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Why use dilators in menopause?

Written by Emma McGeorge

Let’s be honest, menopause often bears a few unpleasant side effects, like hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain, and vaginal issues. Estrogen plays a big role in vaginal health and with menopause comes with a drop in estrogen. 

Estrogen keeps your vaginal walls plump and flowing with blood. A decrease in estrogen can cause your vagina to become dry, fragile and sensitive. Vaginal walls can become thinner and drier and lose elasticity. Sometimes your muscles may even shrink. The result is a condition known as vaginal atrophy. 

Other pelvic health problems that can occur during menopause include dyspareunia (painful sex), vaginismus and pelvic floor dysfunction.

How can dilators help?

Vaginal dilators can be used to gently stretch the vagina walls, preventing narrowing and improving flexibility of the tissues. Because they come in a range of sizes you can work up from a smaller size to a larger size over time. This gentle stretching can be incredibly helpful for women with lower estrogen levels as a proactive, preventative treatment for atrophy.

Vaginal dilators can also be used to retrain the body and vagina to relax when presented with stimulus around the vulva (known as desensitization therapy). If you have dyspareunia or vaginismus, dilators can help lessen pain and muscle spasms, and help you learn how to control, and relax, your pelvic floor muscles. They can also help you warm up to sex if you’re feeling apprehensive or need to prepare your tissues and muscles!