Feeling lost

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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    Hi everyone,

    My name is Stephanie & I’m from Melbourne, Australia – so a fair way away from most on here! But I came across this forum and I’m just so desperate for support and, more importantly, understanding that I thought I’d join.

    I was diagnosed with vaginismus a few years ago, whilst undergoing treatment for endometriosis.

    Recently, it’s become a lot more of an issue for me, as I am currently having some other issues. I’ve been bleeding for 8 weeks, in a lot of pain and after a scan realised I have a very thick uteral lining which now needs to be dealt with.

    Whilst sex has been an issue for me in the past, currently my main issue isn’t really sex – it’s examinations.

    Yesterday I had to visit the gynaecologist about these current issues and she needed to take a swab to check for infection. This was extremely traumatic for me – I was almost inconsolable and I felt so stupid and humiliated for it as the doctor just didn’t understand.

    I have been placed on a wait list for surgery – a D&C, hysteroscopy, Pap smear & insertion of Mirena under general anaesthetic.

    But I am already anxious over having the Mirena, even though I know it’s the best option for me for various reasons.

    What if it comes loose? What if I need or want to have it taken out and they won’t put me under sedation?

    Whilst thankfully I am able to have sex with my current partner – I am not able to use tampons or insert fingers or anything into my own vagina. I am not able to undergo any kind of examination or Pap smear etc.

    I’m wondering if there are others in similar situations and I’d love to know how you have coped with examinations etc also.

    This is a constant source of anxiety for me.

    Thanks so much x


    Hi Stephanie! I’m so sorry to hear about all the issues you’ve had, both with vaginismus and endometriosis. I have had the same experience with difficulty with exams, and it is HORRIBLE to have to feel so stressed and ashamed in the presence of a doctor you usually don’t know.

    I haven’t been back for an exam since I had my botox procedure for vaginismus, but I have had a pap smear under anesthesia before to ensure that everything was healthy. The best thing you can do is to find a gynecologist that understands vaginal pain disorders and ESPECIALLY the anxiety and emotional issues that come with them. I have had good doctors at the Maze clinic who go slowly, act patient with my feelings, and explain to me carefully what they’re going to do before they start touching you in any way. All this stuff helps build trust with your doctor or nurse. Hoping others have some good suggestions as well, but it’s a HUGE thing that you’re able to have sex! A ton of women, even those with no vaginismus issues, have anxiety around gyno exams so you are not alone at ALL!


    Sorry to hear about your endometriosis + vaginismus issues, but I also want to give my support and say you’re not alone! A lot of the things you mentioned have given me anxiety in the past too. Finding a gynecologist whom you trust is huge!

    Also, when you’re ready, even though you are able to have sex, it may be worth it to try using small dilators just to be more comfortable inserting something into your own vagina. Again, finding a women’s clinic experienced in vaginismus and dilators may help you with that step (I wasn’t able to use dilators on my own until I went to Maze)!

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