Being unavailable: The burden of vaginismus.

Like other types of sexual dysfunction, vaginismus can be like an ugly octopus that has multiple legs extending into various areas of a woman’s life. The effects can be pervasive and show up in her confidence, in her relationships, in her body image, in her sexuality, and her overall sense of well-being.

Many patients have shared that they feel like their vaginismus makes them “unavailable” on several levels. Sexually, they feel like they aren’t available to have intercourse and with time this can extend to non-intercourse sex as well. For some, that can translate into becoming unavailable from a relationship perspective; many of our patients who are single and looking for a partner have expressed feeling like they either refuse to pursue any relationships, or they find themselves sabotaging things before it can get serious. For patients in partnered relationships, many report feeling like they’ve become emotionally unavailable from their partners because they don’t want things to lead to sex, which for them equals pain.

Several women have shared the sentiment that their vaginimus makes them feel like their best self is unavailable; the self that can feel secure, open to love, and excited for life’s adventures. For those who have spent years suffering from vaginismus and looking for solutions, there can be a sense of grief for the years lost, and feeling like they haven’t been available to experience joy from the other things in life because the weight of the vaginismus can get so heavy.

We can’t give back the time that may be lost in the pain and isolation of vaginismus… but we can provide the opportunity to resolve the problem and enable sufferers to become available for love, life, and joy — in ways that felt unattainable before.

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