Bad Experience

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    Hi everyone. I’m new to this forum. I’m 22 years old. I grew up in a very conservative religious environment. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for the past 3 years and we haven’t been able to have sex. A few months ago I went to the gyno for the first time. I was scared, but honestly I was hoping that a pelvic exam would loosen me up a bit and I would be more comfortable to actually do it with my boyfriend. I don’t know what I was thinking. I had a bad yeast infection last year and even the cotton swab the nurse used to Swab me hurt like a mother lover. Well flash forward to my doctor appointment and I’m legit sobbing in her office waiting for my exam. She comes in and she is clearly irritated with me for being so irrational. I try telling her all the problems I’ve had with painful sex and other issues about pain with periods, etc. but she just tells me that I really should wait until I’m married to have sex and that she’ll lube me up for my exam since I’m a Virgin! Then she proceeds to stick her finger in me and I’m immediately in immense pain. I Yelp out and tell her how bad it hurts and she just tells me to relax. I literally cannot relax, it felt like she was stabbing me with a knife. I tell her I don’t think this sort of pain is normal, and she says no it’s fine you’re just really right. She leaves her finger there for awhile telling me I just need to adjust. Then she starts pressing further. I’m literally lying there crying begging for her to stop and she won’t. Finally she removes her finger, informs me that she only got her finger in to one knuckle, tosses some tissues at me, and says she can’t perform the exam and I could leave. I want to go back to another doctor because I really do have some issues I want addressed, but I’m so scared of having another experience like this. I’m also terrified of never being able to have sex like a normal person. I just don’t know what to do.


    Hello CamJam,

    Welcome to the forum, and I am so sorry that you had to go through that experience. Unfortunately, you are not alone, as I hear stories like this all the time. So many providers out there are not sensitive to the reality of vaginismus, and they just don’t get it.

    I am guessing that you have vaginismus, as you are describing some classic signs. The gynecologist also noted that you “felt really tight”, which was probably your vaginal muscles in total spasm, and your body in fight or flight mode.

    Your pain is real, and don’t let anyone tell you that it is not.

    You will need to find another provider, one that knows about vaginismus and is familiar with the condition.I think it is fair to interview providers before seeing them. You can make a visit just to talk to a gynecologist and discuss the problem before having any exam. I think you will also need to start a home vaginal dilation program, or find a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area to help you with dilation.

    If you are in the NY area, you can come to Maze and we can help you as well.


    Hi CamJam,

    I, too, am so very sorry to hear about what happened to you. NO one should be treated by a medical professional the way that your doctor treated you.

    Melissa is right, we sadly do hear these types of stories often and I want to second everything she said. Find a provider who is familiar with vaginismus or at the very least, is a caring professional who LISTENS to her patients and isn’t afraid to say “I’m not sure what’s happening, but I believe you. Let’s try to find a treatment plan that honors your experience”.

    Please call us – perhaps we can help you find a provider in your area who is sensitive to sexual pain. And should you ever come to Maze, know that you are always in the driver’s seat. We will respectfully put you, your needs and preferences first.


    Thank you very much for reaching out to me. It’s extremely comforting to know that people believe me and don’t brush away what I’m saying. I live in the Nashville area. I know I need to go back to a doctor, but I’m just so scared of what may happen. Even just having a bad interview would be so discouraging. How do I work up the nerve to go back? Or being finding providers that might be sensitive to my situation?


    hi CayJam,
    I echo what Melissa and Jennifer stated above- you deserve to be treated with sensitivity and dignity. Fortunately, you happen to live in a part of the country where there are experienced health care providers who are familiar with sexual pain diagnosis and treatment. I recommend that you reach out to the WISH center (Women’s Institute for Sexual Health) located in Nashville. I have included a link below:

    And information about their clinical director:

    Please keep us posted on how you’re doing!
    take good care,


    CayJam85, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through at the doctor – I suffered from vaginismus for 10 years and the event that ended up leading to my discovery of the condition was having a similarly bad attempt at a pap smear at my college campus’s health center that left me panicking and in tears. This is a common trigger but one that shouldn’t stop you; there are other doctors and healthcare providers that will treat you with compassion and understanding, even if they aren’t directly familiar with vaginismus (though many are).

    One of the most healing parts of my journey away from vaginismus was talking to the people at the Maze clinic. Even when I had my free 10-minute phone consultation with them, I was floored by the experience of a medical professional treating my pain with familiarity and tenderness. For the first time ever I didn’t feel like a freak and was talked to like I could be helped. Just being shown that compassion gave me a lot of hope for the future and it’s out there for you too. Keep looking for it! There are so many people ready to help you to a happier life.

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