The MSH Silicone Vaginal Dilator is our pride and joy. 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. We have sold over 4000 units without a single come-back!
*Dilators also available individually! Just select the size you want above.
Also available in stubs and up to size 8! Search "Stub" in the search window in the top right corner.
The two major advantages are that the silicone dilators have a soft tip and 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 because of their softness and suppleness. You can also place the silicone dilators in hot water before you use it as they will retain heat - so much more comfortable than plastic or glass objects that can cause reflex muscle spasm due to its cold surface.
The highest quality material available for this purpose, namely Sorta Clear 40, has been used in the manufacturing process. It is a body-safe silicone rubber with a shore A hardness of 40 and exceptional tear and tensile strength. This product is not mass produced but individually casted and cured around an encased core or ‘spine’ to enhance its rigidity but retain its soft tip.
After the manufacturing process, products are individually sterilised by MSH using medical autoclaves and separately packaged before being supplied to patients. It is better to keep the dilators sealed in its sterile packaging until you use it.
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.
We also make a size six (6) and a size seven (7) dilator for women whose partner has 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 if you do not require the whole set. We also make “stub dilators” up to a size 8, with the same girth as the standard sizes, but they are much shorter and the design is slightly different to fit more comfortably between the legs. It is therefor easier to sleep with or keep inside you during the day.
Products with manufacturing flaws should be returned to My Sexual Health as soon as possible for a replacement.
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 well, may need Botox (about 1/20) or more intensive psychological treatments.
We find that these dilators work particularly well not only for treating vaginismus but for a whole host of other conditions too! Pelvic surgery, radiation for genital and rectal cancers, transgender patients with neo-vaginas or any other intersex conditions in which a vagina had to be constructed or stretched, women who cannot use tampons, women who could previously have sex and find it difficult now due to a long period of abstinence, menopause setting in or due to skin conditions like lichen sclerosus and lichen planus, after childbirth and for painful anal intercourse.
After you have been evaluated by one of the MSH doctors, you will probably get a prescription for a special medicinal cream to address the hormonal and nerve problems you might 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 going to 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 solely due to medical reasons. If, however, you expect that there might 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 preferably a trained hypnotherapist 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 making it too hot).
- Apply your prescribed cream if you are an MSH patient. Make sure you rub it in, around the opening and inserting the tip of your finger into the opening 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 of using your dilator: Lubrication
You can use any kind of lubrication with these dilators. The Betagel lubricant we use the practice is only R245 for 500ml and works well for most patients. We however recommend that you use Pjur Woman Body Glide 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.
Place a small amount of lubricant on the tip of the dilator and around the opening of the vagina.
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.
Step Two of using your dilator: 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 of using your dilator – 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 of using your dilator: Insert the Dilator
Start with the smallest size dilator and gradually progress to a larger size dilator as comfort permits.
Rest the narrow end of the dilator against the opening while 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 and 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 of using your dilator: 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 again after dilating. 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 TechniquesThese are the types of dilator therapy techniques that may be discussed with your 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 – we do not want you to feel physical or psychological discomfort when you are dilating. Of course, you are going to have to push yourself a little bit to progress to the next size, but if you feel overly anxious, first speak to your doctor, your physiotherapist or psychologist about it.
Avoid using a dilator when you have 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 do not want to wait too long either, as soon the sutures have dissolved, you should be able to start.
You should not be bleeding due to dilating – if you are, you MUST see a doctor. It can 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.