Vaginal dilator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plastic and silicone vaginal dilators
ZSI 200 NS vaginal expander

A vaginal dilator (sometimes called a vaginal trainer)[1] is an instrument used to gently stretch the vagina. They are used when the vagina has become narrowed (vaginal stenosis), such as after brachytherapy for gynecologic cancers,[2] and as therapy for vaginismus and other forms of dyspareunia.[3]

There is evidence for dilator use[4] across many different diagnoses with fair to good results. This includes following cancer treatments and for vaginal agenesis conditions. The evidence presents varying approaches and protocols.

Vaginal dilators, also called vaginal stents or vaginal expanders, can be inflatable and are used during surgeries.[5][6] Vaginal stents are routinely used in postoperative care for transgender patients who have undergone vaginoplasty as part of gender confirmation surgery. They are also used for various conditions, such as vaginal agenesis.[7] The vaginal expander is used immediately after surgery to keep the passage from healing, and regularly thereafter to maintain the viability of the neovagina. Frequency of use requirements decrease over time, but remains obligatory lifelong.[8][9]


With solid vaginal dilators, the patient starts with the smallest dilator size, then gradually increasing until the largest dilator size is reached. This practice can be accompanied by breathing exercises in order to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Dilation acts should not cause pain or bleeding.[10] Dilatation with rigid dilators must be done carefully as vaginal perforation and urethral injury may occur.[11][12] There is no consensus on the frequency and duration of using vaginal dilators.[13] In case of vaginal expanders, the therapist or the patient introduces the deflated balloon into the vagina and then inflates it gently until the required diameter is obtained.[7]

Image gallery[edit]

Diagrams of ZSI 200 NS vaginal expanders placed in the female vagina (left) and in the neovagina after vaginoplasty (right)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vaginismus". National Health Service. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  2. ^ Miles, Tracie; Johnson, Neal (2014). "Vaginal dilator therapy for women receiving pelvic radiotherapy". Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 9 (9): CD007291. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007291.pub3. PMC 6513398. PMID 25198150.
  3. ^ Idama, T. O.; Pring, D. W. (2000). "Vaginal dilator therapy-an outpatient gynaecological option in the management of dyspareunia". Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 20 (3): 303–05. doi:10.1080/01443610050009683. PMID 15512559. S2CID 218856132.
  4. ^ Olson, Amanda. "Frequently Asked Questions - Vaginal Dilators FAQ". Intimate Rose.
  5. ^ Coskun, Ayhan; Coban, Yusuf Kenan; Vardar, Mehmet Ali; Dalay, Ahmet Cemil (10 July 2007). "The use of a silicone-coated acrylic vaginal stent in McIndoe vaginoplasty and review of the literature concerning silicone-based vaginal stents: a case report". BMC Surgery. 7 (1): 13. doi:10.1186/1471-2482-7-13. PMC 1947946. PMID 17623058.
  6. ^ Barutçu, Ali; Akgüner, Muharrem (November 1998). "McIndoe Vaginoplasty with the Inflatable Vaginal Stent". Annals of Plastic Surgery. 41 (5): 568–569. doi:10.1097/00000637-199811000-00020. PMID 9827964.
  7. ^ a b Antoniadis, N; Charles, G; Mejías, I; Pabón, R (March 2011). "Vaginoplastia: modificación de la técnica de McIndoe usando esponja de gel hemostático" [Vaginoplasty: modification to McIndoe techique [sic] using hemostatic gel sponge]. Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana. 37 (1): 73–77. doi:10.4321/S0376-78922011000100010.
  8. ^ Rinzler, Carol Ann (12 May 2010). The Encyclopedia of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. Facts on File library of health and living. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-4381-2702-6. OCLC 223107099. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  9. ^ Georgiade, Gregory S.; Georgiade, Nicholas G. (1992). Textbook of plastic, maxillofacial, and reconstructive surgery. Baltimore, Maryland: Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0-683-03454-7. OCLC 455225627. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  10. ^ Psychosexual Team, Oxfordshire Sexual Health Service. "Vaginal Dilator Exercises for Psychosexual Therapy" (PDF). Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  11. ^ HOFFMAN, M (May 2003). "Risks of rigid dilation for a radiated vaginal cuff: two related rectovaginal fistulas". Obstetrics & Gynecology. 101 (5): 1125–1126. doi:10.1016/s0029-7844(02)02624-8. PMID 12738124. S2CID 40647600.
  12. ^ Lue, Kathy; Heinsimer, Kevin; Madiraju, SriGita K.; Rideout, Drew; Wiegand, Lucas (January 2020). "Urologic trauma from vaginal dilation for congenital vaginal stenosis: A newly-described and challenging complication". Urology Case Reports. 28: 101075. doi:10.1016/j.eucr.2019.101075. PMC 6880012. PMID 31788430.
  13. ^ Liu, Marisa; Juravic, Mark; Mazza, Genevieve; Krychman, Michael L. (January 2020). "Vaginal Dilators: Issues and Answers". Sexual Medicine Reviews. 9 (2): 212–220. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2019.11.005. PMID 32014450. S2CID 211026055.