Dilateria is derived from Laminaria Hyperborea, a seaweed that grows in the waters of northern Europe.

The stipe, or stem, is dried, sized and subsequently hand-processed to assure a proper Rounding of the tip and a uniform diameter. A string is attached for ease in location, and a disc is placed on the end to control migration further into the cervical canal.

A Dilateria is capable of absorbing fluids from the uterine cervix. Gradual swelling of the Dilateria (up to four times its diameter) results in a simultaneous gradual symmetrical dilation of the cervical canal and softening of cervical tissue.

The Dilateria diameter swells most within the first 4 to 6 hours after insertion and may continue to swell for 12 hours or more. Swelling can be accelerated when saturated gauze Squares are used to hold the Dilateria in place immediately after insertion. For more than a century, laminaria has been preferred by many physicians, who have found its gradual dilation far less traumatic than rapid dilation. Today, Laminaria Hyperborea is commonly used as a dilation aid. Dilateria is visible on ultrasound.


  • Cervical dilation
  • Softening of the cervix
  • Cervical stenosis
    A. related to dysmenorrhea
    B. considered a possible cause of infertility
    C. resulting from cauterization or conization
  • Placement and removal of intrauterine devices
  • Induction of labor
  • Improving visualization at colposcopy
  • Drainage of uterine cavity
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Uterine curettage
  • Suction cannula aspiration


  • Dilateria should not be used in the presence of a vaginal, cervical or pelvic infection. The Infection must be treated before Dilateria insertion is attempted.
  • A “non-compliant” patient - patient must return within 24 hours for removal of Dilateria.
  • Incidence of infectious complication is possible.


  • Purpose of Dilateria insertion
  • Advantages of Dilateria over traditional means of cervical dilation
  • Risk of infection if patient does not return as instructed
  • Other risks if Dilateria is left in place over 24 hours
  • Patient may feel discomfort similar to a menstrual cramp while Dilateria is in place.
  • Patient is to call her physician immediately should she develop a fever over 100°F (38°C), chills, pain, or vaginal bleeding while Dilateria is in place.
  • Report if Dilateria falls out.
  • Under no circumstances should patient try to remove Dilateria herself