If you're suffering from hemorrhoids, then you might be wondering how to use rectal dilators in order to treat your condition. A hemorrhoid is an unusually large vein, either inside (internal hemorrhoid) or outside (external hemorrhoid) of the anal sphincter and beneath the surface of the mucous membrane. Hemorrhoids range in discomfort from those that cannot be felt at all to those that are very painful.
To use a rectal dilator, you will need:
- A water-soluble lubricant
- An anal dilator
- Find a comfortable position. Many patients prefer to lie on their left side. However, any comfortable position is appropriate.
- Lubricate both the anal canal and the tip of the dilator. Proper lubrication will help prevent potential tearing or discomfort due to dryness. Do not use a petroleum-based lubricant because it will increase your risk of infection and be more difficult to wash off.
- Insertion. The tip of the dilator should be positioned lightly and at a right angle to the rectum. Exhale and gently ease the dilator into the anal canal. Breathing deeply and inching the dilator deeper with each exhalation will aid penetration.
- Do not continue if you become tense. Practice controlled breathing and attempt to relax. Remove the dilator if there is any chance you might become hurt or injured.
- The dilator is fully inserted once the cuff (the flat end) is in contact with the skin. At this point it can be removed immediately. It is not necessary for the dilator to remain within the anal canal.
- Wash and dry the dilator thoroughly. Hygiene is important to avoid risk of infection during the next use of the rectal dilator. Use a mild hypoallergenic soap and warm water.
- Schedule for use of anal dilator: Once a day for the first month, every other day for the second month, or twice a week for the third month
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions! Do not use improperly. Consult with your health care provider regarding any questions that may arise.
Common causes of hemorrhoids include:
- Regular problems with constipation or diarrhea
- Consuming a low fiber diet
- Sitting for long periods at a time
- A genetic predisposition
Treatments for hemorrhoids include:
- Consuming more fiber
- Consuming more fluids
- NSAID analgesics
- Sitz Baths
- Rectal Dilators
- Surgery for extreme cases