I’ve had a long standing pain issue with dilation. It started pretty early. I had great optimism that second week when I started because it was painless but pretty soon that changed.
I’ve grown to understand that my key issue has been scarring and a fissure. The scarring formed a band around the vaginal opening making it very difficult to get anything larger than the 1 1/8 dilator in, and the fissure and other cracks in the scars caused significant pain as tension was applied.
To understand this think about the difference between stretching a wide rubber band that’s whole and one with a small knife cut. The one with the knife cut concentrates the force at the cut. That’s effectively what was happening. The GYN gave me lidocaine to apply but it had very little effect, it is hard to apply for one thing. The area isn’t dry so you can’t easily spread it out and have it stay in place.
I do seem to be beyond the worst at this point. There were three scarring sites. The band at the bottom of the opening and these two scars that basically adhered folds where there was a minor prolapse of the top wall downward, think smile with the scars at the corners of the mouth. When stretched the force would concentrate at those corners.
The corners were the first to release a couple of weeks ago. The cracks eventually worked through the scar tissue and that was that, the lining could move and stretch. Hopefully the scar will reduce over time, I’ve seen that some of the scar that’s about the level of the rest has broken down some.
What was then left was the band and a fissure roughly in the middle. As with the other two it just required persistence and putting up with pain. At one point I was pushing and suddenly the pain released and that last bit gave way. I’m hoping that I’ll now be able to stretch things normally with the dilators.
It’s an unfortunate fact of this business that dilation is required for life, but the frequency does go down. I didn’t feel like that was an option as long as I’ve been having a problem though.
I hope that my sisters who are going through their own discomfort will find it helpful to know that the pain can find an ending.