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Having problems after radiation - Need a dilator!

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello, all,

Could you recomend a brand, or type of dilators? My OBGYN wants me to use them sense I'm having elasticity issues after radiation.

Thanks!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

Check out this website. This is where I purchased my set of dilators in graduated sizes.

http://www.vaginismus.com/

Just remember to use lots of lubricant and start small, working your way up to the larger sizes. Also, this must be done regularly, daily if at all possible. I use mine in the shower while taking my daily shower. That way I'm always reminded to do it.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

Ha, ha, I take baths every night and have my dilator sitting on the side of the tub. Last week I had a worker over cleaning our ducts and opened the bathroom door and sitting right there in front of us were my large size dilator and lubricating gel "Aquaglide". He must have thought - who is this "Grandma"! lol

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

Ha, ha, I take baths every night and have my dilator sitting on the side of the tub. Last week I had a worker over cleaning our ducts and opened the bathroom door and sitting right there in front of us were my large size dilator and lubricating gel "Aquaglide". He must have thought - who is this "Grandma"! lol

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

Ha, ha, I take baths every night and have my dilator sitting on the side of the tub. Last week I had a worker over cleaning our ducts and opened the bathroom door and sitting right there in front of us were my large size dilator and lubricating gel "Aquaglide". He must have thought - who is this "Grandma"! lol

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Ha, ha, that is funny! I'm impressed with how well you take care of yourself. I need to do the same.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 519
Joined: Apr 2009

yes, i have also forgotten to hide my dilators but too bad. we need to shock a few people anyway. i go to a girls weekend and have thought about taking the whole set to show them but have not done so yet. one person would call me a pervert but she is ignorant and a mean girl , anyway. i can not hold mine inside while standing so i can not do mine in the shower. i lay on the bed. and do it 20-25 minutes almost every day or every other day. hugs to you sephie

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank you! I ordered a set from the website. For how long do you normally use it? I'm always rushing when taking a shower. I can't believe my dr. didn't suggest this before, especially that I had radiation in 2010.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

I would say that I use mine for approximately 10 minutes daily. However, I know that some doctors advise women to use it for 20 minutes. I'm glad you ordered a set and I hope you'll find them helpful.

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, the things we must do...I ordered mine from the same site per Marthas recommendation. If I remember right they came within just a few days also! I also am usually rushing but find it easiest to use every morning in the shower. I insert (in the beginning had to kind of hold it there, but now just leave it in while I wash hair etc.) and try to aim for 10-15 min. I didn't start right after treatment either, my doc never said anything about it! About a year later I went for a pap test to a new GYN (unfortunately mine had an accident and died), the new one is the doc that discussed stenosis and using a dilator. I started with the smallest size, but was glad to find it pretty easy to move up a couple pretty quick. Good luck to you, soon it will become just part of your daily routine.

cap630
Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2011

I too purchased a set from http: www.vaginismus.com
I have been seeing a physcial therapist and there is another company you may want ot check out: www.cmtmedical.com. They carry and really nice waterbased lubricant as well
called Slippery Stuff. Check it out. ~Carol

law522
Posts: 37
Joined: Oct 2012

I am pretty sure I know what this is, and have a few questions
Do all women need this?
why do you need it?
when is the best time to start using it?
do you think insurance will cover this?
if I am going to need radiation
Thanks
Linda

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

If you have to undergo pelvic radiation, you will want to get dilators and use them on a regular basis. Any woman who gets this treatment will most likely have vaginal stenosis, which is essentially shrinking of the vaginal canal, both in width and length. Obviously, that makes having sex difficult, if not impossible, and also prohibits some women from getting pelvic exams and pap smears in the future. Therefore, use of a dilator is very important. Some facilities, such as MD Anderson, insert a dilator into the vaginal canal of patients at the time of radiation treatments to help prevent this. However, the facility where I was treated did not do this (most don't), so I must use a dilator regularly. It's preferable to begin using one as soon as it is not painful to do so following treatment. It took a couple of weeks before I could begin use. I started small and worked my way up to a larger one. I ordered a set of 4 in graduated sizes. Insurance may cover it, depending on your policy. To get the most benefit from the dilator, it should be kept inserted for 20 minutes daily. I just use mine in the shower. LOTS of lubricant, such as AstroGlide is required! I hope this answers your questions.

law522
Posts: 37
Joined: Oct 2012

so, if I do need this radiation, it sounds to me like I should request one BEFORE I let them do radiation to me.
DO you think they would HAVE to allow me this?
It sounds to me that those that used one during radiation were much better off following the raditaiton than those that didnt
BTW TY for all your help,
Linda

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

I would definitely ask about having one inserted during radiation treatment. However, I wouldn't be surprised if no is the answer. As far as I know, MDA is the only place doing this, but I could be wrong. Perhaps you could have your doctor contact MDA for more information on this. It would be worth a try.

law522
Posts: 37
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you for helping me with all my questions, I have been going through past posts on the board and have found a LOT of wonderful info---not to mention all the wonderful responses to my questions from the group, you all are the best!

I will definatly look into this--anything to make life easier after all the treatment will be worth it--sounds like I am in for one hell of a ride. I think I am over the what the F why me I am going to die tomorrow feeling and now it is time to buckle up and hit this head on!!!

as I read in many of the posts--"weeks for years" :)
Thanks XO

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

The six weeks of radiation seemed like an eternity to me. However, when I look back, I see how relatively short it was--just a "blip" in my life. And compared to other cancer treatments, this one really is short. It's good that you have allowed yourself to think all the "why me" thoughts, etc. Get them out of the way first, then you can focus on going into battle against this beast! You can do it!

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