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Heather Jeffcoat at Greatist
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Vaginal dilators go into the vagina, but they’re not sex toys

Vaginal dilators are a medical tool used to either relax and stretch the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues to reduce pain or help desensitize hypersensitive vaginal tissue, says Heather Jeffcoat, a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual dysfunction and incontinence.

Basically, they help the vagina expand in size (and get used to size).

Usually made of medical-grade silicone or hard ABS plastic, vaginal dilators may look like dildos — but unlike dildos, which are generally designed to go in and out with speed, dilators go in and stay in.

Most dilators come in a set of five or six of increasing size. The smallest is usually no bigger than a thin tampon or a pinky, and the largest is closer in size to a medium banana.

OK, OK, but how long do they take to work?

With patience, dilators can work, but the timing may vary depending on the condition or reason you’re using them.

According to Jeffcoat:

  • Experiencing pain when inserting something small, like a tampon, will resolve within the first 4 weeks, as long as you’re hitting the right spots.
  • Pain with penetration from slightly larger objects can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months to improve.
  • Constant vulvar burning, endometriosis, or another chronic condition can take a year or more.

The full article is here

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    • Testimonial by Jamie M.

      I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues. I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete...

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    • Testimonial by Lauren B.

      Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I...

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