Step 1: creating your support map

There are many places where you can go for help and for support throughout this process.

Some key ones are:

  • A gynecologist, urologist, therapist or clinical team that has experience in this process who can help you. Some might even have programs you can be part of to help meet your goals. There are often people you can call or email—like a nurse or a therapistScreen Shot 2016-03-06 at 11.52.01 AMwho can answer your questions as they come up during the process. Make sure you ask for their phone number and email address for any questions that come up at home.
  • A dilation ‘buddy’—Some clinics or doctors might pair you up with someone else who is about to start dilating or with someone who has already successfully gone through the process. Ask them if this is an option. If you think having someone like you to talk with about this process, ask your doctor or nurse.
  • There are also places online you can connect with others going through it. See a link here to one of the support communities, the AIS-DSD Support Group.
  • Depending on the relationships you have, members of your family, your friends, or even a romantic partner can offer support and encouragement.
  • This website! Dilation experts and young people just like you developed this site so you can have all these tools for your journey.

* Please note: To be safe in this process, we recommend partnering with a doctor or physical therapist that is experienced in dilation. We all have different needs and those specialists have helped us to navigate the process from start to finish.

Step 2