Hello from Europe
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
June 14, 2015 at 3:14 pm #9362ravioliParticipant
I am 29 years old and my story of suffering started with my very first gynaecological examination. I was about 15 years old and had very strong pain during the examination, but my gynaecologist did not stop or comfort me – instead she said this is normal and I should just try to relax. Every part of the examination hurt a lot and even the pap smear was very painful for me. I was not able to go to a gynaecologist for the next 10 years. The next try was leading to the exact same situation – I was crying throughout the entire procedure and the gynaecologist was again not sensitive at all.
I had my first boyfriend with the age of 26, and also lost my virginity to him. The penetration was extremely painful and also bloody, but I told myself that it must be normal and that many women experience this. But after a while I noticed that something must be wrong, as the pain and the blood continued to occur every time we had sex. Penetration was possible, but only with pain and a few drops of blood. It always felt like a wall inside me, that is difficult and painful to pass. Of course there is absolutely no pleasure whatsoever. My boyfriend (and by now husband) is very understanding and is rather going without sex than hurting me. Nevertheless I have a bad conscience and I wish I could have normal sex like most of the other people do. I feel deprived of a very important source of pleasure and intimacy with a partner.
I visited many different gynaecologists, and finally found one that took my problem more seriously. He sent me to a hospital where they made several examinations – and it turns out that I have an involuntary muscle contraction in my vagina that must be causing this pain and the blood. Nobody used the word “vaginismus” though.
I started a psychotherapy to help me get over the gynaecologist trauma, even hypnotherapy. But all of them eventually ended with no real change (although it helped with other aspects of my life though). I searched the internet and read about this special treatment and unfortunately as I live in Europe, this is no option for me. It also seems like where I live, not a lot of doctors ever heard of vaginismus – so I’m practically on my own.
I am searching for people I can talk to, people who experience the same things as me and simply understand me. As for my friends, most of them don’t. They simply cannot relate to it and some of them even make jokes about it. I really need people that can help me live with this problem and carry on…
ravioliJune 18, 2015 at 5:46 pm #13803LeenaParticipant
My situation was very similar to yours, except that I was never, ever able to have anything inserted into my vagina (my wall was VERY STRONG!), except under anesthesia. Even under anesthesia, the doctor said my vagina was “tense”. I am 45 (46 tomorrow!), and I just had Dr. Pacik’s treatment in May, and things are going so well. Better than I really ever could have believed. I am not married and do not have a boyfriend, but in addition to now being able to self-dilate I was able to successfully use a vibrator. I traveled from New York City to New Hampshire for Dr. Pacik’s treatment because it is the only thing I have found that I thought might work for me. He has done hundreds with great success, though he is retiring soon. If you are in any way able to travel to New Hampshire for the treatment, I would recommend it. He has had patients from England and other parts of Europe travel just to see him. It will be a thousand times worth it if you can somehow manage it. It will transform your life. It is great that you are on this forum. I joined it about 18 months ago, and I moved from a place where I thought I was a freak and nobody else had this problem to a place of accepting myself and being accepted and welcomed by a large community of women who share our health condition. I wish you the very best, raviol! Leena 🙂October 2, 2015 at 10:12 am #13888Heather34Participant
Hi ravioli. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so, so sorry for your struggles with vaginismus. I, too, had primary vaginismus for all of my 20s and into my early 30s up until 2011. Please know that you have found an excellent place of support and you are not alone with this problem at all. Currently, there are over 785 Forum members who have all either had, currently have, or in some way are affected by vaginismus. Together, we can all learn from each other and be an excellent community of support. For all of the years that I had vaginismus, I told none of my closest girlfriends and it was very, very isolating. I currently don’t want a single person to feel like I did back then and, again, want you to know that you have my support and understanding 100%!
I want to share information with you on working with vaginal dilators. I’ve used both the Pure Romance dilator set as well as the Pacik Glass ones and like them both. The Pure Romance ones are great because they’re a softer silicone material and have handles which makes them easier to insert and remove. They also have many, many different sizes. I also really like the Pacik Glass ones because they, too, have the handles and they are shorter in length so you don’t feel them as much and can do other things with them in. I want to share the link for the second issue of the VaginismusMD Newsletter that discusses all-things dilating. Specific topics include: Styles and Materials of Dilators, Getting Started with Dilation (includes information on ordering dilator set), Anxiety Control, Advanced Dilation Techniques, and Transitioning to Intercourse. http://www.vaginismusmd.com/support/vaginismus-newsletter-archive/ins-outs-vaginal-dilation/#sthash.kAelUpP1.dpuf I also used a combination of Lidocaine/Surgilube as a lubricant on the dilators. I liberally used this and it made beginning insertion much more doable.
Ok, I hope all of this helps and again want you to know that I am sincerely here for you along your journey of overcoming vaginismus. Sending you support.
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