Can dilators help with painful sex?
The short answer is - yes!
Vaginal dilators (also commonly known as vaginal trainers) have been used therapeutically for over 50 years to treat pelvic pain and painful intercourse. These smooth cylindrical devices are placed inside the vagina and incrementally increase in length and width to stretch the vagina and pelvic floor muscles, decrease sensitivity and pain, as well as reducing psychological anxiety and fear related to pelvic pain (Lee et al 2018).
The therapeutic goal of dilators is often to recondition and facilitate adaptive body to brain connection and help to eliminate anticipatory discomfort, pain and fear that women can experience in the lead up to and during intercourse. In simpler terms, with time, the use of dilators aim to provide a stretching stimulus to the vagina to decrease fear and anxiety and to promote pelvic floor relaxation. This disrupts the painful cycle of hyper-sensitisation and reflexive muscular tightening found in women with pelvic pain and GPPPD. Dilators also produce desensitisation and provide a method of behaviour modification to allow for pain free intercourse, tampon use and vaginal examinations.
They may be indicated if you have the following symptoms:
- Pain with intercourse
- Pain with tampon insertion
- Pain at the entrance of the vagina
- A diagnosis of vaginismus, vulvodynia or vestbulodynia
- Pain with bladder or bowel motions
- Post gynaecological surgery, radiation or cancer treatment
- Post gener affirming surgery
For more information about the BIEN Silicone Vaginal Dilator range click here.