There are some things in life that get old. Fashion trends. Slang terms. Pokemon. Cars. Textbooks.
But one thing that never gets old is what it is like sitting with a woman who has just had pain-free intercourse after years of suffering from vaginismus. When patients with vaginismus first come here, many of them report feeling like there has been a dark cloud following them through life. Life may be going well in other areas, but when it comes to sex, they feel so stunted, isolated, and stuck in a cocoon of hopelessness. There are no words to describe the pain, anguish, and loss that often accompanies vaginismus; it’s so much more than just “I can’t have sex”.
Within weeks of starting treatment, the cocoon starts to get a crack of light from the outside, a sense that perhaps it won’t have to be dark forever. And sure enough, as time goes on, a transformation starts to become apparent. No longer feeling trapped, despair is replaced by hope, feeling stuck is replaced by feeling rejuvenated. Getting to pain-free intercourse doesn’t make you fly, but it can feel like you now have the wings to do so. Many patients get emotional when getting to this point- sometimes I get emotional too- because the ability to fly often exceeds not just sexuality functioning, but life in general.
Vaginismus information and support tends to live on the Internet. For a woman with vaginismus, there can be years of hiding out, searching for an answer, until she finds the right help. I often wish that it wasn’t way; that vaginismus was more known and understood, that it wasn’t so dark for sufferers. But there can be a light at the end of the tunnel: Today, there are effective treatments for vaginismus and it doesn’t have to mean living a life of detachment and loneliness. Transformation can happen, you don’t need to be stuck in the cocoon forever, and one day, you can have wings to fly.