Birth Control / Condoms causing pain?

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    Sorry in advance for the long story before getting to the point/question. I was diagnosed with secondary vaginismus in May (discovered on my wedding night) after years of having little issues, though rarely ever having sex so it’s hard to know really what caused it (though there are a lot of factors contributing emotionally.) It has lately occurred to me that I switched types of birth control pills after dealing with health issues and hadn’t had sex in years since then. I’ve seen where others have said birth control pills have caused many of their symptoms. However, condoms as well cause me intense pain, regardless of the amount of lubricant and regardless of latex free or not. Another issue is that physically my body needs birth control to function (my period can stop for 6 months, go for 3 months straight, stop for two weeks, start back for another two months, stop for a year, you get the idea.) I started this new birth control pill type when my old pills were causing depression issues and I quit all together, and ended up bleeding for too long and got a serious blood clot. It’s possible I have endometriosis as well but the obgyn doesn’t see the need in looking into it unless I have trouble conceiving. Anywho, long story short (too late), I’m searching for advice on an alternative birth control. We are NOT ready for children, and we have seen what my body does off of pills, so quitting again doesn’t seem to be an option. I’ve looked into IUD (I have IBS as well and this is recommended for both IBS and Vaginismus I’ve seen) but the idea of it makes me nervous. It seems like the potential side effects or complications are life-threatening or can cause infertility, and I desperately want to be a mom when I’m ready. Has anyone had any experience with these, good or bad? Or perhaps, has anyone had trouble with condoms and found one that works? (We haven’t been able to experiment with too many kinds as he needs the largest size and there aren’t many options 🙁 perfect storm of issues.) Really feeling defeated and at the end of my rope! Just wish I could be normal and all these health issues would beat it! Really really praying for an alternative BC that could be a saving grace. Any advice is so very appreciated!


    Hi Tinymumbles! I’m so sorry to hear about all the issues you’ve been having – as a former vaginismus sufferer, I know the emotional and physical struggle it causes, and on top of that, you’ve got these other medical issues to boot!

    For birth control I would highly recommend looking into an IUD – I haven’t had one myself but I’ve had friends who have used them and they’re considered very effective (AND safe). The only thing to consider is that IUDs are said to increase the flow/intensity of a period, but if pills currently keep your period manageable, it might be worth the tradeoff. There are a couple of different kinds – the big ones are copper and hormonal – and each one works a little bit differently so I would suggest having a conversation with a doctor or gynecologist who knows about your current health issues to see what might be right for you. There are other options like the Nuvaring and the thing that goes in your arm (can’t remember what it’s called) that might be worth researching as well. At any rate, all these methods are extensively tested and VERY effective, so definitely give them a thought!

    I also wanted to comment on a detail you provided in the condom section – if I’m interpreting you correctly, it sounds like your husband has a pretty large penis! I’m two years post-vaginismus and even now sometimes feel discomfort if my partner is especially large or I haven’t had sex in awhile and my vagina needs to readjust to the feeling of being stretched. You might try getting a set of dilators and seeing how it feels to work with those. If you feel less discomfort with smaller sizes, it may just be a matter of getting used to larger objects!


    Yes it does sound like the pill might not be the best option for you based on your pain.

    Our patients do have a lot of success with the IUD, and the hormonal one can help with excessive bleeding. I know there is a lot of negative information on the internet. It’s best to discuss with your provider all of your options, so the he/she can help you make an informed decision.

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