How do I know if I have Vaginismus?

Home Forums Vaginismus Support Group Vaginismus General How do I know if I have Vaginismus?

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  • #65916
    emgb93
    Participant

    Hello, how does one get diagnosed with Vaginismus? I am 29 and have struggled with pain with penetration for my entire life up to this point. Never was able to use tampons. I never knew anything could be wrong and figured it was just me. I finally got into a serious relationship and went to the doctor as doing anything sexual was becoming an issue for me. I ended up having a procedure to remove excess tissue but the doctor said everything looked good once it was done. She referred me to pelvic floor therapy which I have been doing for the last 5 months. I am up to the 4th dilator but it takes me an excess of 30 min to fully insert and about the half way point I feel an excruciating stinging / burning sensation. It is very painful and unless my therapist is doing it for me I cannot do this myself. No one has mentioned vaginismus to me. I know the muscles are tight down there and my therapist just keeps telling me to use the dilators. My fiancé and I would love to have a family but at this point I feel hopeless about being able to have sex.

    #65948
    Persevere
    Participant

    Hi emgb93,

    What you mentioned sounds exactly like when I was in the middle of my dilation journey. I don’t know where you live, but in my country, doctors were not even aware that I had vaginismus. So I self-diagnosed and treated myself from the information across the internet and this forum. The burning and stinging feeling you get during dilation is common in vaginismus patients. I myself experienced it and it was so painful that I lost hope, but someone in the group recommended me to use Lidocaine ointment during dilation to numb the pain and it worked for me. Slowly my muscles became less tight and the burning and stinging disappeared. This burning feeling is actually a good sign because it means that your muscles are working just like when you exercise at first, your muscles feel sore, and then slowly the soreness disappears. Keep dilating and be patient. It took me 5 months of dilation to be finally able to have intercourse, especially the last dilators took a lot of time and it was painful. It is great that you are on the 4th dilator already. Appreciate yourself for this progress. Another thing is that if a particular dilator is taking a lot of time and being painful, try to find an intermediate size dilator which is smaller than the current one you are using but bigger than the 3rd dilator. In this way, your body will get familiar with dilating easily. Don’t lose hope and keep trying! You’ll be on the other side one day!

    #65958
    emgb93
    Participant

    Thank you for your response! I am in the US and I’m not sure how much it is talked about here. I have been to one gynecologist and seen two physical therapists and none have mentioned vaginismus.

    Can using the lidocaine do any kind of damage? I’ve always heard that when something is hurting you shouldn’t numb it before exercise if that makes sense. At least that’s how it was in sports. For example, if you had a back injury we were told not to use anything on it before playing. Not against using it just wasn’t sure if you had any input.

    The first 3 dilators felt pretty easy. But hitting the 4th has just been awful. I feel like the size difference is a much larger jump and I’m feeling pretty defeated right now :/

    #66000
    Persevere
    Participant

    Hi, I have no idea about how it is in the US, but someone in the group may be able to tell you about it. I get your point about Lidocaine and I actually felt the same when I started using it. I thought how would this make things better, but it does because if I hadn’t used Lidocaine 2% at that time, I would have left dilation at all because it was very painful. I used to apply it on thn the dilator and then insert the dilator. When my muscles became less tight, I wouldn’t feel burning anymore so I didn’t use it after that. I used it for about 1 month maybe and I was also worried about any side-effects but nothing happened. It was completely fine. However, you could discuss it with your therapist. She might be able to write a prescription for you.

    The 4th dilator is hard because of the difference between the sizes. Try an intermediate size. I was also stuck on my 4th or 5th dilator and almost gave up, but then someone recommended me to try an in-between size which solved my problem. Hope this will work for you too. Good luck and don’t feel defeated. I felt the same way throughout my dilation journey. Sometimes it felt I would never be able to make it through, but then I did it. You can do it too.

    #66010
    emgb93
    Participant

    Any recommendation on what lidocaine to use? And just making sure, you rub it on the dilator along with the lubricant? Thank you so much for your input and words of encouragement. Finding this group has really helped me not feel so alone.

    #66020
    Persevere
    Participant

    I used Xyloaid jelly which is Lidocaine 2%, however I think you should first ask your therapist about it, or maybe wait for some moderator or admin in the group to respond. Yeah I first applied lubricant which was petroleum jelly and then I applied this lubricant on top of it. Also, when you insert your dilator, if it is very painful, don’t push it through. Wait for your muscles to relax. Practise deep breathing alongside dilation. It will help you to relax.

    If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You are always welcome, and this group is actually great. I made it through vaginismus because of this group.

    #66101
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    To answer the lidocaine question…

    There are lidocaine lubricants that contain 2% lidocaine on the market, and you can purchase them online.

    One brand that I have recommended and we give to our patients in our office is called: CleanStream Relax Desensitizing Lubricant

    You can also purchase higher strength lidocaine creams or ointments at your local drug store, or online. They sell lidocaine up to 5% over the counter.

    A small amount of lidocaine can be applied directly to the vaginal entrance prior to dilation.

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