Hey Caitlinp,

I’m not too active on the forum, but I saw your post and wanted to respond. I’ve only written one other time on the forum (pre-surgery) and believe it or not, I had the same exact questions as you. I, also am(was) single prior to my procedure and worried about the same things you do… in essence, I wondered about the following:
– would I be okay to go to the surgery alone without a partner, when it sounded like all the other patients were bringing their husbands or boyfriends
– after the surgery would I have the opportunity to “practice” and progress from dilation to intercourse considering I had no “long term partner” currently in my life
– since I am not in a long term relationship, would I be okay not to tell any potential partner about my “condition”

I had my surgery in early July 2012. My cousin attended with me… and after surpassing the initial nerves, I felt comfortable and great in NH during and after the procedure. Getting used to the dilation process was interesting… and stressful in the beginning, but I was determined to make progress and follow through on Dr.P’s program. I was dating someone casually before going NH and chose not to burden him or us with talk of vaginismus… prior to my trip, I was very “loose” and escaped any opportunity to get extremely physical with him. Prior to going to NH, I was also unable to insert a q-tip in, and had what Dr.P prescribed as stage 4 vaginismus, that I believe was/is largely due to abuse when I was younger and my own anxiety… all of which resulted in never having been able to achieve penetration.

Upon returning from surgery, I was determined and continued with the program. I got purple in, pink and got blue in only a few times with lots of difficulty. My muscles were extremely tight and Dr. P mentioned that it would take me a while to stretch them out with dilation. A little less than a month after surgery, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the guy I was seeing and although I was nervous (about vaginismus, not about him) I pretended that “it’d had been a while” and I wanted to take it slow. He totally understood and we were able to achieve penetration on our “first” physical night, with little pain, lots of excitement and a lot of fun! Since then, it’s been getting better as I’ve learned to understand what I like, feel less nerves and become a bit more open with myself… he still has no idea about my struggles with vaginismus, and every now and then comments on how much better it is “now that we know each other”. I sometimes dilate a bit before I see him, but sometimes I don’t if I don’t have much time. He likes it because it feels “tighter” and I am able to now enjoy the experience either way…

While in NH I had the opportunity to see two great husbands with the patients that were sharing my room… they were concerned for their wives and doing everything to help them. I have also heard of wonderful partners that have gone through a lot to support their wives and girlfriends through the struggle – I think that is amazing! In some ways, I think it’s really very difficult for single women to enter into that surrounding without the same support… after all, all women are there because they want to be loved (pun intended 🙂 and when you don’t have that directly by your side, it’s hard not to feel self concious.. jealous… or even stressed. Regardless though, on the flip side, I think that in some regard, there’s an advantage to being single – you don’t have to tell any new prospects in your life about your struggles with vaginismus (if you don’t want too) and there is a bit less pressure to perform. You move at your own pace and do what’s right for you… and in some ways, that’s very freeing and liberating.

Hope this answers your questions and concerns about being single and going through pre and post surgery. All the best to you (and all the other single ladies out there). I definitely feel for you… and understand what you are going through. Be positive, dilate and be strong (-: