Hi Michael. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so very sorry to read your story and want you to sincerely know that I am here for you as well as your wife. I suffered with primary vaginismus for 11 years of my relationship which included 5 years of my marriage. Many times, I felt terribly guilty and just so many emotions as I did not know how to cure it and lost all hope that we ever would. I tried dilating on my own and PT and neither worked which made it worse and me even more depressed and hopeless. It was a very dark time. I found out about Dr. Pacik through an on-line yahoo Forum and contacted the office. From my first contact, I felt how much Dr. Pacik as well as all of the staff truly cared about both me as well as my husband. They included him in many of our conversations and so much in the treatment and after and, for the first time, made me realize that this was a condition that we were overcoming together. I was cured from my 15+ year struggle with this condition, including 11-year relationship/5-year marriage within 1 week of receiving this treatment and continue to be free of it today. I am not sure if you want to do this, but if it helps, please, please pass this letter on to your wife from me (see below). I am, again, so sorry that you both are going through this and please know we are all here to support you!!!!
Dear Mrs. Michael:
I am writing you this anonymous letter tonight from Boston, MA. I help to moderate the VaginismusMD Forum created by Dr. Peter Pacik in Manchester, NH. I had primary vaginismus for 15 years, which included my 11 year relationship / 5 year marriage. During this time period, I tried so many different methods of treating it. I ordered the kit and workbook from vaginismus.com. I tried and tried and tried and tried to insert even the smallest dilator but had no success with it. I completed the workbook in-depth and tried so hard to “just relax” as the doctors had told me to do and then it wouldn’t hurt, but it was still physically impossible. Every time I tried to insert anything at all, it caused excruciating pain and felt like there was a wall of resistance (“the great wall” as my husband called it). This went on for years. Every single Jan. 1, I always make a list of items I would like to accomplish in the coming year, and “FIX V” was at the top of my list for countless years. After no progress with dilating on my own, I tried doing pelvic-floor PT. I really liked the Physical Therapist but made no progress at all in the few sessions I tried because I could not relax enough to do the exercises and, again, felt like trying to insert anything at all was impossible because of hitting the wall. During this time, I felt terribly guilty and so, so many different emotions – depressed about the situation, anxious to find some type of cure, worried about the future, and very hopeless many times that I would ever be cured. I felt like it was taking a significant toll on me as a person and there were many times that I considered ending my relationship/marriage to release my husband because of the emotions that I was feeling having vaginismus. He was so, so supportive during this time and was there for me every single step of the way but he hated seeing me feel the way that I did then and we both prayed daily to find a cure.
In 2011, I belonged to a yahoo Forum about vaginismus. I joined and never posted but read all of the other members posts. In May, I was fortunate enough to see a new post from one of these Forum members about Dr. Pacik and his comprehensive treatment program, which included Botox injections with progressive dilation as well as counseling.I remember reading and re-reading this post and then having my husband read it and then both deciding to contact the office and give it a try. I was afraid to make the call to the office but, after a couple of hours of waiting, did and from my very first contact, Dr. Pacik and all of his staff were so friendly, helpful, and kind and we both could tell how much they cared. Another welcoming factor for both of us was how much they knew about the condition of vaginismus and both the physical as well as emotional aspects that go along with this and what we had been going through. We then read his book together and I cried after reading the Stories. For the first time, I felt like there were other people out there with this problem too and we weren’t the only ones. I then met him for a consult in Manchester and the way that he was in our telephone conversations is the exact same way that he is in person – kind, caring, and so, so knowledgeable about the condition. I also had the chance to meet Ellen that day and she was the exact same way. I had so many questions (i.e. safety of Botox; extreme fear of dilating; fear that it would never work and I would fail; and so many more) and they both patiently and very thoroughly explained all of these to me in detail. It was so informative and I felt hope that I hadn’t felt in years. We booked the procedure for June.
I underwent the procedure on June 27, 2011 with my husband right by my side. Concerning the emotional aspects of this treatment program and vaginismus as a whole, Dr. Pacik and his staff treated us like no clinician ever had and we could feel in our heart and know that they cared so much. I experienced a tremendous amount of anxiety on the day of the procedure and I received a tremendous amount of support from Dr. Pacik and the staff prior to the procedure. I was also given IV Verced prior to going into the procedure room and this worked magnificantly to relax me. All of my physical symptoms of anxiety that I had experienced during my past ob/gyn visits weren’t there and I felt relaxed, supported, and ready to face vaginismus head on. I had the procedure and remember waking up with the largest dilator inside of me. This was the first time in my life that something was inside of me. My husband and I were both in absolute shock but so happy. I felt like I wasn’t broken and it really felt surreal that a large sized dilator was inside of me when I wasn’t able to insert a q-tip for so many years. I then relaxed in the recovery room with heated blankets and my husband sitting right by my side and holding my hand. I then practiced removing this dilator and re-inserting it. It was liberally coated with lidocaine/surgilube and the resistance feeling that I had always had (i.e. the brick wall) wasn’t there. I could now insert, remove, and reinsert these dilators. I then slept with the medium sized dilator in the evening of day 1. This did not cause physical pain but I simply felt strange at times because something was inside of me and a little uncomfortable/sore at times. I found that taking a Tylenol PM helped me a lot this night. On day 2, I returned to the office and practiced, again, inserting, removing, and reinserting the 3 medium to largest sized dilators. Also, on day 2, Dr. Pacik and Ellen provided us with comprehensive counseling regarding tips for transitioning to intercourse and building our intimacy within our marriage post-vaginismus. I recall returning home and practicing very hard with the dilators. I dilated for 2 hours per day and every other night and sent Dr. Pacik and his staff daily dilation logs which also addressed any issues that I had post-procedure with discomfort as well as anxiety. Thereafter, on July 4, 2011, seven days post-procedure, I dilated for 2 hours with the largest blue dilator and my husband and I decided to try intercourse. We both decided that there was no pressure if it didn’t work. We were intimate with the dilators and he removed the largest blue dilator and gently inserted himself in. It went right in with NO resistance and we even tried thrusting. WE DID IT AND FINALLY ACHIEVED INTERCOURSE!!!!!! Thereafter, it took us 3-6 months until we got into a rhythym and discovered how to turn robotic and just-happy-to-be-working intercourse into pleasurable love-making. This step also required post-procedure follow-up and communication with the office which helped greatly. Today, I am 100% cured from my struggles with vaginismus and believe in my heart that this never would’ve been possible without a physician and staff who truly cared and all of the important elements of the treatment program.
I encourage you to join the VaginismusMD Forum and please, please know that you have a strong community of support in your journey of overcoming, including women who either currently have or have had vaginismus; family members and friends affected by the condition; and clinicians who universally work to better understand and treat vaginismus as a whole, including both the physical as well as emotional components.