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How to Use a Vaginal Dilator Patient Guide

For patients who have finished pelvic radiation treatment.

Most of the information in this guide is for people who have finished pelvic radiation treatment. The information may not be right for people who have had vaginal reconstruction surgery (a new vagina was created).

Please talk to your health care team about how to use a dilator.

Using this guide:

Download a PDF of this guide (opens in a new window) or read it online by using the navigation links at the bottom of each page.

This guide will give you information about:

  • What a vaginal dilator is
  • Reasons to use a vaginal dilator
  • Where you can buy a vaginal dilator
  • When you should use a vaginal dilator
  • How to use a vaginal dilator
  • When to contact your health care team
  • How to contact your health care team

When should I contact my health care team?

Call your health care team right away if:

  • You have a fever of 38.3ºC (100.9ºF) or higher.
  • You have severe pain in your vagina and/or abdomen (belly area).
  • Your vagina is itchy.
  • You have discharge (fluid leaking) from your vagina that has a strong odor (smell).
  • You cannot put the dilator in your vagina at all.
  • You have bleeding from the vagina that is heavier than a light menstrual period and need to wear a pad.

Go to your nearest emergency room if:

  • You need to change a saturated pad every one to two hours because you are bleeding from the vagina.

How can I contact my health care team?

Important phone numbers:

  • On weekdays (Monday to Friday) 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.:
    Please call the Odette Cancer Centre phone number: 416-480-5000.

  • After hours on weekdays 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. and on weekends and statutory holidays (24 hours a day):
    Please call the after-hours phone line: 1-877-681-3057.

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