It happened again today! A prospective patient called the center to make an appointment because she could not manage to have vaginal penetration. She felt that all she needed was a therapist because she had already been seen by her OB/GYN who said “everything was fine.” She was insistent that she did not need a “physical exam.” The front desk passed the call on to me to explore her problem to make sure we address all of her needs.
The conversation with me went something like this:
Me: “What happens when your husband tries to enter you with his penis?”
She: “He feels like he’s hitting a wall and can’t get in.”
Me: “Okay. Do you stop him? Are you scared or nervous?”
She: “Not at all. That’s why it’s so perplexing.”
Me: “Why does your GYN think there is no physical problem?”
She: “Because she looked in my vagina and everything looked fine.”
Me: “Did she actually try to insert something the size of a penis into your vagina or did she just use a speculum (which is much smaller)?”
She: “Uh… no…. she didn’t put anything larger than a speculum in…but she said…”
Me: “Why don’t you come in? I’ll bet we’ll figure out what the problem is…and frankly, I don’t think it’s in your head.”
We did it again! We saved this woman from a year of talk therapy which, alone, probably wouldn’t have gotten her anywhere closer to her goal.
I can’t really make this message any clearer. If you can’t achieve penetration (and you want to) either because you are scared, it hurts or it just plain won’t go in, seek out professional help from someone who knows how to handle this. You’ll be so glad you did!