I’m 23 years old, and I have had vaginismus since I tried to use a tampon at 14 – and simply couldn’t do it! The pain and fear was so overwhelming, and I felt so embarrassed. Years went by and I tried to ignore it. My first pelvic exam – or an attempt at one – was a complete nightmare. My legs clamped shut, I couldn’t stop sobbing, and the doctor was clearly annoyed by my emotional reaction. Over the following three years, I was diagnosed with vulvodynia, vestibulitis, myofascial pain syndrome, vaginismus…every doctor had a different idea. I tried physical therapy, myofascial therapy, lidocaine ointment, and was even given dilators. However, they were plastic and rock-hard, covered the three largest sizes, and no one told me anything about how to use them. I eventually gave up after my health system ran out of ideas, and I was literally told, “we’re not sure what to try next.” The only remaining option was to have a vestibulectomy, which terrified me…and I had recently become engaged. I began to sink into a deep depression, scared that my unsolvable problem would eventually kill our relationship.
Long story short, I found Dr. Pacik’s website after countless hours of web-searching. I did extensive research into his facility and the procedure, and its non-invasive nature and strong focus on dilation training and sex counseling sounded very promising. My doctors were completely unfamiliar with the relatively new Botox procedure, and were convinced that the PT sessions would work if I just “gave it more time.” Unfortunately, as a Lamont level 5, I could barely tolerate even the smallest of dilators – home dilation exercises were next to impossible. After the initial consultation, thorough research on the procedure, and thorough one-on-one communication with Dr. Pacik, I was thrilled to give this a shot. So in June 2011, my fiance and I spent two days in New Hampshire as I underwent the Botox procedure. On the first day, I talked with Dr. Pacik and his staff before the procedure, and everyone was so kind and reassuring. The anesthesiologist even personally introduced himself! I also especially remember Ellen as being so cheerful and calming every step of the way. They encouraged my fiance to hold my hand as they put me under, and he was there throughout the whole procedure. Dr. Pacik explained the entire procedure to him as it was occurring, and he was able to see my muscle spasms first-hand. When I woke up about 30 minutes later with the blue dilator (largest size!) inside me with no pain, I burst into tears because I was so happy. The second day was extensive dilation training, sex counseling…and even a practice pelvic exam (!) with Ellen. This was SO helpful! I went home feeling so empowered and hopeful.
It’s been about six months since I had the procedure done, and I am virtually pain free!! Life without vaginismus IS possible, and you are NOT alone. =)