Vaginal dilators, also known as vaginal trainers, are helpful to relieve vaginal dryness, reduce discomfort during penetration and improve sexual pleasure. Typically used in progressively increasing sizes to gradually stretch vaginal & pelvic muscles and prevent the vaginal canal from narrowing, vaginal dilators are usually made from silicone or plastic.
In this article, we’ve compared two vaginal dilator brands - VWell Silicone Dilators vs Intimate Rose Silicone Dilators. Keep reading to learn how they compare and how they differ before choosing which dilator is right for you.
One of the main reasons women use vaginal dilators is to relieve conditions that are often interconnected - vaginismus and dyspareunia. Vaginismus is described as a tightening of the vaginal muscles at the mere thought of penetration and is typically connected to anxiety, previously painful sex, past abuse, and pelvic injuries or trauma. Dyspareunia is described as painful sex and is often linked to vaginal atrophy, tender points in the pelvic floor muscles, the development of scar tissue after vaginal surgery, or hormone fluctuations.
Dilators are equally beneficial for women who have undergone pelvic surgery, hysterectomy, or radiation treatment for cervical cancer, as well as those suffering from a lack of estrogen during menopause. Each of the above can cause vaginal dryness, discomfort, and tightness, which can result in the vagina becoming shorter and narrower if left untreated.
Vaginal dilators are also highly recommended after transgender surgery to lengthen and widen the new vaginal canal. Teenagers who are worried about inserting tampons, or their first gynecological exam also find vaginal dilators helpful, as well as newlyweds who use dilators to release the fear of painful penetration during their first sexual encounter.
Vaginal dilators, which are typically used in a set of progressively increasing sizes, are designed to slowly and gradually relieve vaginal tightness or pain.
By gently mobilizaing the vaginal tissues with the smallest dilator first, patients begin to feel less anxious and more confident about penetration. As patients slowly progress through the incrementally larger sizes in the dilator set, blood flow is increased in the vaginal tissues, the muscles begin to gain more elasticity to stretch, and natural lubrication is improved – all of which help to relieve tightness, dryness, discomfort, and pain.
In addition to vaginismus, dyspareunia, vaginal dryness during menopause, and recovery after pelvic surgery or radiation treatment for cancer, vaginal dilators also help to treat the following conditions:
There are several types of vaginal dilators made by numerous different brands, the majority of which are made from either plastic or medical-grade silicone. While most women confirm that the soft and flexible sensation of medical-grade silicone dilators feels more comfortable in the vagina, some women still believe that a hard plastic dilator is better to stretch the vaginal muscles, but this is not true.
The main reason that the majority of women choose vaginal dilators made from medical-grade silicone is due to their gentle presence against sensitive vaginal skin or scar tissue. Silicone is also far smoother compared to the grooves sometimes present on the surface of plastic dilators, making it easier to clean and avoid the growth of unwanted bacteria.
Some brands also offer vibrating dilators; however, pelvic health practitioners advise that these are more suited to sexual arousal than pain management associated with dyspareunia, vaginismus, surgery recovery, or any other condition affecting the female genitals.
VWell and Intimate Rose dilators are both sold in sets of progressively increasing sizes and both have a splayed lip at the end of each dilator to signal when they have been adequately inserted. However, that seems to be where the similarities end between VWell dilators and Intimate Rose silicone dilators.
Below, we’ve outlined the differences between VWell and Intimate Rose according to the four most important factors when it comes to vaginal dilators – material, sizing, comfort & price/value for money.
While Intimate Rose dilators are made from medical-grade silicone and are FDA-registered, it appears that VWell dilators are not, despite stating so in their product description. Numerous customer comments reference that VWell dilators are “hard, “really hard”, “feel like a hard rubber material”, or “not at all flexible” and other customers mention a lack of requested documentation to prove that medical-grade silicone is indeed used in manufacturing or that their product is FDA-registered.
Medical-grade silicone is primarily used for female healthcare products because it is body-safe and skin-safe, as well as being flexible and soft to the touch. Therefore, anything that can be described as hard or inflexible, is more than likely not medical-grade silicone.
Even though both brands sell dilator sets in progressive sizes, the measurements and number of dilators in each set are significantly different. A set of medical-grade silicone dilators from Intimate Rose includes eight dilators, for instance, whereas the set from VWell only includes five dilators.
Measurement-wise, the smallest dilator from Intimate Rose measures 0.45 inches in diameter and 2.8 inches long, whereas the smallest dilator from VWell measures 0.70 inches in diameter and 4.25 inches long. Considering that 0.70 inches is similar in diameter to a super tampon, and 4.25 inches is quite long for a starter-sized dilator, many women suffering from vaginismus, dyspareunia, or any of the above-mentioned conditions, would find that the smallest dilator from VWell is too large for them to start dilator therapy or experience severe discomfort when inserting.
Additionally, the size differences between each dilator in a set are hugely significant when seeking to gradually stretch tight vaginal muscles and relieve painful penetration or sex. For example, the Intimate Rose Silicone Dilator Set incrementally increases from 0.45” D x 2.8” L to 1.5” D x 6.5” L over a range of eight dilators. The VWell dilator set, on the other hand, increases from 0.70” D x 4.25” L to 1.50” D x 6.45” L over the range of just five dilators. Although it may seem minimal, the difference in diameter and length between each of VWell’s dilators could prove too uncomfortable for some patients to continue with dilator therapy.
Customer feedback for Intimate Rose Dilators includes the words “velvety-soft”, “comfortable & effective”, “feels life-like inside the vagina”, and “easy to use”. Many also mention that the matte finishing on these medical-grade silicone dilators provides an even softer and smoother experience compared to other competitors, and the fact that no handle is required to hold the dilators in place allows users to relax both the body and mind while dilating.
VWell dilators are also handle-free, however, in contrast to Intimate Rose dilators, positive feedback about the comfort of VWell dilators includes comments like “the firmness of the dilators does not hurt too bad” and “more comfortable then the acrylic set you get from your surgeon”. Although a semi-comfortable experience might feel better than the alternative vaginal tightness for some women, evidence shows that healing such a sensitive part of the female body is far more comfortable and effective with dilators made from soft medical-grade silicone.
Despite being a little more expensive than VWell, the Intimate Rose Dilator Set offers far more value for money given the dilator measurements, their FDA approval, documentation to prove they are made from medical-grade silicone, and that there are three extra dilators in the set.
At Intimate Rose, a set of eight dilators in progressively increasing sizes is sold for $179.99, and for those on a budget, individual dilators can also be purchased as needed, ranging in price from $16.99 for the smallest dilator to $44.99 for the largest.
At VWell, a set of five dilators in progressively increasing sizes is sold for $99.99, and there are no options to purchase individual dilators for those on a budget.
Vaginal dilators are tube-shaped medical devices that are designed to gently stretch tight vaginal or pelvic floor muscles. Used to alleviate anxiety and discomfort surrounding vaginal penetration or pain during sex, vaginal dilators also help treat several other conditions associated with the female genitals and pelvic floor.
Even though there are different types and brands of vaginal dilators available for purchase online, it is wise to do some research and ensure they are comfortable, effective, and made from body-safe material that protects sensitive vaginal skin. In this article, we discussed the differences between VWell dilators and Intimate Rose silicone dilators.
Very Well Health – Vaginal Dilators: What You Need to Know - https://www.verywellhealth.com/vaginal-dilators-5220401
The Pelvic Hub – Silicone Dilators vs Plastic Dilators - https://www.thepelvichub.com/post/silicone-dilators-vs-plastic-dilators
Mayo Clinic – Dysapeurnia - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/painful-intercourse/symptoms-causes/syc-20375967
Cleveland Clinic – Vaginismus - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15723-vaginismus
Intimate Rose – Sexual Function After Pelvic Floor Surgery - https://www.intimaterose.com/blogs/pelvic-pain/sex-after-pelvic-floor-surgery
Medicine Journal & Research Articles - Vaginal dilator use to promote sexual wellbeing after radiotherapy in gynecological cancer survivors- https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2022/01280/Vaginal_dilator_use_to_promote_sexual_wellbeing.46.aspx