This is not a sexual article. It’s a clinical article (as clinical as I can make it). I’m putting this out there because it’s a topic that needs to be talked about.
Pelvic radiation is hard on your body. Everything that gets radiated is damaged. Lymph nodes, rectal area, everything. And, although I didn’t know it until my husband and I tried sex, my vaginal canal has narrowed and shortened.
It’s a condition called VAGINAL STENOSIS. The first attempt at penetration was excruciating. I honestly didn’t think I would ever have sex again.
Next time, same thing. Horrible pain. Lubricants did not help.
So, my husband and I started researching. We learned that this is a common problem after pelvic radiation AND some chemotherapies. We also learned that there are devices made specifically for this problem. They are called vaginal dilators.
Not dildos. Not vibrators. Dilators.
Dilators are in graduated sizes and are designed to stretch the vaginal walls.
This is what they look like:
The grey device is the base. The dilators screw onto it.
This is is what you’d do:
- Start with the smallest size, just in case, and attach it to the base.
- Liberally apply a water-based lubricant (such as K-Y) to the dilator.
- Lie down on a bed, face up. Bend your knees, spread your knees and try to relax.
- Slowly and gently insert the dilator.
- If you have no pain, go to the next size, repeating the above steps. Then continue to step 6.
- If the vagina is too tight to fully insert it, hold the dilator still and try to contract your pelvic muscles. Tighten and release. Tighten and release. Continue this until the dilator can be fully inserted.
- When the dilator is all the way in, keep it there for 5-10 minutes. (You may need to hold it inside to keep it from being pushed out.)
- Remove the dilator and wash it with mild soap and water.
Do this process 3x per week.
Here is a link to the company that I ordered from:
It will also help to try different sex positions. I found that being on top gave me more control and that was a benefit physically AND emotionally. The fear of the pain took it’s toll on my emotions. I first had to learn to relax emotionally and then physically. Things are better now.
I just wish I knew this information beforehand.
“Don’t be afraid; Just believe” — Mark 5:36b