Vaginal Dilators for Vaginismus Treatment

Before a woman undertakes home dilation she needs to understand if she is emotionally ready to insert progressively larger vaginal dilators. These dilators stretch the spastic muscle located at the entrance to the vagina. Though vaginal dilators are commonly recommended, women are not always successful dilating because of pain, fear and anxiety. Severe vaginismus patients may order the dilators but often are unable to open the box due to high anxiety for penetration. This section will give an overview of vaginal dilators.

Dilator width

A variety of vaginal dilators are available on the internet. Generally, they are sized small to large. By starting with the smaller sizes and advancing to the larger sizes this should allow progression to the number 5 (4 inches circumference) or the number 6 (5 inches circumference) dilator which will stretch the vagina enough for intercourse.

Dilator length

The #5 dilator is 5 inches long and the #6 is 6 inches long. Since the average vagina is 3 1/2 inches long, the numbers 5 and 6 tend to hang out beyond the entrance to the vagina. In addition, the disc at the bottom of many dilator tends to be uncomfortable. It is for these reasons that Pacik glass dilators were developed. All sizes (3-8) are the same 3 1/2 inches in length and do not protrude beyond the opening of the vagina. In addition, an ergonomic folded rim has been designed which fits comfortably against the vulva making the dilator more comfortable for walking (see photo).

Glass dilators sizes #4, 5 and 6 are generally recommended to help stretch the vagina. Additional sizes are available as #3 to start with a smaller dilator and also #7 and 8 for women with partners who are larger. It is rare to need the size #8.

Dilator Materials

Dilators may be made of plastic, silicone or glass. When ordering silicone dilators use only water based lubricants. Silicone lubes and oils will alter the structure of the silicone dilators. 

Resources:

  • Pacik glass dilators available from HERE.
  • A one-hour film by Dr. Pacik as noted on the website. This film features the understanding and treatment of vaginismus. 
  • A 2-hour DVD, the "Ins and Outs of Dilating" by Dr. Pacik available from Crystaldelights.com 
  • The book "When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy", by Peter T. Pacik, MD, FACS is also available HERE.