By Sally Smith
Treating Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis with Dilators and Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation.
Vulvodynia is a painful syndrome effecting women of all ages. It is diagnosed as pain in the vulvar vestibule area, which could also be described as the entrance to the vagina.
Sufferers of Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis find it extremely painful to attempt sexual intercourse, wear tampons, and in severe cases they cannot wear tight clothing without several discomfort.
Whilst there is no know cause of vulvodynia there are a number of treatment options available.
One of the most common and successful methods of treating Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis is through physiotherapy specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation. Pelvic floor exercises coupled with the use of a dilator will decrease the pain experienced as a result of vulvodynia, and in many cases this pain becomes completely manageable and the sufferer can enjoy a normal, healthy sex life.
To start with, you need to practice pelvic floor exercises, the dilator will be introduced once these are mastered.
Step 1: Lying down with your knees slightly bent, draw your pelvic floor muscles upwards towards your pubic bone. You will experience a feeling of tightness inside your vagina. Be sure to take deep breaths and relax all muscles in your legs and stomach.
Step 2. Hold this ‘tightened’ upwards state for 5 seconds.
Step 4: Release your muscles. Imagine you are going from being ‘upwards’ to letting go and dropping back down to the ground floor. Rest for 10 seconds.
Step 5. Repeat 10 times.
It can be quite difficult to master this so be sure to practice. If you have difficulty visualising the ‘upwards’ and ‘resting’ states, it helps to practice on the toilet. When you begin urinating try and stop the flow of urine midflow then release. This is the same as what you want to be doing during your exercises.
Once you have mastered your pelvic floor exercise of tightening and releasing, then it is time to introduce a dilator. A dilator is essential a small tube,, it comes in various sizes. The greater your pain, the smaller the size of the dilator you should begin with. If you do not have a dilator you can use a clean finger.
Step 1: Apply a small amount of lubricant to the tip of your dilator.
Step 2. Following the same steps as above, lie down on your back with your knees bent. Relax your pelvic floor muscles and insert the dilator as deep as is comfortable.
Step 3. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles around the dilator. Remember to stay relaxed and take deep breathes.
Step 4. Rotate the dilator. Imagine a clock face, hold the dilator in the directions of 3 O’clock, 6 O’clock, 9 O’clock and 12 O’clock.
Step 4. Hold each for 5 seconds then release and rest for 10 seconds.
Step 5. Repeat 10 times.
When first starting it can help to use your finger instead of the dilator. This way you can actually feel your pelvic muscles tightening around your finger then releasing, so you know that you are doing the exercise correctly.
As your pain decreases, go up a size until you are ready to introduce your partner into the exercises and resume sexual contact.
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