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Dilator

monty gizmo
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2011

Being a sexually active women I worry about the effects of radiation on my sexual organs.
Heard that some women need a dilator to prevent perminent damage to the vaginal area.
I'm just in the first week of radiation and chemo. Would like to have some input as
to the necessity for this device in the near future. Never have had a problem with
control or disfunction. Is this inevitable?????? Any helpful adise would be greatly
appreciate.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3667
Joined: Jan 2010

Radiation can cause vaginal stenosis, which is a shrinking of the vaginal canal, both in length and width. Using a dilator keeps the canal open, but it must be used on a regular basis to be effective. My radiation oncologist gave me one to use. Once that one was no longer uncomfortable, I bought a set of 4 in graduated sizes and began to go up in size as I could tolerate. I have been able to get up to the next to largest (the large one is quite large, so I'm not even trying that one!). Keep in mind that not only does keeping the vagina open allow for sex, it also allows for normal gynecological exams in the future. Please ask your rad onc about this (or your gynecologist).

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

Mine was provided to me by my radiologist.. It is made by Amielle Care. This may not be the case at other cancer treatment centers. It is a pouch with various dilator sizes and a lubricant. I need to be using mine more but try to spend time with it a couple times a week or more. As others have pointed out, it's about more than sex. It's about our exams in the future, etc. So do get one. Maybe you can find one on the internet.

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