process of healing can vary greatly depending on how often you do it, whether you’re following the dilating instructions properly, and the severity and complexity of the health condition you are treating.


It may also be that you have attempted using vaginal dilators for your condition without the assistance of a professional – and that’s fine, many women do. If you have any of the below concerns, you would have been right to assume that dilators would help you:

  • Pain and discomfort during pelvic examinations
  • Pain or discomfort during sex, particularly in the vulvar region or reproductive organs
  • Painful or fear in relation to any sexual activity
  • Painful vaginal symptoms after receiving pelvic radiation
  • Menopause-related atrophy

However, if your problem is complex or has underlying issues as yet undiagnosed, it may be that you also need extra support in the form of professional guidance. It may also be necessary to combine your dilator therapy with another kind of therapy, medication or protocol for best results.


Unfortunately, there are so many possibilities for dysfunction in the female reproductive system. As the majority of this system is not easily accessible or visible, professional diagnosis and assistance is often required.


Has my dilator stopped working?


This is important distinction to make. If you were making progress with your dilators, but now feel that you are not, it stands to reason that vaginal trainers were working for you, and so they can work again. It could be that the dilator you are using has done its job; in other words, you have reached the maximum capacity this dilator can achieve and now need to move up to a larger size of dilator.


If you are not feeling any pain or discomfort when inserting your dilator, but are not seeing any improvement in your condition, perhaps it is worth trying a bigger dilator. They come in 7 different sizes, with the largest size of dilator being equivalent to the ideal vaginal capacity (generally speaking). If you are still experiencing a degree of tightness and discomfort, but are not achieving any discernible results after weeks or months of use, it might be that your condition is not responding to the therapy any longer. This is when it is best to seek professional assistance.


Should I keep using a vaginal dilator?


Provided that the vaginal dilators or trainers you are using are not causing pain (some discomfort is normal and indicative that there is more work to be done), it should not be an issue for you to keep using vaginal dilators. However, you are seeking better results, and you deserve to have a relaxed and healthy sex life, or to be free of pain, discomfort and worry when it comes to penetration of any kind. You can continue to use dilators to lengthening and stretching the vagina naturally.  


It is also worth considering that it can take weeks and sometimes months to notice an obvious improvement. So again, as long as you are not in pain or experiencing severe anxiety over dilating, it should not be an issue to keep using vaginal dilators.


How do I know if my dilator is working?


Firstly, remember that dilators gently and slowly widen your vaginal capacity at a rate you are comfortable with. How much time you have, and how dedicated and consistent you are in using your dilators will also play a part in how long it takes to heal.

It could be unrealistic to expect your pain to calm after one or two uses, since it can take several weeks or months for dilators to effectively do their job. It may actually take between 8 and 12 weeks for you to notice any increase in the size of your vaginal opening, or any softening of the tissues or flexibility in the muscles.

It is a good idea to document the changes you notice along the way, right from the start, and with dates. This will help you to keep track of progress, because it can be a little like looking in the mirror every day. It’s not always as easy to notice subtle changes happening gradually; we tend to notice more after a period of not being focused on our reflection. Since you want to dilate consistently, it could help to have notes to compare against, regarding your feelings and observations from the weeks prior.


What should I do if my dilator doesn’t work?


If you feel that you’ve gone as far as you can go with your vaginal dilators alone, you may benefit from seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist. This type of therapist will understand a wide range of gynecological conditions and how they should be responding to dilator treatment. They may also be able to spot anomalies or issues that you couldn’t, and they will certainly know how best to manipulate the muscles and tissues for best results.

Pelvic floor therapists also use a range of other therapies alongside vaginal trainers. You may find that your therapist recommends biofeedback, trigger point therapy, pelvic floor stretching, and more.

Pelvic floor physical therapy is particularly recommended for women who suffer from:

  • Severe or persistent pelvic pain
  • Organ prolapse
  • Problems becoming sexually aroused or orgasming
  • Vaginal tightness or spasms (vaginismus)
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)
  • Lack of bladder or bowel control

Pelvic floor physical therapists are trained in pelvic anatomy, and they have great knowledge of the joints, muscles, nerves, organs and connective tissues. An experienced PFPT will be well-versed in pelvic conditions and how the symptoms can show up in your body. It is always wise to check in advance that they have dealt with your condition, or are equipped to diagnose it. A good pelvic floor physical therapist will show treat you in person, as well as showing you exactly what you need to do with your vaginal dilators and when.

So, if you’ve been worried that your dilators aren’t working, it might be time to find a local pelvic floor therapist who can help you get to the bottom of your particular issue. There is always a solution – it’s just that sometimes a little more effort is required to find it. Don’t forget to check out the many articles in our blog on all things women’s health – simply search your keyword on the site and you may just find some golden tips and solutions, sooner than you thought.












Visit our directions page to learn more about at home therapy. 


VuVa Helpful Links:

How do Neodymium Vaginal Dilators work? 

7 Reasons for a Tight Vagina and How to Loosen 

How to use Vaginal Dilators 

How to Relax Vaginal Muscles, Vaginismus & Sex 

Vaginal Stretching - Keeping in Shape with Dilators 

Do Dilators Really Work? Yes, and They can Improve Your Sex Life!

Shop for VuVa Vaginal Dilators

VuVa Dilators on Netflix!

Well what a surprise!!! A few years back we received an email from the props department on the Sex Education show on Netflix. They asked if we could send them a vaginal dilator set for their show. We couldn't say yes fast enough! 

Checkout Sex Education on Netflix: Season 2 Episode 8