Can a gyn exam actually trigger vaginismus?

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  • #48929
    darkmoon
    Participant

    Just need to get this off my chest.

    When I was 21 I had my first steady relationship. I had BF’s before but we never went beyond kissing. I wasn’t taking the pill at that time and my mom advised me to go and see a gyn for a general checkup and to get a prescription.

    So I made an appointment with a random gyn at our local clinic. When I arrived I clearly told her I never had sex before, and she replied “that doesn’t matter” – that should already have raised a red flag. I never inserted anything in my vagina before, didn’t use tampons, vibrators, cups or whatever, so when she pushed the speculum inside I thought I was going to die! I never had so much pain in my life. She had to pull the speculum out and push it back in several times before she could get it in. I swear I could feel my hymen tearing and she had to grab a piece of paper to wipe away blood that was coming out after the exam.

    When I got back home I felt devastated. A few weeks later I tried to have sex with my BF but my vagina was so tight he couldn’t get in and I blame the gyn for this.

    I’m now following pelvic floor therapy and my therapist told me she heard similar stories in the past. Could it be that gyns actually cause vaginismus themselves on their patients?

    #48978
    Persevere
    Participant

    Experts here can answer this better but in my opinion, gynaecologists don’t cause vaginismus but they can make it worse. I felt the same intense burning pain when I had my first gynecologist exam and I asked her that am I the only one who had so much pain to which she replied that yeah its normal and that everyone has it(although it was not normal at all). I think we already have tight muscles down there and when a gynaecologist exam happens we for the first time get to know that we actually have a problem but the gynaecologist dismisses our pain like its normal instead of properly guiding us about what it could be.

    #49010
    Heather
    Participant

    Hello darkmoon! That is an awful experience I am so sorry you had to go through that! I definitely believe that it is possible. A one time occurrence of trauma to the body like that can absolutely inflict so much pain and fear and then said person may associate penetration with pain. And tense up next time something is to penetrate, causing the muscle spasms. Your visit sounded horrific and you are so brave for pushing through that and allowing the gyn to get the speculum in. No doctor should ever cause you pain like that or unnecessary bleeding.

    #49054
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi darkmoon – I’m so sorry to hear about your negative experience at the gynecologist!. It is usually hard to actually track down where something like vaginismus started, but it’s clear that this experience exacerbated the problem whether or not it existed prior. The way your gynecologist treated you was harsh and uncompassionate and just completely misguided, and it’s terrible how many women have similar stories like this. I had multiple negative experiences with medical professionals in relation to my vaginismus (none as physically invasive as yours but emotionally devastating all the same) and it definitely set me back in my treatment to be treated that way by someone I thought I should have been able to trust, I’m glad you’re getting treatment and please let us know if you have any questions that come up along the way!

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