Hi Ella_Belle (and the others who offered responses). Thank you for sharing your story! I definitely connected with some of the things you shared. I just joined this forum and shared my story in the new members section. I am going to share it here too:
Hello. I was so glad to come across this page. I have felt like I have been alone in this journey of vaginismus.
I became a Christian when I was a teenager. I was taught that sex was a good thing but only within a marriage relationship. I decided to be abstinent until I got married. Flash forward to a few years ago on my wedding night – sex was not possible for us. My mind was saying yes but my body was saying no, and this was very confusing for me. That part of my wedding night was certainly not what we had envisioned.
After some research, speaking with my doctor, and seeing a gynaecologist I was diagnosed with vaginismus. This provided some insight into how my body was reacting but at the same time this diagnosis was crippling. I felt so much shame and hurt. These questions always went through my head: How is this going to impact my marriage? What is it going to take for us to have penetrative sex? Why is sex so easy for others? Am I going to be able to conceive? Why me?
My husband and I have been married for over 2 years now and still not been able to have PIV sex. I am thankful to have such a supportive and patient husband through this process. Within the first year of our marriage we accessed some online counselling. This counsellor recommended some books for us to work through: Restoring the Pleasure (Penner & Penner) and Becoming Orgasmic (Heiman & LoPiccolo) which I found to be helpful if we remained diligent in the suggestions/tips. This counselling didn’t last long as we didn’t have insurance coverage at the time and couldn’t afford to continue our sessions. I also participated in pelvic floor physiotherapy. My PT was amazing and non-judgemental. She recommended various stretches and techniques to help me relax my pelvic floor. Again, this therapy was discontinued as we didn’t have the coverage. During this time I started using vaginal dilators as well (I used a silicone dilator kit with 5 different sizes). When I first started I was so anxious to use the first one, but I made gradual process to the next sizes. My PT recommended that I use these dilators at least 4 times a week for about 20-30 minutes.
After using the dilators for almost 2 years I can happily say that I am between size 4-5! I have to admit that I gave up on the dilators several times and didn’t use them for periods of time. I gave up on them because I was experiencing frustrating with my progress. In addition, the time I spent using the dilators was not enjoyable so I dreaded that time that I needed to use them. Lately I’ve been using them about twice a week, although I know I should be doing it more often.
During the beginning of this journey for me I would have many nights a week where I would just cry, questioning “why me?” and “when am I finally going to be able to have sex?” I’m at a point now where I’ve accepted my vaginismus and know that it can be treated. I truly believe that I would have made further progress by now if I had a support network around me that I can talk to. I’ve only told a few close friends about my vaginismus but it is not something I think they feel comfortable speaking about with me. I now have insurance coverage so I am looking into going back to see my pelvic floor PT and to access psychosexual therapy.
I believe one of the main causes of my vaginismus is that in my intimate relationships prior to marriage I constantly told myself “no” to sexual pleasure, but then when the wedding night came along I needed to tell myself “yes”. It was really hard to make this sudden switch. Although I still believe sex is intended for marriage, I believe faith communities can handle this message in a more positive way.
I hope through this forum I can learn more about people’s journey with vaginismus, tips for treatment, and overall peer support. I think it would be helpful to hear from people who are a part, or used to be a part, of a faith community and their suggestions on how children/youth can be raised in a way that sees sex in a positive light and will hopefully prevent some woman from having vaginismus in the future.
Thank you for reading my story.