Vaginal dilaters in the prevention and treatment of stenosis and vaginal pain syndromes

Dikke G.B., Ostromenskiy V.V., Shcherbatykh E.Yu.

F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, Saint Petersburg, Russia

This article presents up-to-date information on the use of vaginal dilators in gynecology, taking into account the indications for their use and effectiveness. 
The findings of 36 articles found in the databases Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Google Scholar, eLibrary were analyzed over the period 2014–2023 using keywords.
The results of the analysis showed that there are the following indications for the use of vaginal dilators: condition after radiation therapy for cancer of the vulva, cervix, uterus, anogenital area (high risk of vaginal stenosis); scars/stenosis after episiotomy or perineal rupture during childbirth, vaginoplasty surgery (neovagina, vaginal hypoplasia/agenesis, or Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome); dyspareunia, vaginismus, vulvodynia, sclerosing complications of skin diseases of the external genitalia (sclerotic lichen, lichen planus). The use of vaginal dilators is effective in 75–81% of patients for the prevention of vaginal stenosis after radiation therapy for cancer of the genitalia and anogenital area; it is effective in the treatment of hypoplasia/agenesis of the vagina in 75%, and is also effective in stenosis caused by sclerotic lichen and lichen planus. The success of therapy depends on informing and educating patients.
Conclusion: The analysis of studies published over the past 10 years has shown the possibility of using vaginal dilators for various diseases, in particular for the prevention of vaginal stenosis after radiation therapy in patients treated for gynecological cancer, postpartum injuries, after gynecological operations on the vulva and vagina, as well as for stenosis caused by sclerotic lichen and lichen planus. Informing and educating patients influence the success of therapy. The use of vaginal dilators should become more widespread in clinical practice.

Authors’ contributions: Dikke G.B. – developing the design of the study, selection of publications on the subject of the article, analysis of the obtained data, writing the text of the manuscript; Ostromenskiy V.V., Shcherbatykh E.Yu. – search for publications, analysis of the data obtained for compliance with the inclusion criteria.
Conflicts of interest: The authors report no conflicts of interest and guarantee that the article is the original work of the authors.
Funding: The article was published with the support of Pentcroft Pharma Company.
For citation: Dikke G.B., Ostromenskiy V.V., Shcherbatykh E.Yu. Vaginal dilaters
in the prevention and treatment of stenosis and vaginal pain syndromes. 
Akusherstvo i Ginekologiya/Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2023; (12): 181-188 (in Russian)


vaginal dilators
vaginal stenosis
cancer radiation therapy
vaginal hypoplasia/agenesis
genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder
lichen sclerosis
lichen planus


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Received 18.12.2023

Accepted 21.12.2023

About the Authors

Galina B. Dikke, Dr. Med. Sci., Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a Course of Reproductive Medicine, F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, 22 Liter M, Moskovskiy Ave., Saint Petersburg, 190013, Russia,,
Vladimir V. Ostromenskiy, PhD, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a course of reproductive medicine, F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, 22 Liter M, Moskovskiy Ave., Saint Petersburg, 190013, Russia,,
Evgenia Yu. Shcherbatykh, PhD, Assistant of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a course in reproductive medicine, F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, 22 Liter M, Moskovskiy Ave., Saint Petersburg, 190013, Russia,
Corresponding author: Galina B. Dikke,

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