April 26, 2020 at 12:12 am #28158BookwormParticipant
I have had vaginismus my entire life. I’ve never been able to use tampons, and I have dealt with anxiety/OCD since I was a child. I always believed in sex after marriage, but I think it was just my way of coping with my fear. I only dated one person, who is now my husband. We’ve been together almost ten years, and he is the most supportive man I know. I love him and want to be with him, but my body literally won’t let me.
Within the last six months, I started seeing a regular therapist and a pelvic floor therapist. I’m taking Prozac now, which is helping with my anxiety, and I’ve been slowly working with the physical therapist on ways to retrain my muscles. Obviously, with the virus, everything is basically on hold. The reason I am pursuing therapy is that my husband and I would like to start a family. I don’t know what that looks like with vaginismus. Is it possible to get pregnant and give birth without being completely ‘cured’? My OCD and anxiety have been a part of me for so long that I feel like it will take decades for me to change them, and fertility wise, I don’t have that time.
So I guess I’m wondering what a timeline looks like for treatment. Is there anyone else with vaginismus who is also dealing with OCD? Sometimes, it makes me feel so alone. I’m grateful my husband has the compassion that he does.April 27, 2020 at 10:13 am #28306mazemelissaModerator
Welcome to the forum, so glad you found us, and we are here for you!
Vaginismus and anxiety often go hand in hand. The fear/panic of penetration with vaginismus, is a manifestation of anxiety, your body’s involuntary response to shut down with any attempted penetration.
That anxiety component can be mild to severe. So depending on the severity, that often determines the time line for treatment.
You are on the right track with treatment. It is so important to deal with the anxiety (therapy and medication) as well as the physical aspect of the vaginal/pelvic floor muscle spasms (physical therapy and dilation).
If you are able to dilate, than your timeline will be shorter, than if you still haven’t been able to do any dilation. Vaginismus treatment is usually slow and steady, more like a long distance run than a sprint. The key component is consistency of treatment.
Often patients seek treatment out of their desire to start a family, so I am sure there are many women out there who can relate. You asked if it is possible to get pregnant and give birth without being completely cured? And my answer to that is yes. Pregnancy is possible with partial penetration of the penis, as long as he ejaculates inside the vagina, even near the vaginal entrance, and sperm can swim and enter the uterus. Of course this is not ideal, and we hope all of our patients will be able to have full penetrative pain free intercourse in order to conceive. But you could get pregnant if you aren’t at that stage.
Continue your medications, therapy and home dilation program and physical therapy exercises . Go at your timeline, everyone is different.
And if you feel stuck, and you are not progressing, make sure to reach out to us at Maze, we are here to help!
MelissaApril 27, 2020 at 10:34 am #28350Helen Leff, LCSWModerator
I echo all that Melissa has said and I hope it resonates with you. You sound like a strong, honest, persevering woman. One of the things you wrote struck me and that is that “things are on hold”. They don’t have to be. If you have been dilating with pelvic floor PT that is something you can continue to do at home and we are here to help – I understand it’s challenging and want you to know there are options. So glad you found the forum and know that you can overcome vaginismus and treat your OCD because you are doing it!May 11, 2020 at 11:17 am #29025recessivegenequeenParticipant
Hi Bookworm – your story really resonates with me and I hope that you are keeping well now with all the anxiety that’s out in the world because of the coronavirus. I struggled with vaginismus for about a decade and found that external stresses like being in college or having difficult times at work would make it extra hard for me to even open myself up to the idea of seeking treatment for vaginismus, but the thing I know now is that you may never feel “ready” to get treated, but that doesn’t stop you from deciding that it’s time. I sought treatment after so many years because a new partner made it clear that sex in a relationship was important to him, and that was the impetus to do what I needed to get the help that would eventually fix me.
It’s okay to feel like you don’t know how you’ll do this, because you’ll have help. It’s okay if it feels like a huge undertaking because you only have to handle it one day at a time. The days add into a result if you let them.
Let us know if you have questions along the way. I know you can do this and we are always here to help you!June 25, 2020 at 10:04 am #31057MotivatedMummaParticipant
I was in your position- you NEED to look up Mosie Baby Syringe.
I was able to have my two children through this product, and at that point I was only able to insert a tampon size dilator.December 29, 2020 at 12:40 pm #37697BookwormParticipant
Hello again, everyone! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses, and I apologize that it’s taken me this long to reply. I appreciate your kind words and support through this process. <3
I just saw an ad for the Mosie Baby Syringe the other day. Super ironic! How did you do with pregnancy/birth while still experiencing vaginismus symptoms? Was the process as a whole safe?
I’m pleased to say that I’ve worked through five of my six dilators, and I have an appointment next month with a doctor to talk about options for getting pregnant. I can’t tell you how much it helps to know I’m not alone on this journey. That’s made the biggest difference for me.January 8, 2021 at 9:09 am #38151recessivegenequeenParticipant
Hi Bookworm – thanks so much for updating us on how it’s going for you! It sounds like you’ve made huge progress that will increase your options for having a baby. And you are definitely not alone – your pain is valid and known by so many women. I’ve read about women having babies who are still dealing with vaginismus and I believe the process works fine – the biological imperative for the baby to leave your body one way or another is too great for anything to stop it! If you’re dealing with dilating and vaginismus before you give birth, you’ll likely have to do some of that after, but you should still be able to give birth. Congrats again on your process and good luck getting pregnant!
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