How to progress through my dilator set?

The progression through dilators will be individual and different, depending on your condition and symptoms.

  • Set yourself up in a space that makes you feel comfortable. This does not have to be your bedroom.
  • Select the size of vaginal dilator that looks appropriate for your needs (as discussed above) or that has been suggested by your health care provider.
  • Place water base lubricant or gel, such as BIEN Intimate Gel, on the dilator and on the entrance of the vulva and vagina.
  • Start by lying on your back or on your side with your knees bent. Take five deep diaphragmatic breaths, focusing on expanding your belly as you inhale and letting your belly fall as you exhale.
  • Bring the dilator to the entrance of the vagina and slowly insert the dilator while maintaining deep breathing.
  • Once the dilator is in and discomfort levels are less than 4/10 (where 10 is the worst pain imaginable and 0 is no pain) leave the dilator in place and try to focus on relaxing tension in your belly, pelvic floor and bum muscles.
  • Aim to have the dilator in for 15 minutes, or as guided by your health care professional. While the dilator is inside the vagina, try to distract yourself by watching your favourite TV show, listening to music, reading a book, etc.
  • After 15 minutes, if your discomfort levels are still less than 4/10, you can start to move the dilator inside the vagina. You might do this by gently twisting it in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction. You might progress to inserting and removing it half way or tilting it to the left and right.
  • Once complete, remove and gently clean the dilator with warm water and soap.
  • Repeat this process every second day or as guided by your health care professional.
  • You will know you are ready to progress to the next size when your current size is no longer producing discomfort with movement or with various positions.
  • Other positions to try using your dilator, may include a 4 point kneeling position, in a deep squat position, in the bath or shower, straddling some pillows or sitting on a chair. See more information about dilator positions here.

Note: dilator therapy works best when paired with a holistic approach to pelvic pain. See our pelvic pain flows and breathing exercises for more information.