Diagnosed with vaginismus after many years of successful sex

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  • #41282
    Natalie0000
    Participant

    Hi everyone, my name is Natalie and I am new to this group. I am 22 and was diagnosed with vaginismus a little over a year ago, right before COVID began. From ages 16-20 I had no problems with penetration or using tampons. In September 2019, sex became extremely painful and I can’t exactly pinpoint why. I have been with my partner since December 2018, and we had sex many times prior to the pain. After many months of not being able to have intercourse, I finally went to the doctor and they said that I likely have vaginismus and to just try more lube and different positions. Since the pandemic began right after, I have not been able to have any follow-up appointments. For the past year and a half, my fiancé and I have been able to have sex maybe 5 times and the pain is excruciating. Has anyone else experienced vaginismus after no prior issues? I think this began for me after having pain one time from intercourse at a weird angle, and it gave me a lot of anxiety. My fiancé isn’t bothered by us not having sex, but it makes me feel worthless about myself. I am not quite sure what to do. It has become so painful that intercourse no longer works.

    #41299
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    Hi Natalie0000,

    Can you think of any other changes that might have occurred?

    What about birth control…are you on the pill, or other hormonal contraception. Sometimes we see birth control use can make the vaginal entrance more sensitive and painful. So over time, penetration feels like a strong burning painful feeling, and then, with repeated painful penetration, the muscles in the vagina tighten, and it gets even more painful.

    Anxiety will also make the situation worse, so trying to bring that down will be helpful.

    I think you can try a home dilation program and see if that helps. Or, seek help from a pelvic floor physical therapist. It is getting easier to get in person appointments now with vaccinations.

    If you think the birth control could be part of the problem, return to your gynecologist to discuss other options.

    #41502
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi Natalie0000 – I’m so sorry to hear about your issue! That must be so frustrating to have vaginismus appear after years of pain-free sex, although in reality our bodies change a lot over the course of our lives (as Melissa has highlighted). Anxiety and the perpetuating cycle of fear of pain/experiencing pain can really compound itself, especially if you feel like you’re digging into a deeper hole.

    I agree with Melissa that trying a dilation kit to stretch your muscles gradually and start rebuilding your confidence is a great idea. As hard as it can be, it might be a good idea to try to work on the guilt and shame you’re feeling (and thus probably bringing into your sexual experiences) because it can contribute to feelings of dread and uncertainty that can cause more pain. Whether that’s by working through your feelings with a therapist, journaling, or even just reflecting on your mental state before a sexual encounter, it can really help pave the way for a more satisfying sexual future.

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