| Tara Langdale
In our last article we talked about the causes and symptoms of vaginal stenosis. In case you haven’t read it, vaginal stenosis is the term for the condition in which the vagina (or birth canal) narrows and shortens. It can also form scar tissue, become dry and inflexible, and lose elasticity. If this sounds familiar, you may need vaginal stenosis treatment.
As you may already know, these symptoms make sexual intercourse and examinations painful. Vaginal stenosis often occurs as a result of different forms of radiation therapy or operations in the pelvic region. There are many other symptoms worth knowing about, so if you’re interested in those, you can read about vaginal stenosis causes and symptoms here.
If you already know what causes it and what the symptoms are, you may be interested in discovering the vaginal stenosis treatments available. In this article we will take a look at what do if you have vaginal stenosis:
Vaginal stenosis treatment via personal hygiene and lubricants
One of the more simple things sufferers of vaginal stenosis can do is take proper care of their personal hygiene. As vaginal discharge is a common symptom, personal hygiene is a necessity. Make sure you keep the area clean, wearing natural cotton underwear, change that regularly and use chemical-free, gentle substances to cleanse it.
As many women with vaginal stenosis have problems with vaginal dryness, you can find some relief using a water-based, soluble lubricant to keep the area moist.
Vaginal stenosis treatment using vaginal dilators
One of the most common treatments for vaginal stenosis is vaginal dilators. At VuvaGirl we have a whole range of dilators that can help with various pelvic disorders. As your birth canal has become narrow or short, vaginal dilators can help it to retain its usual size.
First let’s go over what a dilator is. A VuVa™ vaginal dilator is basically a smooth plastic graduated cylinder. The shape resembles a tampon, but they come in different sizes. Some are 3” in length, but they can be as large as 6”. The widths also vary so you can choose one that meets your personal needs. To give you an idea, your vagina should be at least 7 cm long in order for you to function normally. So that vaginal examinations go smoothly, it should be able to admit two fingers easily.
Dilators are generally made from silicone, plastic or wax. At VuvaGirl we supply dilators containing neodymium magnets, which offer the added benefit of increasing blood flow and calming nerves. If you are not sure what you need to do with a dilator, check out our article on how to use a vaginal dilator successfully.
Using dilators after cancer treatment
If cancer surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are causing of your vaginal stenosis, it can help to understand what this looks like. The image below should give you a good idea of what can happen to the vagina after such treatments.
You should start using a dilator 2 to 3 weeks after your cancer treatment finishes. It should be used 3 times per week in order to keep the vagina open. However if you are having regular sexual intercourse, you will need it less; for example, those who have sex three times per week may only need to use a dilator once a week. This should help to keep some of the effects of vaginal stenosis at bay.
It helps to remember to use it at night before sleeping, and perhaps while you’re still in bed before getting up in the morning. Dilators work by stretching the scar tissue (fibrosis) in the vagina. Because scarring can keep on forming throughout the future, we advise continued use of your dilator to relax the muscles and ligaments consistently. Our article on using vaginal dilators after cervical cancer treatment may be of interest to you.
It might also help to know that cancer survivors benefit from counselling, which can actually help to reduce their vaginal pain. If you are still struggling with physical pain after trying some of the treatment options, you may also want to consider pelvic floor physical therapy. We wish you the best of luck with your vaginal stenosis treatment and hope that you found the information on our website useful. Feel free to give us feedback or let us know which topics you would like to learn more about.