Deeep sigh. Heres my story

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    Hello everyone! I’m not even sure where to begin. I started dating the love of my life in May 2011. I was completely swept off my feet; he is an amazing man!! The love that developed between he and I was breath-taking, electrifying, passionate, and everyone around us could see it. We agreed to wait until marriage to make love. So in July 2012, we got married!! YAAAY!!!! Imagine our surprise…(and I’m sure some of you can relate!!). After waiting to fully express our love to one another, we attempted to consummate, and quickly realized that something was wrong:( It felt like he was hitting a wall when he tried to penetrate. The next day, we went and bought lots of lubricant hoping this would help but alas, nothing seemed to work. After doing some internet research, and through his knowledge of such conditions, we surmised that I had vaginismus. When I was about 13, I had a pap smear to see what was going on with my menstrual cycle and this experience was extremely painful and traumatic. I was scared, cried, sweat, my butt lifted off the table, legs closed shut, and overall, could NOT relax. At a certain point they said “if you don’t let us finish, you’ll have to come back later so we can complete the exam”. The thought of having to come back terrified me so through tears, I told my Dr. to just go ahead and finish; this experience has repeated itself in subsequent pap smears (a few more over the years).

    My husband has been extremely understanding and supportive though I feel I have at some times shut him out and not supported him with his experience in our situation. We feel very disconnected and there’s a lot of doubt/worry about the/our future. Add to this, we are long distance; due to circumstances beyond our control, we live in different parts of the U.S. Anyway! Married July 2012. Started with the vaginismus dot com dilators in August 2012 and progressed to the largest dilator in that set in October 2012. Around this time I also sought individual counseling to deal with issues of self-esteem, doubts/worries, and sadness over the condition. This proved to be very helpful and I am a huge advocate of seeking professional help, especially if you are isolated and feel like you cannot tell friends/family!! Anyway, due to our distance, we don’t have a lot of opportunity to work together or even attempt intercourse. However, finally, in January 2013, we were able to get my hubby inside of me and we actually had intercourse! I felt some pain and discomfort but we were soo happy at that milestone! We have not been able to try much since then but each time we try, it’s still painful and very anxiety provoking (think “leg lock”…).

    This condition has literally changed my life….and my marriage. But I pray and continue to ask for more faith and belief that my husband and I can indeed overcome this TOGETHER, as many have before us… Earlier this month, I decided to get back on the “conquering” bandwagon and got the Candy Stick vibrator which is nice because my husband is a little larger than it… I think mentally, working with this in tandem with the largest dilator from my set will help us to transition to pain-free intercourse. There have been times when I feel totally hopeless but other times when I am FULL of hope! I probably will not be able to get the botox treatment for various reasons but am excited to connect with other women who have experienced exactly what I have experienced and OVERCAME vaginismus. I feel like I am sooo close and am open to any suggestions/feedback that you all have on transitioning/positions/etc. Also looking to hear how you have supported your partners as you both walk through this difficult journey… I feel I have let my husband down by focusing so much on this being “my issue” when it in fact, impacts him heavily.


    Hi Conqueror. Welcome to the Forum and thank you so, so much for your post. I am so, so sorry of your experience with your ob/gyn in the past. Prior to Dr. Pacik, I had terrible experiences with these exams as well and so much anxiety. I was even misdiagnosed with vulvodynia because I had too much anxiety to allow the doctor to examine me and I felt like it hurt at even the outside area when it was really the fear/pain/burning response that correlates to vaginismus. I think it is wonderful that you progressed with the vaginismus dot com dilators to the largest one and had intercourse with your hubby in January. Huge, huge congrats!!! When my hubby and I finally overcame post-procedure after 11 years without intercourse, it was beyond amazing and I thank God every day!!! Even after the procedure, I experienced some of the “leg-lock” you described. Here are some tips that I hope may help you avoid leg-lock and help with transitioning:

    Dr. Pacik – What is leg lock?
    I think we should clearly define LEG LOCK for those who may not understand this. When a woman is struggling with penetration there is a natural fear and subsequent avoidance. This can manifest as palpitations, hyperventilation, sweating, nausea, etc. and at the same time ones goes through an avoidance response in which there is retreat (moving away, buttocks lift up) as well as an uncontrolled involuntary closing of the thighs. No matter how much one wants to relax the thighs, it just doesn’t happen. The “legs lock” closed. This is common when visiting with the GYN doctor, even after successfully accomplishing intercourse.
    This gets better with time as one is able to advance to the larger dilators, though even with this progress, when it comes to intercourse, the same uncontrolled closing of the thighs can take place.
    It is important to hear from our “veterans”, tricks they used to overcome this, because it is so common, and almost every treated patient goes through something similar.

    Patient 1 – For my husband and I, it was so important to find a position that would not allow my legs to lock-up as they had done for so long in the past. We used the “doggy-style” position and really enjoyed this as it prohibited “leg-lock”. Another excellent position, as mentioned by K, is the missionary position with your legs in the air around your partners neck. This, too, will not allow you to do the involuntary leg-lock. In her success story, she writes: “the biggest thing was what position we should use. We ended up in the missionary position with my legs up in the air around his neck. We had a couple of few failed attempts at first but did not give up! In that particular position I didn’t feel as vulnerable as when I was in missionary with my legs/knees open (similar to the position for an exam or something) and leg lock set in. This way my legs were up and out of the way and I was able to insert his penis in the direction that felt most comfortable for me (angling to my left side).”

    Patient 2: Dr. Pacik was instrumental in helping us find a position that would work for us. We, too, have used a come-from-behind type style, but – to me – it feels a little bit more like spooning – with my husband behind me. I need to adjust my top leg (lean that forward), but it does avoid “leg lock” and allows my husband easy “access.”

    Patient 3: Hi ladies. Our favorite position so far is side by side, where he can start penetration slowly and increase the rythm and depth as we go. We have learned that this position allows access to some other erogenous zones (i.e breasts) at the same time.

    I also think it’s awesome that you purchased the Candy Stick. I, too, have the Grape Candy Stick and my hubby and I love it and always use it for foreplay prior to intercourse. It helps me to relax that much more and also anticipate and look forward to intercourse. As far as vaginismus affecting one’s relationship/marriage, I didn’t honestly understand this prior to meeting Dr. Pacik and having the procedure. I always wanted to just fix it on my own as I felt like I was the one wit the problem. Following the procedure, I involved my husband for the first time in the dilating process and this was awesome, something I never ever thought that I would be writing. But, it just brought us much closer and made me trust him so, so much more and he also could see that something was able to be inside of me pain-free. Thereafter, we transitioned to intercourse within 7 days of the procedure and were both ecstatic. However, it was a learning process and trial and error of positions until we became comfortable with it and sex moved from (thank God we can finally do this) to this is fun to this is really, really amazing!!! He had to go from 11 years of being numb to the actual act of intercourse and at some points hating sex as any attempts would just make me cry to now we can do it; now we can have fun with it; and now it can be amazing! It was a transition for the both of us that took quite a bit of communication, support, patience, and love to get through. I think an idea that may help you to become closer to your husband as you work on dilating and the Candy Stick would also be to try doing Sensate Focus Exercises. Recently, there was an excellent Blog on this that you may find helpful:

    I hope all of this helps and I look forward to reading more of your posts!!!! :):):)


    Hi Conqueror, I’m so glad that you found the Forum. I had my procedure in October of this last year and am happy to say that at age 52 and having suffered with Vaginismus for all of my married life of 32 years and prior, I am now able to have pain free intercourse with my husband. I still can’t believe it. I think a very important, huge huge part of this process has been dilating on a consistent basis, every day. In the beginning it was two hours a day and now it is 1 hour each day and especially right prior to intercourse. Not only has this retrained my muscles but it has been a huge confidence booster for my mental well being. I totally understand how you are feeling about your husband as I felt the same way about mine. Our honeymoon was a nightmare from the get go. For over 30 years I felt guilty, humiliated and that I wasn’t good enough for him since I couldn’t be a “real” woman. There were several times in our marriage when I told him that he should just leave me as I could not be the woman that he deserved. I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I so wanted to be “normal” and be able to love my husband physically. No matter how hard I willed myself my body would not let him in and when I did it was with excruciating pain. Many times he would say that he felt like he was raping me. Even though I was a willing participant, my body wasn’t. What a blessing that I found this Forum last year and Dr. Pacik. I truly felt like I was alone and couldn’t believe there were other women suffering with the very same symptoms. I’m so excited for you that you and your husband have had success! It sounds like you are doing great with the dilators and I think that using the Candy Stick will be a huge help for you. The position that was and is still the best for me, both physically and mentally is me on top, facing away from him. It allows me to have complete control and that has been very important for me since I was hurt badly when I was younger by someone I trusted. It caused me to have trust issues with anyone that got even close to me “down there”, including my husband. Being on top makes me feel like I am in control. Like Heather, I also find that the spooning, scissoring position is very comfortable and easy for insertion. I hope this helps. You are doing amazing and again I’m so happy that you had success! Please know that myself as well as so many others are here for you.

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