Dilation is an important part of the recovery process for transgender women who have undergone gender confirmation surgery (GCS). Dilation helps to keep the vagina open and prevent it from shrinking or closing.
The dilation process typically begins a few days after surgery. Your surgeon will give you dilators to use, and they will show you how to insert them. Dilators are smooth, plastic or silicone rods that come in different sizes. You will start with the smallest dilator and gradually work your way up to the largest.
Dilation should be done twice a day for at least 15 minutes each time. You may need to dilate more often in the early stages of recovery. It is important to be gentle when dilating, and to stop if you experience any pain.
As you dilate, the vagina will gradually stretch and become more elastic. The amount of time you need to dilate will decrease over time. Most transgender women are able to reduce their dilation frequency to once a week or less after a few months.
Dilation can be a challenging process, but it is important to remember that it is temporary. With time and patience, you will be able to dilate comfortably and maintain the vaginal depth and width that you desire.
Here are some tips for dilating:
⦁ Use a lubricant to make the process easier.
⦁ Start with the smallest dilator and gradually work your way up to the largest.
⦁ Be gentle and don’t force the dilator in.
⦁ Stop if you experience any pain.
⦁ Take your time and relax.
⦁ Listen to your body.
If you have any questions or concerns about dilation, talk to your doctor or surgeon. They can help you develop a dilation schedule that is right for you.
Dilation is an important aspect of post-operative care for transgender women who have undergone vaginoplasty (genital reconstruction surgery). Dilating helps maintain the depth and width of the neovagina and prevents the formation of scar tissue.
After vaginoplasty, your surgeon will provide specific instructions on when and how often to dilate, as well as guidance on the appropriate size and duration for each dilation session. Generally, in the initial post-operative period, dilation is performed multiple times a day, gradually decreasing in frequency over time. The duration of dilation sessions can vary but is typically around 15-20 minutes.
The dilation process involves inserting a dilator into the neovagina and gently applying pressure to stretch and expand the tissues. The size of the dilator used may increase over time as healing progresses. It’s crucial to use lubrication during dilation to minimize discomfort and potential injury to the delicate tissues.
Consistency and adherence to the dilation schedule are important for maintaining the depth and width of the neovagina. Skipping or reducing the frequency of dilation sessions can result in the contraction or narrowing of the vaginal canal.
It’s common for transgender women to continue dilating for several months to a year following surgery. Eventually, the frequency of dilation can be reduced to a maintenance schedule recommended by your surgeon.
It’s essential to closely follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions, attend scheduled follow-up appointments, and communicate any concerns or issues you may have during the healing process. Your surgeon and healthcare team will provide specific guidance and support based on your unique circumstances.