Your comments were included in Table 2 of the published Clinical Opinion paper as noted below.
I have been sending a copy of this paper to new inquiries so they have a scientific basis for understanding vaginismus. I am also encouraging new patients to send a copy of this paper to their doctors both to get a more meaningful referral for treatment (which helps with insurance reimbursement) and so the doctors themselves can better understand this condition. I thought it would be worthwhile to make this publication available to anyone who would like an electronic copy. Just contact Cynthia or Lisa at my office and they will forward the file to you. I will also have them send a copy of a published Letter to the Editor explaining how vaginismus is still not taught in medical school, residency training and at meetings. Ask for the CLINICAL OPINION paper and the Letter to the Editor.
Here is the table that was published. I was somewhat surprised the journal included this Table!
What your patients do not want to hear (condescending remarks)
“Don’t be a baby”
“Can’t you just relax”
“It’s all in your head” (very common)
“Come back when you are more relaxed”
“Have a drink” (also common)
“You need to take a Valium before you come for an exam. It’s just because you are nervous.”
“You need to practice stretching your vagina”
“It’s just first time jitters”
“It will get better with time”
“Let me recommend some lubricants”
“You need to stop believing that your vagina is messed up because you are the one causing this and stopping yourself from having a normal sex life.” (This comment after successful treatment of severe vaginismus but crying because of the speculum exam.)
“The pain will go away after you have had sex a few times. You will get used to it.”
“You know what, I’m going to use the baby speculum” (which never worked)
“There’s nothing physically wrong with you”
“There must be something wrong with your relationship”
“Just tell yourself sex won’t hurt and it will be okay”
“I won’t examine you again until you receive sex therapy. Here is the name of a sex therapist that I recommend. After you see her, you can come back to try an exam.” –
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief!
Hi Dr. P. I am stunned that the journal included this but it also makes me so, so, so, so happy that they did. It is so very sad but so many women have heard and continue to hear these remarks concerning vaginismus. This is an excellent teaching tool for clinicians to read in order to further understand the condition and, as you stated, what patients DO NOT WANT TO HEAR.