10 Reasons You Delayed Treatment

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    Hi ladies. In a post last week, Dr. Pacik asked what some personal reasons may have been for some patients in delaying treatment. This particular question resonated with me as I was one of the patients who delayed treatment. I waited to have a procedure which allowed me to be cured from vaginismus within 1 week. While I am so happy to be cured now and that this is over, I really wish that I wouldn’t have delayed even a day in having the procedure. In his reply post, Dr. Pacik discussed that some women may delay for financial reasons. With this particular reason, he indicated that Diane Tremblay is doing an absolutely excellent job in advocating and seeking reimbursement from a multitude of insurance companies. Please do a general forum search of “insurance” and you will see real stories of patients who have received insurance coverage for their procedures. In addition to the financial reason, Dr. Pacik wrote that there are many other reasons that some patients may delay treatment that still need to be overcome. In thinking about this, I think we should generate a list of 10 reasons that we may have delayed treatment. As Dr. Pacik always says, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and the more we all openly discuss this topic, the more we will be able to learn and truly help each other in overcoming this condition.


    1. FEAR of dilating

    I was terrified of having the procedure because I was so afraid of using the dilators. I had ordered hard, plastic white dilators in the past and tried so many times to insert them on my own with no success. Every single time, it felt like I was hitting a wall and caused excruciating pain and burning. How would I ever be able to use the dilators in this program if I wasn’t able to even insert the smallest one on my own after trying for years and years??? I seriously couldn’t have been more wrong and it took actually waking up from the procedure with a dilator inside of me to realize this. When I woke up with the largest blue dilator inside of me, this was the first time anything had successfully been inside of me period and I was in shock that it had worked, I wasn’t broken, and it didn’t hurt at all. Thereafter, with this knowledge and quite a bit of lidocaine/surgilube coating the dilators, I was able to insert the purple, pink, and largest blue right in and without the resistance and blocked wall feeling that I had always had. Now, the burning/pain/fear/wall was gone and this allowed both my husband and I to practice inserting, removing, and re-inserting all of the dilators pain-free. I delayed having the procedure b/c I was so afraid of this and then realized, after the fact, that it was entirely possible.


    For me it was:
    2)Fear of dilating
    3)Fear of failing (again! All other treatment attempts have ended in failure)


    For me it comes down to two things.

    1. Financial. Which we are trying to work out right now so we can get this scheduled!
    2. Fear of failing. I feel like this is my last hope and am terrified about it not working. I am so worried the physical aspect will be healed but mentally and emotionally that my anxiety will cause me to fail. I have failed at everything leading to this point and just thinking of failing this treatment too makes me cry. So frustrating! 🙁


    My “David Letterman Top 10 List” of Reasons I am Delaying Treatment for Vaginismus:

    10) Financial: I’m not currently working.

    9) Financial: I do not currently have U.S. health insurance.

    8) I currently live overseas but am moving back to the U.S. soon, and I want to wait to be settled in before treatment.

    7) I deal with depression and anxiety issues so I want to take things slowly; it’s an overwhelming condition that I’ve had for 34 years, so it’s full of a lot of powerful and scary emotions for me. (Heck, even filling out the forms is a difficult process to go through:)

    6) I’m not currently in a relationship and have never been successful in romantic relationships, so I wonder if I will be getting the treatment just for the “benefit” of dilating myself 🙂

    5) Fear of FAILING.

    4) Fear of dilators

    3) FEAR OF dilators.


    1) FEAR OF DIALTORS!!!!!!


    I just want to thank everyone for sharing their reasons for delaying treatment. They all strongly resonate with me.

    Heather, after treatment when you had to dilate yourself, did it just feel normal at that point? Or was it still a little tricky to get in? And when you woke up and realized the dilator was inside you, did you feel like throwing up?

    Kelseroo and Becca, I share your reasons, and Becca, I can relate about crying at the thought of failure. At least we’re not alone. These must be very normal emotions to have in this situation because we all share them.


    Hi Michele. Thank you and thank you Kelsi and Becca for all sharing your thoughts here. They are all so very important.

    You asked:

    When you woke up and realized the dilator was inside of you, did you feel like throwing up?

    I thought that I would feel like this as I actually did throw up on the drive up to NH on my procedure day, but to my surprise, I did not feel like this. I remember waking up from my procedure in the recovery room with the largest blue pure romance dilator inside of me and covered in a nice heated blanket. I knew something was inside of me and could feel it in there but it did not cause any pain at all. The first feeling that I had was that I had to pee. I got into the bathroom and removed this large sized dilator and peed. At that point, I was in awe and just so surprised that it had been inside of me; I wasn’t broken as I had always assumed because I had failed at any penetration prior to this; and it didn’t cause any pain. I then inserted this dilator right back inside of me in the standing position and it slid right up. This, again, was a shocker to me that a) the wall was no longer there and b) it did not cause pain. Now, knowing myself and how I felt about dilating pre-procedure, I would’ve become sick with anxiety even reading this account of dilating as I had convinced myself it wouldn’t work and I would fail. It took me actually going through it and doing the dilating to prove to myself that it had worked and it was possible, something that I truthfully never dreamed of. I promise you Michele that even if you doubt this now and share all of my pre-procedure concerns about dilating, you WILL be able to do this and you WILL overcome. I believe in you so very much!!!!!

    After treatment, when you had to dilate yourself, did it just feel normal at that point?

    After treatment, I started dilating daily and keeping a dilation log that I sent to Dr. Pacik and Ellen. I dilated for 2 hours every day and slept with the medium sized purple dilator every other night. This dilating schedule became a normal part of my daily routine and it became almost second nature to me to do which I never ever would’ve imagined pre-procedure. What helped me so much post-procedure is I inserted the dilators the exact same way as I had in the office – in the standing position and liberally coated them with lubricant. Each time, they went in without resistance (hitting the wall feeling) and dilating became so routine. What was also so important to me was the follow-up with Dr. Pacik and Ellen about the dilating. If I ever felt sore because I had over-dilated or had any concerns at all, I would include this in my log and it would be addressed and worked through. It was amazing to have this level of support post-procedure. Dr. Pacik and all of the staff truly care so much and this post-level support is just another example of how unique the program is and what makes it work so, so well.

    Sending you huge hugs!!!


    Heather, thank you so much for answering my questions and continuing to share your experiences with me. I am so glad that you included the comment that had you been reading this account pre-procedure you would have become sick with anxiety. This helped enormously as did your clear and detailed explanations. God bless you! Sending huge hugs back!


    Hi Michele. I shared so many of your very same concerns pre-procedure and am glad to help you in any way that I can through sharing and talking about all of this. The one thing that always accompanied vaginismus for me while going through it was the feeling of isolation and keeping this secret and everything that went along with it to myself for so many years. Please know that I am right here for you always!!!! Sending back hugs!!!


    Hi ladies, I am currently in the process of arranging everything to go to get treatment in March of this year. For me the reasons for the delay have been:
    1) Financial, I am in the UK so no health insurance and I am also a student.
    2)Fear of failing (again)
    3)Ignorance of others who have tried to encourage me to exhaust other options here in the UK (therapy, dilation etc)
    4)The belief that it would somehow get better by itself.
    5)Concern that my university would not understand and allow me time off for the procedure
    6)Professionals telling me it is ‘all in my head’ leading me to question how botox would even work
    7) Fear of battling with my anxiety around intimacy AFTER the procedure
    8)The fear of dialating


    Hi Sarah. HUGE CONGRATS on getting everything together for treatment in March of this year. This is absolutely wonderful. I shared many of the same concerns as you prior to my own procedure in June of 2011. I was terrified beyond words of dilating and failing again as I had tried countless treatments before (i.e. ordering dilators and doing it on my own, pelvic floor PT, etc…). I was so afraid that this wouldn’t work but gave it a shot and, Thank God and Thank Dr. P, it did. What helped me so much Sarah was the support and caring from Dr. Pacik and all of his staff as well as how knowledgeable they are about the condition itself. Furthermore, as the Botox took effect post-procedure, the normal feelings that my husband and I had always had of resistance/blocked/hitting a wall whenever we tried to insert q-tip, dilator, finger, penis entirely disappeared and we were able to insert all of the dilators and, later, him without this blocked feeling. It’s so hard to describe in writing but it was so wonderful to see that I was able to have something inserted inside of me and it didn’t cause the normal burning pain. Please know that we are all here to support you in your journey of overcoming vaginismus! Sending hugs!!!


    Hi Sarah. Concerning your 6th reason (i.e. Professionals telling me it is ‘all in my head’ leading me to question how Botox would even work), I experienced this in the past with professionals as well. It is such a shame and can be so frustrating when a doctor, who is supposed to understand everything, really doesn’t and leads you to believe it is all in your head. I visited an ob/gyn in Boston while having vaginismus and panicked to the point that I couldn’t undergo the exam. My legs and whole body tensed up and no matter how much I tried to just relax as she told me, it just wasn’t happening. She became frustrated and told me that I had to see a sex therapist (one she recommended) before she would ever examine me again. I brought all of the paperwork that I had on vaginismus and she would not read this and said I had vulvodynia. She diagnosed me with this as I had such a strong anxiety reaction to touch on even the outside area. When I discovered Dr. Pacik and researched the Botox treatment program, I felt hope for the first time in a long time. And, then when I spoke to him and Ellen in my consult, words can’t describe how great I felt on my drive home – I had finally found a group of people who I did not have to explain vaginismus too and who really got it and understand all of the symptoms that coincide with the condition. I actually cried on the way home because for the first time, someone did not say that this was ‘all in my head’ but also recognized and understood the physical aspect of the condition so much as well. The Botox treatment program worked to cure the physical component to my condition as I was able to have something inside of me for the first time in my life and I was then able to learn how to insert the various sized dilators as well as my husband without the normal resistance / hitting a wall / blocked feeling that I had always experienced in the past. Concerning the emotional aspect of the condition, I learned a great deal from Dr. Pacik and Ellen’s counseling as well as extensive post-procedure follow-up and communication. I also worked with an excellent counselor both pre and post-procedure and found her help invaluable in my entire process of overcoming. I am just so, so excited for you in all regards and also think it is wonderful that you will be traveling over from the UK. Please feel free to write back and ask any questions at all about your trip here, the procedure, or anything at all. Sending hugs!!!!


    Hi,I am still delaying mine as I have the complication of severe phobia of medical procedures.


    Hi vg. Please, please know that we, as a Forum, are all here to support you 100%. Sending hugs. :):):)


    My reasons for delaying treatment were mostly financial based. After going through every treatment imaginable, I wasn’t sure if the botox would work, and if it didn’t work, I would be out so much money (cost of treatment + flying across country + hotel stays + car rental, etc.) So there was the fear of failing again and the major financial setback that delayed me. However, remembering I’m 25, married, and want kids pushed me forward to getting the treatment as soon as I possibly could.

    vg, if it helps to know, you won’t even remember the procedure itself. I just had the treatment this morning and fifteenish minutes later I woke up not even sure if I had it done yet or not. You won’t feel any pain during it and the staff is there for you the entire time making sure you’re comfortable and doing okay.

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