Post-Procedure Dilating and Menses

Our VaginismusMD Forum is a place to introduce yourself, share your personal story, ask questions, and discuss ALL aspects of vaginismus and the treatment program. Vaginismus MD ForumThe Forum is friendly, safe and most importantly “private” as pseudonyms are generally used and you need to register to participate in the Forum.

However, from time to time, the question and responses on the VaginismusMD Forum are so valuable that I feel they should be shared in our blog so more people can benefit from it. This is one of those times. For the sake of continued privacy, we have eliminated any pseudonyms used by our patients and referred to them as Patient 1, Patient 2, etc.

Heather, our moderator on the VaginismusMD Forum, started the following exchange regarding post-procedure dilating and menses. Almost every patient that is treated with Botox for vaginismus has anxiety about continuing with her dilation schedule during her first period post-procedure. The response posts from treated patients give excellent suggestions to this very important question of post-procedure dilating and menses.

Heather, Our Moderator of VaginismusMD Forum

A very common question that arises post-procedure is “should I dilate while on my period.” I personally remember dreading my first period post-procedure as I didn’t dilate and then thought that because I didn’t, I would never be able to again. What are your experiences with this?

Post from Patient 1 on the VaginismusMD Forum

“Are we supposed to dilate while on our cycle? It just seems like it would be kind of gross? Adversely, if we don’t, then we skip almost a full week of dilating. I’m open to all advice, comments, and suggestions.”

Post from Patient 2 on the VaginismusMD Forum

“That’s a great question and I’m sure a very common one. For me personally, I skipped dilating during the first 3 days of my cycle and then resumed dilating during my last 2 days. In the beginning, I was so afraid that if I skipped any amount of time with the dilators, then I would never be able to dilate again. This wasn’t the case at all. Again, in the beginning, if it ever felt a little tightness dilating after my period, I would begin with purple and work my way up to blue. I also used a lot of lubricant.”

Post from Patient 3 on the VaginismusMD Forum

“I had my cycle only 2 weeks after having procedure. However my periods are very heavy and I didn’t want to dilate. Normally my cycle last a full 6-7 days I as able to dilate after the 4th day. I didn’t seem to have much trouble with reinserting it after waiting 4 days.”

Post from Patient 4 on the VaginismusMD Forum

“I started my menstrual on Day 12 Post Procedure and I decided not to dilate for the first 3 days because I have such a heavy flow. I was a little nervous about stopping because I was dilating everyday faithfully and wanted to continue with my progress. Fortunately, everything was fine when I started dilating again when my flow was a lot lighter. I started with the smaller blue silicone, which I had never even used before but I wanted to make sure that I had no pain (which I didn’t it was more anxiety than anything else). The small blue went in so quickly I forgot that I was dilating. I was nervous that I was not going to angle it right since I had not dilated in 3 whole days. It was really funny because I try to think about something else when dilating and when I got the thought in my head it was completely in!!! I had to laugh at how anxious I was about the procedure and how my body reacted to dilating again. Like I said before “I need to catch up emotionally to where I am physically.” I was able to dilate back up to the pink with no problem. Now I am on to conquering Mr. Blue and making penile penetration possible!”

Post from Dr. Pacik in response to this question of whether you should dilate during your menstrual cycle on the VaginismusMD Forum

“It depends on how heavy the cycle is. For lighter cycles some dilation is possible, for heavier cycles skip the first few days. Even 5-10 minutes is valuable. This however is an excellent time to use a tampon. This is another form of penetration which most of my patients have been unable to use.”

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About Dr. Pacik

Peter Pacik, MD, FACS is a recognized pioneer in treating patients with Botox for vaginismus and the author of When Sex Seems Impossible: Stories of Vaginismus and How You Can Achieve Intimacy. He has been in practice for over thirty years and belongs to a small group of prestigious surgeons who are double board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In 2010, Dr. Pacik received FDA approval to continue his study to treat vaginismus using intravaginal injections of Botox together with progressive dilation under anesthesia.
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