Different levels of Vaginismus?
July 27, 2021 at 2:22 pm #45823
After a recent encounter with my partner I’ve come to realize that I may suffer from penetration disorder. Which tbh was so weird for me yet made sense. I grew up with a lot of religious shaming of women and sex. It took me years to be comfortable with my sexuality and this also includes how much I actually like and enjoy sex. As I’m able to easily be aroused and easily orgasm. Yet vaginal penetration can’t happen. I’ve had sex and frequently have to change positions or the type of sex I’m having as I haven’t been able to be vaginally penetrated. Or so I thought. I had a really bad gyno experience years ago. She shamed me for having unprotected sex and when I wasn’t able to go through with the exam, she gave up very frustrated and said “come back when you’ve had more sex.” It took me years to go back to the gynecologist. And I really only went after my recent partner insisted after he wasn’t able to penetrate me. He was also concerned that I was bleeding. I wasn’t in pain though, and I wanted to continue having sex. I found a wonderful gynecologist who talked/walked me through everything and she was able to do the exam, pain-free! She also said everything looked healthy and she was able to fully examine me and I didn’t bleed at all during the exam. She suggested lots of lube, going slow, and seeing a pelvic floor therapist as there were times she noticed I tensed up and I had to be encouraged to relax. I told my partner this and we’ll try again sometime soon. My question is: since I am able to be penetrated and enjoy pain-free penetration(slowly and with lots of lube) is this vaginismus? Or what exactly is happening and how do I address it?July 28, 2021 at 1:43 am #45852kiadenmarkParticipant
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of muscles surrounding the vagina, making penetration difficult (or completely impossible). The definition doesn’t mention a time frame, so I think it’s perfectly possible to have pain free sex when you’re completely relaxed, which can turn into vaginismus whenever you’re feeling tensed. Most pelvic floor therapists also give you relaxation exercises, so I think you might benefit from that.July 28, 2021 at 3:00 am #45895
@kiadenmark thank you so much for your response. That’s really helpful context. I have an upcoming appointment at Maze and an upcoming pelvic floor therapy appointment. I’ll mention all of this to them.July 28, 2021 at 7:02 am #45909kiadenmarkParticipant
Usually though, if you really have vaginismus penetration is painful. So I don’t get that part as you seem to have no pain at all?July 28, 2021 at 1:37 pm #45955
There’s pain if I’m not properly prepared. But with prep I don’t experience pain from penetration.August 3, 2021 at 1:47 pm #46313recessivegenequeenParticipant
NERJONO, thanks for sharing your story and I’m sorry to hear about your negative experience with your first gynecologist visit! What an absolutely horrible way to be treated – I’m still amazed that so many people in the medical profession can be so judgmental, compassionless, and just plain wrong.
As it was explained to me, there are different levels of vaginismus – it exists on a spectrum and there isn’t one way it shows up. I was told about a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being that you’re jumping off the examination table if anyone comes near you level bad. A lot of patients who go to Maze (and many who end up on these forums) seek help because they’re on the more severe/intense end of the spectrum – this also looks like extreme pain upon penetration or penetration being completely impossible, being unable to even be touched near your vagina without anxiety, etc. It’s possible that NERJONO has a much milder version of vaginismus where she’s still on the 1 or2 end of things and experiencing more tension than is comfortable in her vagina at times, or she could just be one of the many, MANY women who needs foreplay to be sufficiently warmed up before sex. I think regardless of whether it’s technically vaginismus or not, getting some pelvic floor therapy or dilating to stretch out those muscles a bit will still help her have less painful intercourse at times and feel more confident during sexual interactions. It’s great that you’re looking into this, NERJONO!August 10, 2021 at 9:44 pm #46656
@recessivegenequeen apologies for a delayed response, I don’t get the notifications. But thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I really appreciate your perspective. I have an upcoming appointment with MAZE and a pelvic floor therapist. I’m not quite sure what’s happening with my body, so I’m super glad to have come across forums and centers like Maze. Again, I really appreciate the destigmatizing and sense of community that is here. I feel hopeful and feel like there’s a way for me to address these issues. Grateful to have found you all!August 15, 2021 at 11:00 am #46697recessivegenequeenParticipant
NERJONO, so glad I could be of help! The community and care team at Maze were the thing that really helped me to finally feel less shame/stigma and finally make progress, so I’m really happy to pay it forward. I’m so glad you have an appointment coming up with them! I think it’s so important to learn about your options so you can feel empowered and make the choice that’s right for you. Let us know how it goes and if you have any questions you have along the way!
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