About the new MSH Silicone Dilators

This product is our pride and joy because it has helped so many couples to have pain-free intercourse. They have been custom made here in South Africa, according to the needs of the thousands of individuals and couples that the My Sexual Health (MSH) doctors have treated for vaginismus and other forms of painful intercourse.

Two major advantages are that the silicone dilators have a soft tip and they do not cause infections. We have many patients who have tried plastic or glass dilators in the past, as well as other household items, but they all prefer our silicone dilators now, because of their softness and suppleness. You can also place the silicone dilator in hot water before you use it to retain heat – so much more comfortable than plastic or glass objects that can cause reflex muscle spasm due to being cold.

The highest quality material for its specific purpose has been used in the manufacturing process, and each product is individually casted and sterilised – our products are not mass produced.

We also make a size six (6) and a size seven (7) dilators for women who have a partner with a penis larger than the size five (5). However, the penis of a typical man is between a size four (4) and five (5) dilator. The silicone dilators can be purchased individually should you not need the whole set. We also make “stub dilators” with the same girth as the standard sizes, but they are much shorter and therefore easier to sleep with or keep inside you during the day.

The silicone dilators can be cleaned either with normal fragrance-free soap, or the soap from the FEMAGENE range, and warm water – rinsed and dried thoroughly before storing it in a cool and dry place.

What is the Success Rate of the MSH Dilators?

According to statistics from our MSH doctors, patients progress on average to the number four (4) and five (5) dilator within three (3) to four (4) weeks if they take their medication and see the physiotherapist. Those who do not progress as well, often need Botox or further intensive psychological treatments.

Our dilators have shown work particularly well not only for treating vaginismus but for a host of other conditions too! Pelvic surgery, radiation for genital and rectal cancers, transgender patients with neo-vaginas or any other intersex condition where a vagina had to be constructed or stretched, women who cannot use tampons, women who find intercourse difficult due to a long period of abstinence, menopause setting in or due to skin conditions like lichen sclerosis and lichen planus, after childbirth, and for painful anal intercourse.

How the MSH Treatment Process works

After you have been evaluated by one of our MSH doctors, you will likely get a prescription for a special medicinal cream to address the hormonal and nerve problems you may have, as well as treatment for infections or treatment to prevent infections, muscle relaxants and further medication to help you cope with anxiety when you are dilating or visiting the physiotherapist.

MSH patients see a specialist pelvic function physiotherapist to teach them breathing and positioning techniques, evaluate their pelvic floor muscles, show them how to actively relax their pelvic floor muscles, demonstrate to them how to use the dilators and progress from the different sizes, and help them with trouble shooting when they get stuck. Specialist pelvic function physiotherapists also attempt to find and treat the cause for tight pelvic floor muscles, rather than just addressing the symptoms.

We also recommend that you use the medication for about ten (10) days before visiting the physiotherapist and preferably first see the physiotherapist before you attempt to use the dilators.

Some patients experience painful intercourse due solely to medical reasons. If, however, you expect that there may also be a psychological component (especially if you were victim to childhood sexual abuse or traumatic sexual experiences), we strongly recommend that you also see one of the specialist psychologists or trained hypnotherapists on our team.

If you have not seen one of the MSH doctors and you are struggling with your dilators, please visit one of them as soon as possible. There is usually an untreated medical condition preventing you from progressing, or psychological issues which have not been attended to. Thousands of women around the world have cured their vaginismus and other sexual pain conditions by only using dilators. If you feel comfortable to first try it on your own – go for it! (But please do see a doctor who specialises in pelvic pain if you have any concerns).

How to use your MSH Silicone Dilators step-by-step

  • Select an appropriate time and a warm comfortable place – allow for relaxation and no interruption.
  • Position your body lying down with your legs bent – place pillows or cushions under your turned-out thighs to allow your leg muscles to completely relax.
  • You can warm the dilator before using it – put it in hot water for 5-10 minutes to slightly warm it (avoid it getting too hot).
  • Apply your prescribed cream if you are a MSH patient. Make sure you rub it in around the opening and into the opening, using the tip of your finger, for at least two (2) minutes.
  • Very important: if you are not using these dilators for vaginismus, but for another reason relating to being transgender, intersex or a male, please ask your MSH doctor or physiotherapist if you have any uncertainties.

Step One: Lubrication

You can use any kind of lubrication, however, we recommend that you use Pjur Body Glide Lube or Pjur Med Premium Glide if you struggle with recurrent infections, or if you are very sensitive. If you are being treated by one of the MSH doctors, you can also use the cream they have prescribed as a lubricant. These lubricants can be ordered online from www.MySexualHealthShop.co.za.

Avoid lubricants containing petrochemicals as these can cause pelvic floor tissue irritation and exacerbate pain. Even natural oils can disturb the natural balance of your vagina and contribute to painful intercourse.

Place a small amount of lubricant on the tip of the dilator and around the opening of the vagina.

Step Two: Breathe

Focus on your breathing by using a series of slow, deep breaths. Try to breathe with relaxed, deep breaths so that your belly rises when breathing in and falls when breathing out. This is called diaphragmatic breathing and its purpose is to switch on your parasympathetic nervous system, which makes you feel safe and relaxed, and switch off your fight and flight reaction, which is often over-active in people with vaginismus or painful intercourse.

Count while you are breathing. If you take four (4) counts to inhale, try to take eight (8) counts to exhale. Continue diaphragmatic deep breathing for up to five (5) minutes at the outset of the session.

Step Three: Scanning

Scan your body for any area of muscle tension from head to toes. Notice any muscular tension around your eyes, jaw, throat, shoulders, buttocks and legs. Mentally encourage each area to relax and loosen with each exhalation. As you exhale, let the pelvic area soften with each breath. Visualise or imagine this area in a state of softness, relaxing further with every exhalation.

Step Four: Insert the Dilator

  • Start with the smallest size dilator and gradually progress to a larger size as comfort permits.
  • Rest the narrow end of the dilator against the opening whilst continuing relaxed diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Gently insert the end of the dilator into the entrance when you feel ready to do so.
  • Gradually insert the dilator to a tolerable depth. Keep the level of discomfort minimal – if you feel any discomfort, pause for up to a minute at a time, continuing to breathe and relax your pelvic floor.
  • When discomfort has eased, progress further while stopping at regular intervals to get your body accustomed to the sensation and lengthening of the tissue.
  • Try to keep the dilator in for 30 minutes at a time.
  • If you find that the dilator goes in easily, it is time to progress to the next size. Some people will start the session with a smaller dilator, leave it in for five (5) minutes and then feel ready to progress to a larger dilator.
  • Never force the dilator beyond a level of personal comfort.

Step Five: Dilator Withdrawal

  • After your session, gently withdraw the dilator and allow yourself to rest and recover before getting up.
  • Make sure you are completely relaxed before withdrawing the dilator. The pelvic floor will often contract as a reflex reaction when you start to withdraw. Just give your body time to relax.
  • It is normal to feel a burning sensation after dilating. This is due to the stretched muscles that irritated the nerves. If you are an MSH patient, you can use the cream your doctor prescribed after dilating again. You can also use the FEMAGENE Soothing Gel after dilating.
  • Wash the dilator with warm soapy water thoroughly, dry and store. No need to wash or wipe the cream or lubricant from your genital area – it will only irritate the area more.

Frequency and Timing of Dilator Therapy

  • Aim to use your dilator for 30 minutes during each session. However, when starting out, this time frame may be well reduced.
  • We recommend that you dilate every day for 30 minutes. Many of our patients get comfortable enough to sleep with their dilators a few hours every night (wear leggings to keep it in) or buy the stub dilators and walk around with them during the day.
  • Once you have established pain-free intercourse, we recommend that you maintain the relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles by either dilating, having sex or having physiotherapy three (3) times a week (i.e. if you are having pain-free sex three (3) times a week, there is probably no need to keep on dilating, but if you are getting to sex only once per week, you will need some regular dilating to maintain the relaxation of the pelvic floor.

Additional Dilator Therapy Techniques

These are some of the typical dilator therapy techniques that may be discussed during your visit to the therapist or doctor regarding their suitability for use:

  • Gradually increasing the depth of dilator penetration.
  • Massaging in a circular motion.
  • Moving the dilator diagonally i.e. forwards and backwards, and left to right.
  • Moving the dilator in and out of the vagina while maintaining gentle pressure against the vaginal wall.
  • Maintaining gentle pressure against an area of discomfort for up to 60 seconds.
  • Involving your partner in dilator therapy.

Important Precautions to take while using Dilators

  • Keep discomfort to a minimum – you should not feel physical or psychological discomfort when you are dilating. Of course, you will need to push yourself a little to progress to the next size, but if you feel overly anxious or uncomfortable, first speak to your doctor, your physiotherapist or psychologist about it.
  • Avoid using a dilator with active pelvic infection and see your doctor if you think that you might have an infection.
  • Avoid using a dilator immediately following pelvic surgery – be guided by your specialists’ recommendations regarding all forms of post-operative penetration and dilator use. You also do not want to wait too long either – as soon the sutures have dissolved, you should be able to begin with dilator therapy.
  • Dilating should never lead to bleeding – if you are bleeding, you MUST see a doctor. It may be due to infection or extreme thinning of the outer layer of your vagina.
  • Never use someone else’s dilator.
  • Clean and dry your dilator thoroughly after each use.

How to Progress to Intercourse:

Once you can insert the number five (5) dilator without physical or emotional discomfort, we recommend that you involve your partner in the process. Only when your partner can insert the number five (5) dilator without causing discomfort for you, you can progress to attempt penetration as if your partner is the next size dilator (rather than through a passionate love-making session). We find that it is better if you take the first few attempts at penetration very slowly and then progress to normal intercourse when you are comfortable with penetration.

If you or your partner suffer from painful intercourse, please make an appointment to see one of our specialist health care providers.

To purchase any of our MSH Silicone Dilators, visit the My Sexual Health Shop.
For more information on MSH Silicone Dilators, contact us on 086 7272 950