Silent, creeping narrowing of vaginal introitus

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I'm wondering whether it would be proactive to regularly dilate this opening (even with warm oily fingers). I've been abstaining from sex for a year – too painful. Silly me, I've been using a magnifying shaving mirror to inspect my undercarriage nightly and last night it occurred to me to look with a regular mirror. Whoa! I'm a lot narrower than I thought! About two fingers. What I've been noticing in my inspections has been the narrowing and elongation of my perineum. I took that to be a tightening of the flesh from repeated tearing. But now I see it's that the 'shore' of the perineum is sneaking up on the vagina. Like a beach getting wider as the lake's water level drops.

My goal (a modest one) is to always be able to pee. So I think I might make a practice of massaging – slightly stretching that circle every night when applying my oily stuff. Not at the same time as applying Dermovate/clobetasol.

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  • Posted

    Yes good idea. I do it sometimes as well when applying my stuff. I too am noticing that bridge of skin creeping over the opening a little more and its tearing more often. My gyn says sex is a good thing for vulva and vaginal health and I always felt having intercourse would help keep it stretched. But not sure its enough cause I still get tiny tears then have to wait a week or so for healing.  May eventually need to use dialators.

    Im still hoping the estrogen cream will start making the skin more elastic.

    Will definitely start self massaging more often. 

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    • Posted

      I don't think it's that sex is not enough – I think sex is too much. Manual self massage has a built-in brake. No way will we tear ourselves.
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  • Posted

    Yes good idea. I do it sometimes as well when applying my stuff. I too am noticing that bridge of skin creeping over the opening a little more and its tearing more often. My gyn says sex is a good thing for vulva and vaginal health and I always felt having intercourse would help keep it stretched. But not sure its enough cause I still get tiny tears then have to wait a week or so for healing.  May eventually need to use dialators.

    Im still hoping the estrogen cream will start making the skin more elastic.

    Will definitely start self massaging more often. 

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  • Posted

    Yes a good idea, morall, I bought dilators a while ago but not got them out yet but I think I should, my gyny said to rub a little clob along this bridge. My fear is closing up.
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  • Posted

    I've just Googled vaginal dilators. They're very phallic – they seem to be meant to dilate the entire interior. I'm inclined to think fingers will be superior for stretching the tightening outer bridges and hardened surface. It's mostly that fourchette bridge at the back, so I'm thinking just working that back & forth a bit. Tonight's my soak/clob night, so I'll start in the bath ...
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    • Posted

      Yeah, that's why I'm not enlisting my husband. I'll know when to stop. The slightest friction tends to stir up the yeast. Maybe 'massage' is the wrong term. That's friction. Maybe just gentle stretching. Little, but often. The theory that sex will take care of it doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe for general post-menopausal atrophy, but this hard skin bridge is entirely different.
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    • Posted

      I was just talking to my sister, who's a nurse. She's used dilators on patients – 15 minutes three times a day. These are patients with raw surfaces that want to heal shut. So to be proactive you wouldn't think you'd need more than once a day. Maybe I should order a set. Slip one in and sit at the computer, I could work that into my schedule.
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    • Posted

      That is if these things are flexing.  Otherwise you'll need what I call 'the lay sit'.  I use one of these tables on wheels of which part rides under my chair.  Can then still work on my laptop.  Perhaps a thought.  
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    • Posted

      Oh, I see. Too stiff to sit up with.

      I found a pamphlet on dilator use online from Ottawa Hospital.

      Use the dilator or have vaginal penetration a minimum of three times a week.

      Dilators can be used in the shower or bath

      Once the dilator is inside your vagina, use a forward and backward motion to move the dilator, then a left to right motion. If possible, gently rotate the dilator.

      Use the dilator for five to ten minutes each time. Practice doing pelvic floor exercises (Kegel) while the dilator is in your vagina.

      Remove the dilator by slowly rotating it in clockwise / anticlockwise movements as you withdraw it.

      You may use vibrators instead of dilators if you prefer.

      Wash the dilator with hot water and gentle fatted soap such as Dove. Rinse well. Dry well and store in a clean, dry place.

      The dilator does not need to be sterile.

      Massage muscle pump cycle

      If you are struggling to make progress with the dilators, massaging the inner walls of the vagina and stretching the entrance first may help.

      Sit comfortably on your bed, pillows behind you for support, with your knees comfortably bent.

      Massage the walls of the vaginal between 3, 6 and 9 O’clock with your lubricated thumb or finger.

      Alternate, a one minute massage with five to ten Kegel exercises, feeling the muscles contract and relax equally under your finger or thumb. The pumping action created by the movement of the muscles should help to improve the blood supply and health of the vaginal tissues. Hook your thumb or finger around the entrance of the vagina and stretching firmly.

      Move your thumb to another part of the vulva clock face and repeat the massage-muscle pump cycle.

      This is very much like what I was going to try.

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  • Posted

    Hi Morrell--I was given some dialators to use when I saw a practitioner this past spring.  At the time we thought that it might be menopause causing the narrowing and pain during sex, but later found it was LS.  I tried them for a while, but have held off for months now fearing that the stress might add to the Koebner effect.  When I tried them nightly for a couple of weeks, it felt like I was back to square one EACH night--that tissue just didn't want to stay stretchy like normal vaginal tissue.  At the time, I finally concluded that until I was in remission with normal stretchy skin, it didn't make sense to keep pulling on taut, tight, damaged skin.  I don't know how I feel about it at this point--ambivalent, I guess.  The dialators that I was given are rigid, bullet-shaped devices.  A flexible dildo might be more user friendly.  Please report back on your thoughts and progress.  --Suzanne
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    • Posted

      I looked up dilators last night. The biggest one in the set is smaller than me. They're for post-op and cancer patients who are all raw and there's fear of healing closed, like Hanny. And they're for the whole length of the vagina, while we just have the outside edge growing tighter.

      Last night was clob night, so I put half a cup of baking soda (like we said) in the water and soaked for five minutes before trying two, then three fingers. No rubbing or scraping. Only Kegels and a little gentle stretching of the bridge this way and that, but mostly Kegels for ten minutes. Then just soaking for the last five minutes. No bad effects afterwards.

      This I think is a good preventitive routine for after sex is already impossible or too painful / irritating. I'll do it twice a week on clob nights. It's not unpleasant or technical, just a good substitute for the stretching of regular sex. The dilator pamphlet said three times a week, but I think this is good for longterm prevention.

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    • Posted

      Sounds like a good plan with the soak and the gentle stretching with fingers. My pelvic specialist also said that she thought it was important to keep the area not only stretched at least a couple of times per week, but also healthy through sexual stimulation (self or other). She thinks that sex and orgasm keeps the tissues healthier by design and bloodflow.  I have not been keeping up on my "homework" in either case.  
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    • Posted

      Orgasms are not in my repertoire. Clitoris has been buried too long. The friction would be very bad. I guess the hormonal stimulation is good. So it's a downward spiral we try and slow down.
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    • Posted

      Right--it is a downward spiral we try to slow.  To mix my metaphors, I've noticed that it's also a vicious cycle.  The changes definitely make me not feel very sexy, so I retreat, and then become less interested, and so on.
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    • Posted

      Yeah, I spent a long time on that road. I don't feel sexy, but I do feel loved. I watched Pretty Woman again the other night. These two naive hookers make the rule that there's no kissing on the mouth, because it's 'too personal'. My guy does a wet shave with a razor every evening so we have smooth face to smooth face in bed. I don't think I've ever appreciated a man's style of lovemaking more than this. Yes, it's a paradigm shift, but did we really expect more, when we were 25, of what life would be like in our sixties? I didn't.
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    • Posted

      I guess when I was young that I didn't expect an active sex life late in life.  However, I don't think that my partner (who is several years older than I am) has come to the same conclusion. smile
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