The vaginal dilator

For a number of conditions you may be recommended the use of a dilator.

A vaginal dilator is a smooth, clear plastic tube which comes in four sizes. Mr Connell or his physiotherapist will advise on which size to start with. Some dilators come with a handle which can be used with all sizes.

Vaginal dilation means stretching and opening. It can be done by:

• Using the dilator

• Sexual intercourse

• a combination of using the dilator and intercourse

Using a dilator will reduce scar tissue forming and keep the vagina more supple after an operation or can be used to stretch the vagina before surgery, especially if you're not having regular intercourse.

Use your dilator three times a week for three to five minutes each time. Intercourse will also open and stretch the vagina.

How do I use the Dilator?

Try to relax before you start and use the following steps as a guide.

• Place some water-soluble lubricant (KY jelly) or hormone cream on the rounded end of the dilator – we will tell you which to use. Don't use an oil-based lubricant.

• Lie on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart or stand with one foot raised on a stool or the side of the bath. You may prefer to use the dilator when having a bath.

• Insert the rounded end of the dilator into your vagina gently and press it in as far as is comfortable. The top of your vagina is closed so you won't lose the dilator.

• Insert and withdraw the dilator several times over three to five minutes.

• Withdraw the dilator and clean it with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.

Don't use force when inserting the dilator. If you have difficulty inserting it, change to a smaller size. If you notice tightness when using the dilator, use it more often.

What if I bleed when using the dilator?

You may notice slight bleeding or "spotting" after you've used the dilator - this isn't unusual. If you have fresh heavy bleeding or soreness, contact Mr Connell or the physiotherapist.

How long do I have to continue?

This will depend on how flexible the tissues are and how quickly the tissues stretch.

Sometimes it may take only two months to reach the desired size, sometimes it may take up to six months.

It is important to continue the treatment regularly.

How will treatment affect my sexual relationship?

If you are using this device because of painful intercourse because of a tight vagina, it is important NOT to try sexual intercourse in the first four weeks of this treatment. You may allow your partner to help you to use the dilators. After the first four weeks, if you are using a larger dilator you may try gentle sex. Use KY jelly and stop immediately if it is painful, and wait until you have been using the next (bigger) dilator for two weeks before trying again. Once you and your partner have had time to adjust to the new physical and emotional changes associated with the improvement in the vagina, sexual feelings will usually return, and your sex life will improve. Sharing your feelings and concerns with each other may help both you and your partner. Your partner may be worried about hurting you and you may need to try different sexual positions until you find one which is comfortable.

Your vagina may be sore and dry, it is therefore important to discuss this with Mr Connell or the physiotherapist, and to use the water-soluble lubricant KY Jelly.

Please see the link to the cheapest website we have found to buy  these dilators. LINKS PAGE.


Contact us

NHS Practice:

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals

Hermitage Lane

Maidstone ME16 9QQ

Secretary: Rochelle Millar

Tel: 01622 224601

Private Practice:

Somerfield Hospital


Spire Hospital

Tunbridge Wells

Secretary: Frances Crawford

Tel: 01622 683988