Vaginal dilators have been a vital component of vaginismus treatment. They may be used as a home kit for self-treatment or by a clinician attending to the condition.
When trying to self-treat with dilators, success is variable: some will be successful, some will continue to struggle, and some won’t be able to use even the smallest in the set as they are just too scared to insert anything into their vagina or are terrified of the pain they anticipate. This is when you need to weigh the options of self-treatment vs. seeking professional help.
On another note, a common suggestion for the penetrative ‘pain’ is to apply Lidocaine, a numbing preparation, to the tip of the dilator to neutralize the adverse sensation upon insertion. Women are often instructed to use this anesthetic when transitioning to vaginal intercourse or even for ongoing intercourse.
A numbing cream sounds like a good, easy solution. Unfortunately, we do not believe so because it does not address the underlying stress response, which is THE source/cause of the vaginismus. There is a risk of becoming dependent on it, which does not lend to normal use of the healthy – albeit nervous – vagina.
Choose your options wisely. There is no reason to live with vaginismus.