I am really strugling with using the dilators - psychological block - any advice?

Thank you 


Hey, I have used mine a few times and they are.not the most pleasant I didn't have external beam radiation just the brachytherapy although it was recommended I still use them regularly. I've just gone the good old fashioned way with my partner (sorry tmi lol) I haven't experienced much pain and had no bleeding. When I did use them I put some music on distracted myself a wee play list timed perfectly so I knew when they were done it was over :). Build up the time slowly and try not over think it I know it's easier said than done it feels so clinical. You could try getting something else from Ann summers that isn't as clinical looking to make it a bit more appealing. Are you tense and uncomfortable or just can't bring yourself to do it? Sorry that's probably not much help just thinking out loud :) xx

Hi Charlene

i had external radiotherapy and brachytherapy and having not had children I have shrunk a lot. The doctors keep saying that I must use the dilators otherwise I may need surgery but this just adds to the pressure & enormity of the task!

i may look at Ann Summers not try & make it a bit more normal!

Thanks for your help.

Louise x


I completely relate to how you are feeling, I used to hate using mine! I just had brachy after my hysterectomy but was also advised to use them 3 to 4 times a week, indefinitely.
Every time I got it out I felt I took ten steps back from my emotional recovery, it was a constant reminder I’d had cancer. They are also cold, hard and salmon pink so nothing appealing about it at all!!

So I named mine (Fernando) and it became a bit of a joke amongst my friends. Start with the very smallest one and use lots of lube ( I use Super Slik, you can get it on amazon and it lasts forever) and take lots of time before you move up a size. I got to the 3rd one and felt that was enough!
I now only use mine once a week or so, nearly 2 and a half years on, and it seems to be enough.
I did have some bleeding last summer so try not to panic if that happens, I was told it’s because radiotherapy thins the blood vessels in the vagina.

To be honest the only reason I carried on using them was because I was determined cancer wasn’t taking my sex life along with everything else and that kept me going!

Good luck xx

Louise, Having put up with the NHS version for 9 months, I finally decided to go to Ann Summers just last week and took a bold friend with me. They have many different sizes and shapes that you can see and some they are a lot more flexible than the NHS version. Get some Lube to help too. 

If you don't want to go into the shop, as I looked left and right in case anyone saw me, then order online. Although the girl in the shop was very helpful.Think she thought I was taking the  micky as I told her I'm supposed to use one on medical advice.

Definitely recommend you try for your own sake. 

Good luck!


Thank you for your advice Ann Summers here I come! X


Hi there, i was actually diagnosed and under went treatment abroad almost 2 years ago, i also had chemo x4, external radiotherapy x 25 and brachytherapy x4, the treatment I received was first class but there were no support groups and no-one ever mentioned the need to use dilators - thank god for this and other sites that explained in English how important it was to use them, ordered some online and with lots of lub started using the smallest one about 6 weeks after last treatment. I was petrified and had no clue whether I should really be using them. I really don't like having to use them weekly but without that my check up examinations would be impossible and sex would be completely off the cards! 

Be patient and don't rush things, our bodies are amazing you just need to give it time and use them regularly going forward.

wishing you all the very best.


Hi Julia

Thank you for your message much appreciated.

There is a West Midlands support / info/ awareness group being set up at the moment - would you be interested in this?

its true after treatment you feel very much left on your own 

Louise x