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Dilation tips


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Well, it’s now a month after GCS!  It still aches down there, and now I have to start dilating. Ugh. It’s only been a couple days, and I know it will get easier, but I take half an hour (or more!) just to get myself started each time. It’s not painful, but it’s definitely unpleasant. BTW, I had the sigmoid colon vaginoplasty technique, so things might be a bit different. I’m now using the yellow dilator from the Soul Source series. It looks pretty small but feels huge! Good thing I live in Japan! (Sorry. Bad joke.)


Any tips for dilating? Or making this a bit less unpleasant? I’m also hoping for tips on clean up—especially inside. I asked my doctor, and he just said stick a finger in there. That can’t be right, can it? I’m considering buying a simple device (a tube for squirting water inside) for this, but I don’t want to hurt myself. Advice, please!

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  • Forum Moderator
Jackie C.

Hrm, you've got the silicone ones. Mine are hard plastic. If you're having trouble with the yellow one, start with a smaller size for like five minutes. That'll help you relax before you size up. Also, well, it gets easier with time. My first month or so was a nightmare, but I eventually worked out my technique. You might also try elevating your pelvis a little to open everything up. I basically rested my butt on my yoga pillow for the first couple of months to get the angle right. A little elevation makes a difference.


For clean up on the inside, I use a <water balloon> once every couple of weeks. I also shower once I'm done. Not really an option for multiple times a day, but you do what you can.


So yeah, angle, relax and maybe start a little smaller to loosen up before you go for the big boys.



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I kept all my stuff in a plastic shoe box with a lid on it that keep the freshly washed dilators and tubes of lube in it.  I personally used some terry cloth wash cloths that are sold in packs of 24 at big box stores for use in hotels  where they get tough use.  They felt better on my skin than any of the tissue things people use and throw away.  You do wash them between uses and fabric softener helps them.  Have one to wipe your dilator off and another to wipe you off and it does not feel as gunky.  I got told to take a tub bath that I could sit in and get my bottom cleaned out mostly by swishing the clear water into the area, and then carefully drying it off.  I was told my hair dryer could be used to help the dry-off.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the tips! I’ve definitely been using them, especially using the hairdryer, having a box, and sitting on a pillow. A lot of getting through this is psychological, too. Somewhere in these forums, someone used the phrase “embracing dilation.” I’m trying to do that. As I mentioned before, I used to take half an hour just to psych myself up to get started. Recently, I’ve been able to just plunge into it (horrible unintended pun). Getting a pleasant routine down helps a lot. For me, I usually watch a video on my iPad to keep my mind distracted, followed by a nice shower, hair drying, and a little nap. Trying to make this as pleasant as possible.


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So I’ve had a lot of difficulties with a ring scar contracture (that I’ll finally have surgery for this coming Tuesday) so I’ve had to deal with a lot of issues with dilation. Some thing I found the most useful was my pelvic floor therapist and yoga. Also, cutting bread and sugar out your diet helps with inflammatory processes within your body. I also live by CBD oil. Hope the best in your journey! I’m almost a year post op and the struggle is real! 

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Hi, Kylie. I think you’re right about trying to eat healthier. I haven’t been too bad, but definitely had a better diet pre-op. Sorry to hear about your struggles. I can imagine how tough it’s been. I’m now two months post-op, and I’m starting to feel depressed. Dilation has gone well, but I still can’t even sit without pain—no, not even using one of those donut cushions. I’d like to try yoga or exercise more, but I don’t think I’m capable yet. It’s just long day after long day. Just want to return to normal. You hang in there, too. Good luck with your surgery! I hope things get better after that.

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Girl, I understand! The depression post-op is hard. But trust me, it gets better! As far as sitting, I’ve noticed everyone is different. I still have some restriction when I sit. So I’ve had to reinvent how I sit without having any issues. 

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3 hours ago, Kylie said:So I’ve had to reinvent how I sit without having any issues. 

So do tell!!!  I still haven’t figured this out myself, so please let us hear how you do it. As I suggested before, the donut-shaped cushion only helps for a short time. These days, I spend most of my time vertical. Hang in there! I hope you’re closer to a full recovery than I am!

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Susan R
7 hours ago, Kylie said:

As far as sitting, I’ve noticed everyone is different. I still have some restriction when I sit. So I’ve had to reinvent how I sit without having any issues.

I’m curious if the prolonged sitting issue is more related to the internal creation of the vaginal or more a part of dilation. The Minimal Depth Vaginoplasty (MDV) only caused me to have pain while sitting for about a month. Has anyone else here had a two stage GRS and noticed more sitting issues after the second surgery. From the information I received yesterday, I will be much less mobile after this next surgery and may have to sit for much longer.


For those of you who dilate, are you experiencing more sitting pain right after dilation? If you did, did it slowly stop over time?


I have so much fun to look forward to very soon😙


Susan R🌷

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Really good questions! I’m anxious to hear the answers. I had sigmoid colon vaginoplasty, so I suspect this has a lot to do with the pain. Good luck with your next surgery, Susan. I’m not sure if that’ll lead to more pain, but I hope not. As for the relation to dilation, my sense is that dilation helps to improve the situation, but I’m uncertain. In my case, the pain seems to be a result of swelled and delicate labia. Can’t wait to be normal again. My heart wants to dance, but my body won’t let me. Good luck!

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Jackie C.

I think it had more to do with, "You are now sitting on a surgical site where the internals have been RADICALLY altered." I was OK sitting on the edges of things and with a pillow, but it was super uncomfortable for about six weeks.



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12 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

I think it had more to do with, "You are now sitting on a surgical site where the internals have been RADICALLY altered." I was OK sitting on the edges of things and with a pillow, but it was super uncomfortable for about six weeks.



That’s a good (cringe-inducing!) way of putting, and I’m sure you’re right. However, there seems to be a wide range for recovery times. I’m at eight weeks and can’t even think about sitting. Some lucky people seem to recover in a month; others, over a year. Six weeks is pretty good, you lucky girl!

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  • Forum Moderator
Susan R
14 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

I was OK sitting on the edges of things

LOL, This was my solution for awhile after discontinuing use my donut. I’d always sit on the edge until I got used to the mild discomfort of sitting on a surface without the pillow.

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