22 and sexless

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    Hi! I am 22 years old, recently graduated from college and live in Minnesota. I just started my career at a successful company, live with my awesome boyfriend of one year, and I’m starting grad school in two weeks. Sounds pretty good, right? Not to act like I’m not thankful for the great things I have been blessed with in life, but a dark secret has caused so much pain and embarrassment that I feel useless and incomplete.

    I’ll back up and tell my story from the beginning. I was about thirteen or fourteen when my family took a trip to a water park. Our second day on the trip I got my period. I remember my mom buying me tampons and instructing me on how to use them. I spent over an hour in the bathroom trying to get one of those darn things in. My mom offered to help so I laid on a bed as she tried to help me. I remember starting to sob as she tried to tell me to relax, but that tampon was not going in. Fast forward to when I’m sixteen and had my first boyfriend. I remember the moment he tried to finger me and my lower body had a complete panic attack. A year later we tried to have sex. Just like the tampon, nothing was going in. By this point, I knew something was wrong. I had my mom take me to my first gyno appointment. I explained my delima to the doctor and she gave me some numbing cream to help. As most of you know, that didn’t work. I went back a little while later and brought up vaginismus as I had been researching my symptoms on the internet. She laughed when I told her and she said that no one has that, it’s a joke. I felt a little hurt, but I was still young and not desperate to have sex so I let it go. By the time high school was over and I was in college and had my fair share of boyfriends and what I call virgin hookups, I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t use a tampon or have sex. I tried so so hard to have sex, I’m even embarrassed at how many guys I attempted it with. I just felt so childish and dumb to have what I thought was a silly problem. I would see stories on tv about kids around 13 years old being pregnant, but here I was, an adult, and I couldn’t even stomach the thought of putting in a tampon! By my senior year of college I found Dr. Pacik on line. I sent my mom a link of this website and explained that I still couldn’t have sex. I was so embarrassed about my condition that I couldn’t talk to her about it but instead resorted to an email. Anyway, I contacted Dr. Pacik and filled out the forms, but I never went any further because I had a thought in the back of my mind that I could fix it on my own. In addition, I thought that flying across the country to get botox in my vagina was insane. Since then I have seen countless doctors, tried the whole dilator thing and still have had no success.

    Fast forward to today. I am in the process of picking a date to go out and get my procedure done with Dr. Pacik. I talked to him on the phone last night and felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me. I called my mom today to tell her I’m flying to New Hampshire to have a doctor put a dilator in my vagina along with botox. She is extremely skeptical, but still supportive. I can’t blame her. I was skeptical when I first came across this site. But I feel like this is the only treatment out there for me. My boyfriend has been a great support to me, but it’s time for both of us to be lifted of this burden. It is with great pain that I say that I am happy I know know there are others out there with the same problem as me. I would never wish this situation upon anyone, but reading everyone’s stories has helped me realize there is hope. I hope this procedure works. I want to finally have that connection with the love of my life. I want to have children. Usually, I hate being normal, but I want nothing else than just that. I want to have sex and be a normal human. I am still in a bit of shock that I am actually going through with this, and there is a part of me that worries about being the one person it doesn’t work on. I apologize for this post being scatterbrained , but it is the first time I have taken the time to sit down and actually tell my story. Any advice on how to sell my mom on this idea?


    Hi Viv.

    I am overwhelmed with emotion reading “your story.” You have been through so much. It’s so physically & mentally exhausting leading a life where you always have to put on that happy face, yet you are carrying a big dark secret that controls you. I am so excited that you will be traveling to New Hampshire for treatment. Sounds like your boyfriend is supportive, which is amazing because you will need him move than ever. October will be 2 years since my procedure. My husband & I had been married for 5 years and could not have sex. Like you I tried EVERYTHING and I was so scared that this wouldn’t work for me, that I would be the ONE person that failed. My mom was skeptical also. I will tell you the moment I woke up from procedure I had my husband call my mom. I was crying happy tears and telling her that the dilator was inside and that I did not have pain. My mom told me later that she could hear hope in my voice. Dr Pacik even talked to her on the phone briefly while I was recovering. It put her at ease. She was miles away while her baby girl was getting botox in her vagina and dilators inserted by some doctor that she didn’t even know. After talking to Dr.P & I she had peace knowing I was right where I needed to be. I had a hard time selling my mom on the idea beforehand so I don’t have any advice on that, but you could share my story with her.

    This procedure & treatment changed my life. I am able to have sex with my husband, and wear tampons! I am also now a MOMMY of a baby boy. Something I never thought would be possible.

    The moment you step into Dr. Pacik’s office you will be starting a new journey, a new you. Being able to take control of your body and truly live a happy life. I am so so so excited for you and can not wait to read your posts. We are all here for you!! You WILL overcome this!



    Hi viv! Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so, so sorry for your struggles with vaginismus and am beyond happy that you are in touch with Dr. Pacik and will receive treatment. Please know that I am here for you along your journey of overcoming every step of the way! I suffered with vaginismus all through college and, like you, tried with so many people and, despite every effort in the world, it wasn’t happening. I felt that although I mentally wanted it, with each attempt, my partner could not get past the “hitting a wall” feeling. This also made all gynecologist appointments impossible as well. What made Dr. Pacik’s treatment work so well for us is the “wall” that I described dissipated after I woke up from the procedure with the dilator in place and then practiced doing the progressive dilation. My muscles still had to stretch but the impossibility of something ever going in beyond the “great wall” was gone and the dilators and later my husband could slide in without resistance or pain. I know I have said this above but I am just so, so, so happy you have spoken to Dr. Pacik and will be treated coming up. He along with all of the office are beyond amazing and, so importantly, they care so much for you as the patient and understand so much about the condition of vaginismus.

    As for speaking about this with your mom, I’d like to share some tips:

    Personal Letter to the Family of Vaginismus Sufferers http://www.vaginismusmd.com/stories/letter-to-the-family-of-vaginismus-sufferers/#sthash.JwuvTvg1.dpuf

    In addition, and I think of great importance, is testimonials from parents and family members of vaginismus patients.

    The Mother of a Treated Patient writes:
    kfmom: “Today marks one week since my 19 year old daughter’s procedure with Dr. Pacik and his wonderful team. It is difficult to put into words but what a life affirming experience it was and continues to be! I am writing this update in the same thread as “Reaching Out to Young Women” so you can get a sense of what it is like to be accompanied by a parent vs. a spouse or significant other. Others have written at length about the actual procedure itself. Suffice it to say that my daughter (K) was treated with compassion, respect and dignity. By her choice, I was by K’s side throughout the pre-surgery exam, surgery, recovery and counseling/follow-up. In retrospect she realizes that what her imagination conjured up in anticipation, as is often the case in life, was much worse than reality. Dr. Pacik talked her through each phase of the process, helped ease her fears and administered medication when warranted. Once under anesthesia K has no recollection at all of her experience. She, like the other 250+ of Dr. Pacik’s patients, woke up with a #6 blue dilator in place. This is when the real healing began. The curtains were drawn back and we were introduced to a young married couple who struggled with vaginismus since their wedding night almost two years ago. We also were joined by a recovered vaginismus sufferer who was observing that day and collaborating with Dr. Pacik. Be sure to check out her blog http://www.myvaginsmustory.com. After a brief awkward moment or two, over the course of the next day and a half stories, laughter, frustrations and fears were shared. It was very helpful to K to hear from others who have the same condition. Both K and the other young woman treated were able to proceed immediately to #5 and #6 dilators the next day with minimal discomfort. In fact, K had very little discomfort after the procedure at all – just taking some Advil on day 1. Yay! She continues to make good progress and we are very hopeful that she will join Dr. Pacik’s success stories. For young women reading, I want to assure you that Dr. Pacik and his team checked with K every step of the way about her desires and whether or not she wanted me present for each step. I, of course, also told K that I would leave with zero hard feelings whenever she asked. This was her treatment and her recovery. I am honored that she chose to include me and know that we will remember the experience always. Although recovery from vaginismus is a journey and K has not arrived at the end point yet, she already seems so much lighter … as if a huge burden is lifting. I want to thank every member of Dr. Pacik’s team for the wonderful care they provided. You have my commitment that I will continue to advocate for increased awareness and understanding of vaginismus. It is time for the shroud of silence to be lifted. K is hopefully one of the lucky ones who will find resolution early in her adulthood. So many others are not so fortunate. This is a real tragedy when effective treatment is available. Once again, we cannot thank you enough.” http://www.vaginismusmd.com/vaginismus-md-forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=726

    The Father of a Treated Patient writes:
    PomPom: THE THINGS A FATHER WILL DO FOR THEIR CHILDREN My dear daughter had a problem , but it was a secret for years, she complained that she couldn’t use a Tampon, and everyone else could. What was wrong with me??? We took her to a world renowned Gyn, who performed a Hymenectomy and told her she was fine. She was told ” go get some help, see a Psychiatrist”!! We did and no results! She found a Psychologist who helped her somewhat , but not enough! My daughter decided to research her issues and found Vaginismus. She found her problem and opened up to me wife and I. We found Dr Peter Pacik and after multiple conversations and consults with my wife and I , and then with my daughter separately, off we were. I am in medicine as well, and in 30 years I have never met a man with the qualities Dr Pacik exhibited. He spoke to my daughter privately and in our presence , and I was asked to be present in the OR for support and to become educated on her problem. During the procedure , he explained every step to my daughter and educated me on what a burden she carried. Step by step my daughter was reassured “SHE WAS NORMAL”, normal anatomy, normal feelings and a very spastic vaginal muscle. He informed me of each injection of long acting lidocaine, the amount and location of Botox ( Dr. Pacik is the only physician with FDA approval for the use of Botox in treatment of Vaginismus). A dialator was placed from smallest to largest based on resistance! PROCEDURE COMPLETE! My daughter was taken to recovery where her care was just as exceptional. Upon awakening, her education and treatment continued. The counselor (Dr Pacik), began working with his patient, reassuring her of how well she did and how well she would continue to do. The discussions were intense and extremely detailed. THE THINGS A FATHER WILL DO FOR HIS DAUGHTER! Once we got beyond the snickers and jokes (mostly mine), I realized my daughter had a glow and or sparkle in her eye, I had not seen in a long time! I could see it was her self esteem and her self worth . After multiple self treatments with different dialators, my daughter knew she was like everyone else, she just needed that little extra intervention. I am a very sensitive man, sensitive to all people and their plights, however, my sensitivity reached new levels seeing my daughter’s eyes, her smile and her ability to open up to me , her father! My baby has a boyfriend who I give an abundance of credit to! Most boys would run, run to the next one, he understands and continues to show his support. I cant wait to meet him!! I have never seen a physician exhibit so much passion, warmth, understanding for his patients. His need to succeed , not for himself but for the young woman he sees is evident in the amount of time he spends, failure is not an option. Vaginismus, a term I have never heard, Ob/Gyn physicians so aware most are not, most do not know who treats Vaginismus. Vaginismus, as big as Erectile Dysfunction, and no one knows… WE MUST GET THE WORD OUT, ITS NOT JUST A DAUGHTER BUT SOMEONE’S MOTHER, OR GRANDMOTHER! THESE WOMEN DESERVE A CHANCE AS WELL Thank you Dr Pacik, and your amazing staff!!!! http://www.vaginismusmd.com/vaginismus-md-forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=601

    I hope these help you and, again, please know that you have my support 100%!!!


    Viv, show your mom the success stories of the women in this forum. They are all true, none of it is fictional or made up. These are real women who suffered in silence, and in the dark for many, many years, myself included. Many are healed, and many are on the road to healing (which is where I am at). Don’t wait to make an appointment for your procedure. do it now! I just had my procedure a week and a half ago, and although its been less than 2 weeks..my progress has been awesome, and what was once impossible is now, slowly, becoming POSSIBLE. You can’t do it entirely on your own, your need the help of Dr. Pacik, and the rest is up to you ! Good luck…I applaud your courage. If your mom is still not on board, you do what you feel is best for you. You are an adult, and you know your body better than anyone else.


    Show your mother my reply. Please. I urge you.

    Dear Viv’s Mom:

    I am a 45.7 year old woman. I have suffered from not only chronic genital pain but I was diagnosed when I was your daughters age.
    I have lived with this REAL condition for 23 years. Hence my board name. I have walked these past 23 years in the shoes of a woman who felt “less than” and “broken” and “shamed” and “guilt ridden”. In fact, I was brainwashed in a sense by the medical profession believing the problem was emotional and not physical, on the outside of my body, not on the muscle inside. We read stories of third world countries and other cultures performing genital mutilation, and I do not doubt this and it makes me sick to my stomach. BUT genital harm is happening right here in this country but IGNORANT and uneducated, sometimes misintentioned physicians!

    I employ you to keep an open mind and I urge you to hear all of us. Keep some healthy skepticism, we all do that, BUT please do not allow your daughter to spend one more year with her vaginal issues. Her muscle inside (or muscles) at the very least, are tightening up in spastic fashion and creating a “vice grip” like hold on her body. She can’t help it, can’t feel it tightening always, but it’s happening.

    I had MY procedure on June 30th this year. My own physician of 23 years almost talked me out of it. My own physician, without meeting Dr Pacik had some “not so nice” things to say. BUT my own doctor is IGNORANT and uneducated when it comes to Vaginismus. You will not find a more caring, compassionate, understanding, well read, well versed, discreet, patient, sympathetic person (without a vagina…, lol) as Dr Pacik!! It’s SO hard to believe I know. But please TRUST the women on this board. Dr Pacik is a pioneer and he is on the cutting edge of what (I hope) will eventually be treatment given and paid for by insurance companies across the country as routine as child birth!

    23 years? Do you know what that does to a woman’s identity? Her sense of hope? Her sense of self? When she carries a huge weight over her head? Hides a big secret? Can’t consummate her marriage? Can’t have a baby? It’s equivalent to someone emotionally dying of cancer. Only it goes on and on and on and on with no end.

    Let Dr Pacik and his Team be the light at the end of what could be a very dark tunnel for your daughter.

    If you or your daughter would like to speak to me in person, I’m not only a recovering vaginismus patient. I’m also a Masters Level Counselor, professional, and mother of a 7 year old child. I can share my perspectives as a woman, mother and professional, answer questions, reassure you, explain and give your daughter HOPE.

    This IS the only option to start recovery and stop the hurt caused by this devastating diagnosis. Faith is trusting something you cannot see but FEELING deeply in your gut, it’s the answer. Have faith~

    You can email Janet Pacik or Dr Pacik or their assistant Ellen to get my contact information as needed.

    Good Luck! I will be hoping for Viv

    All the best always,
    23 years


    Hi Viv, thank you so much for sharing your story and I’m so excited that you are going to have the procedure done. I will be 54 years old this next month and will be celebrating two years of having the procedure. I can so relate to so much of your story; not being able to use tampons, trying to have sex with several boys and being so humiliated that I couldn’t. I have been married to my husband for 33 years and most of our married life I was not able to have intercourse and/or when I could get some insertion it was extremely painful. I totally can understand being scared but I promise you it will be the best decision you have ever made. Dr. Pacik and his team are the most compassionate, understanding professionals I have ever met. They truly understand everything you have gone through up. I hope some of the other posts will help your Mom understand more about the procedure and feel better about you having it. Best of luck to you, Viv and I look forward to reading your success story!

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