Hi Richelle,

Thank you so much for posting – we’re so glad you found us! I”m sorry your first penetrative experience was so painful and traumatic.

The short answer as to whether or not you have vaginismus is – I’m not sure. And here are some potential reasons why:

1. It was the one and only time you’ve had intercourse, and one experience cannot tell a story. It’s natural for anyone to be at least a little anxious their first time out and this may have played a role. Was this something you felt totally ready to do, or was there any apprehension? Any of these things can affect the experience.
2. You said you there wasn’t a lot of foreplay (and timing preferences are different for everyone). This could possibly result in vaginal muscles that may have just needed a little more warm-up time.
3. If you were using a condom, you might be sensitive to the material. You can try lots of different options (this doesn’t explain the vaginal tightness nor the shaking of your legs, but it’s something to keep in mind for overall comfort).
4. A physical exam by a trusted provider familiar with vaginismus is best tool for formal diagnosis.

I want to stress 2 things: first – NONE of the above is about blame, just potential reasons to explore. Secondly – IF you discover that you do have vaginismus, please know that it is a highly treatable condition! RE: tips for second time around: make sure first and foremost it happens on YOUR terms (for now and forever!). And if your boyfriend used a condom (which we recommend for your safety and pregnancy prevention), make sure the lube you use does not break down the integrity of the condom. Also, communication with your boyfriend about your first time might go a long way in terms of expressing what your needs are going forward. We get this can be awkward but no matter what, ensure that you are doing something to mitigate your anxiety (assuming having penetrative sex is what you want to do).

We treat women ages 17 and up here at Maze; we’d be happy to offer a free 10-minute consult for more information and resources if you’d like to call us. Wishing you all my best, and let us know how we can support you!