How to Get Used to the Idea of Vaginal Dilators
Last post I talked about the concept of vaginal dilators. Dilators are often a secret to success in resolving vaginismus and painful sex. (Not everyone, though – so check that your health professional knows what they’re doing if they suggest it for you.)
I observed that many women feel apprehensive about using dilators.
They may find them alien, weird, confronting, distasteful or even distressing. And particularly when these feelings are intense, they need to be respected and coached, not pushed.
Now, I admit I am rather blasé about the concept of dilators due to many years of clinical exposure. But I do take great care to ease people into the idea. I gauge their readiness, and raise the idea when I judge the time is right. I explain how helpful they are going to be, and emphasise the positive. I show them a picture before the real-life object.
(By the way, this is just like phobia therapy. I trained myself to look at photos of spiders before observing real-life ones. It may seem a dramatic comparison, but negativity about sex can be treated in the same way as a phobia. Phobia treatment uses a technique called “graded exposure” or “desensitisation”. More about this in another blog post – but you can find a detailed plan for “graded exposure” to sex in my e-book Outsmart Your Pain, which you can download and start reading immediately here).
|As sensitive as I try to be, there’s always some apprehension remaining. I see the change that comes over women’s faces as they look at the dilators. Overcoming their reluctance to try them is sometimes the biggest hurdle in resolving the vaginismus and attaining the goal of enjoyable, pain-free sex.
This got me thinking.
How can we make the idea of using the dilators less unappealing?
This might be the key to success!
This series of blogs, therefore, focuses on strategies to make using dilators more appealing. Enjoy! And remember, there is a lot more to achieving painless, enjoyable sex than using dilators. A system of “graded exposure” to the vulva and vagina is available in the Appendix of my e-book, Outsmart Your Pain, recommended for all women with vaginismus, painful sex, vulvodynia and persistent pelvic pain.
So what are you waiting for? Start reading about ways to make your dilators easier to use here!
A kind of disclaimer:
Whether you need to use vaginal dilators at all is another question that cannot be answered by this blog post. Whether vaginal dilators are the best solution for you right now is an even more complicated question, which you might like to discuss with a clinician experienced in treating vaginismus and other issues of painful sex. And finding an experienced clinician in this field, who is right for you and the place you are at, may be the greatest challenge of all! This final issue is a topic for another blog post.