Keeping a positive attitude while dilating

Dilators are often used to treat vaginismus. It’s the “gold standard” intervention to get your vagina to cooperate, but the process can be challenging, frustrating, and well, boring for most. It is essential to have a positive and engaging attitude towards using dilators, as it can significantly impact the healing process.

For many women with vaginismus, the process of using dilators can be overwhelming and intimidating. It can be difficult to stay present and focus on the task at hand when feeling tense or even bored. As someone who has struggled with vaginismus, I can relate to this experience. When I first started using dilators, I found myself constantly distracted and disconnected from the process. I would often rush through the sessions, just trying to get it over with as quickly as possible.

However, I soon realized that my negative attitude was hindering my recovery. Negative beliefs and thoughts can contribute to a greater experience of pain, longer recovery times, and more functional limitations. On the other hand, positive beliefs and thoughts can help individuals to cope with their pain, improve their mood, and reduce the intensity of their pain.

Changing my mindset and adopting a more positive and engaging attitude towards using dilators was a game-changer for me. I began to approach each session with a sense of curiosity and exploration, focusing on the sensations and allowing myself to fully experience the process. I used nervous system regulation techniques and cognitive re-training to help me stay calm and present during dilator sessions. With time, I started to feel more comfortable and confident, and my progress improved significantly. Heck, I even started to like my dilators!

My experience is not unique. Many women with vaginismus struggle with negative beliefs and attitudes towards using dilators. Many see them as a burden or a reminder of their lack of progress. Dilators continue to tell us “you need help” when all we want is to have pain-free sex. But focusing on the negative associations with dilators will really only hinder your recovery. Researchers have found that women who hold negative beliefs about vaginismus and their ability to recover from it experience greater levels of pain and distress than those who hold positive beliefs.

It is essential to use a holistic and comprehensive researched-based approach to help you in your vaginismus journey. However, it is equally important to adopt a positive and engaging attitude towards the recovery process. This can include practicing mindfulness, focusing on the present moment, and staying curious and open-minded.

It is also essential to have realistic expectations and to be patient with the recovery process. Dilator use is not a quick fix, and it may take time and consistent effort to see progress. However, with a positive attitude and a commitment to self-care, it is possible to overcome vaginismus and experience a fulfilling sex life.

A positive and engaging attitude towards using dilators and your overall recovery can significantly impact the healing process of vaginismus. Negative beliefs and thoughts can hinder recovery, while positive beliefs can improve coping, mood, and pain. It is essential to work diligently through a holistic and comprehensive approach and to adopt a mindset of curiosity, openness, and patience when recovering from vaginismus. Remember that every woman’s journey is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery.

Pain-Free Intimacy has developed a comprehensive and holistic vaginismus recovery program- The Mind-Body-Sex Reset program to fast track your recovery and to get you from dilator to great, pain-free sex, the way it was designed to be! For more information, schedule a free consultation call!


Elaine Ward & Jane Ogden (1994) Experiencing vaginismus–sufferers beliefs about causes and effects, Sexual and Marital Therapy, 9:1, 33-45, DOI: 10.1080/02674659408409565

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