any advice?

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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    Hello! I am new to finding this website and really thought i was alone in this. I’m 18 years old and I feel alone because everyone my age talks about sex. I first found out about my problem when i first tried sex with my long term boyfriend. It was impossible but I brushed it off because i thought it was normal. I eventually started going to physical therapy and started dilation but I fee like I will never get cured. It has taken a toll on me as a i feel like i’m less of a woman than other girls and i feel terrible about myself like i’m not normal. I also feel like i’m missing out on the years where i’m supposed to be having sex. I have lots of questions like will it always be like this and how am i supposed to continue dilation in college with roommates? Thank you for reading and giving me hope


    Hello Edwards1492!

    Welcome to the forum, I am so glad that you found us.

    You are not alone!

    I applaud you for seeking treatment at such a young age, so often women with vaginimsus avoid treatment all together, and basically shut down that entire part of their body.

    Treating vaginimsus takes time and patience. You are doing everything right, you are in PT and working with dilators, and that is the first step.

    Dilation is difficult, but for most women, if you continue to work at it, and are consistent, the dilation gets easier.

    I agree that finding time in college is going to be difficult at first, but most of my patients can usually find a window of time when they are alone in their dorm room to dilate. Dilating under your blanket, or maybe even sleeping with dilators through the night might be a possibility. Dilating for shorter time periods, maybe only 10 min daily, rather than long sessions. Any dilation is better than no dilation.

    If you are feeling anxiety surrounding your dilation and this process, I would strongly suggested seeking help from a therapist who can help you through these emotions. Especially talking about feeling like you are “less of a woman than other girls and i feel terrible about myself like i’m not normal. I also feel like i’m missing out on the years where i’m supposed to be having sex.”

    You will have intercourse when you are ready, and you are working on it. And there are lots of other ways to have sex that don’t involve intercourse.

    You are doing great! And keep us updated…



    Hi Edward1492 and welcome to the forums! What you are feeling is SO normal and I’m glad you no longer feel stranded and alone in it now that you know that many other women have felt exactly how you have. I had vaginismus for about 10 years and was only able to overcome it after getting treated at the Maze Clinic; I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 25! I’m really impressed that you’re seeking treatment at such a young age and wish I had done the same. I know that with everyone around you obsessing about sex it feels like you’re “losing time,” but in reality you have so many sexual years ahead of you and in reality, probably a lot of your peers are struggling with sex in different ways (feeling some kind of pain, not having fun, not being able to ask for what they want, etc.) and are just not telling you about it. You’re at a very self-conscious age where everyone is comparing each other and worrying that they don’t fit in, and the great thing is that vaginismus is FULLY treatable, so this doesn’t have to be part of your life forever.

    I know it probably seems impossible to imagine that you could ever get rid of this shame, but as someone who’s 3 years out from her treatment, sometimes it can be hard to remember how it felt NOT to be able to have sex. You’d be amazed how normal and functional you can feel in time. It takes work but if you keep trying and dilating and seeking treatment, you WILL get there. We believe in you and know you can do this!

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi edwards1492,
    Checking in to see how you are feeling. I think it’s really important to know (really know) that Vaginismus can be overcome with dilation. It makes sense that you will have thoughts and feelings as you go through your process. Getting support to help with the emotional component of vaginismus can be invaluable.
    Let us know how things are going.


    Hi! I have no advice I just wanted to let you know I’m actually going to be 18 in a week or so and I’m in the same boat. Literally. This is all really scary but you’re not alone despite how dark it feels right now. We’ll get through this!


    I feel this so hard. I’m new and have tried to post My own story here but it says I’m not logged in.

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi juliamc,
    Try posting again. We want to hear from you!


    edwards1492 and juliamc,

    I totally understand your feelings, I went through the exact same issues at your age – but I waited until I was 23 to actually seek treatment (at MAZE with dilators), so I am so so happy that you’ve figured it out and started earlier!

    While it was a slow and steady process for me, I never felt like I was in a rush (even though I had a boyfriend… he was not rushing me and just wanted me comfortable) because I felt the joy in small successes like moving up in dilator size, using tampons comfortably, feeling no pain with dilators that used to not fit, buying my first vibrator and using it along with dilators, etc.. I knew that I would be able to spend the rest of my life having pain-free sex and that thought enough was worth it for me!

    Don’t give up hope! Towards the beginning of treatment I was so worried I would be the ONE case that wouldn’t be able to be cured, but my slow & steady progress and eventual “graduation” from dilators into sex proved me wrong 🙂

    Keep at it, vaginismus is so treatable and you WILL be able to live a normal and happy sex life!

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