A woman’s vaginal structure and strength can be affected by many different conditions, some of which result in the muscles of the vagina becoming less pliable. This can lead to conditions including urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, or narrowing of the vaginal opening. To treat these conditions, doctors will often use a vaginal dilator.
Dilators are also used to prevent vaginal shrinkage during cancer treatments. Vaginal dilators are rigid, cylindrical devices made of medical grade materials, usually plastic or polyurethane, and are available in various sizes. This allows a woman to progressively increase the size of the dilator as her vagina responds to the treatment, resulting in a gradual, comfortable stretch of the vaginal walls.
A vaginal dilator is used by gently inserting into the vagina, and leaving it in place for the amount of time recommended by the physician. Often, using a small amount of lubricant, such as KY Jelly, makes the insertion much easier. Women generally will not see results from the use of a dilator until approximately one to three months. It’s important to remember that this is a gradual process, and one that should be done under the supervision of a physician. With proper use, many women experience beneficial results after using these devices.