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Hi Ella_Belle, and welcome to the forums! I’m so sorry to hear about the pain and negative emotions you’ve experienced in your sexual life. While I wasn’t raised in an extremely strict religious environment, I was brought up with a negative, fear-based view of sex that I think definitely affected my ability to have a normal sex life. I dealt with vaginismus for about 10 years, a time which was filled with painful failed attempts, shame, rejection, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, and a lot of other negative experiences. I self-diagnosed my problem after a failed gynecological appointment and took several more years to actually seek treatment at the Maze Clinic (I ended up getting their botox procedure and dilating afterward).

I can tell you from experience that even coming here to share your story and own your experiences is a big step on the road to healing. I am now coming up on 4 years since my procedure and I can say how possible and how worth it it is to work to overcome this. Not just so you can have penetrative sex, but so you can regain confidence and self-possession and learn to trust your body again. The feeling of strength that can come from that healing is a power I take through every day with me and draw upon in times of struggle.

I hope you will continue this fight and keep dilating or seek whatever treatment most helps you. Please don’t hesitate to share your questions with us; there are so many women who know what you’re going through and would love to help you get to where you want to go. Best of luck as you keep working and you deserve so much happiness!