How I cured it WITHOUT dilators!
July 17, 2018 at 8:44 pm #23287Alice23_5Participant
I understand how difficult this must be for you. I had been married for 3 months before my husband and I finally consummated our marriage.
In my case my husband being extremely supportive was the only thing that kept me going. Don’t feel pressurized into doing anything. And remember more the pressure, lesser the chances are. I used to dread having sex while I was suffering from the problem. I always wished that he wouldn’t be in the mood on any given day. But all those initial times we tried and did not work out we just ended up having grind sex instead. And my poor husband would not complain. I’m really so thankful to him for having stayed by my side and not let the frustration get him. He would just say ” It’s alright, we have an entire lifetime ahead of us”. And it was always so reassuring. It was only later after we succeeded that he admitted that it was actually beginning to worry him and he was thinking about a doctor’s visit etc. But trust me I WOULD NOT WANT TO SEE ANY DOCTOR regarding this.So I tried to cure it myself and guess what, it totally worked.
My agenda was to start using fingers one at a time, then move on to 2 and 3 fingers and then slowly progress to dilators. I did not have any previous penetration experience, I never even slid my little finger in there! But I slowly got there. Yes it was very painful in the beginning, I even bled when my husband fingered me in the beginning. It also hurt when I peed. I did not give up and I think that is the key. Slowly the pain began to fade. So finally with a lot of hard work and determination I finally managed to get 3 fingers in there. 3 fingers not flat but holding them together in a small triangle like shape. After doing that for a about a week, one weekend we decided to try actual penetration. We did not plan ahead or anything, we just sort of tried our luck like all the previous times. And instead of getting tensed about the pain, I just thought to myself “If 3 fingers can go in without pain, how painful can this be anyway”
And Lo Behold! It finally happened! I was no longer a virgin. It just happened. With a lot of pain of course, but it really did go in fully! And we did not need the dilators!! And boy was it good! Felt like I reached a whole new level of happiness. No I did not orgasm, and it did take a couple of times before my husband got the hang of it and orgasm-ed. But he did anyway. As of now, I have to go on top and only then can I orgasm from penetration. But trust me the pain is almost like not there anymore. Maybe just a little when he enters in the beginning when we’ve not had sex for couple days but other than that, it’s incredible!
I really hope my story makes you hopeful and that things will really work out for you guys! And please do not fight over this! It really will not do any good, if not worsen the problem. All the boyfriends/husbands out there, just be really supportive and loving. She might even be worried that you might leave her because of this, just be as re-assuring as possible, and help her stay motivated because I’m sure it must really hard on her to handle this.
Good luck you guys and be positive!July 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm #23393
Alice 23_5, congratulations on being able to achieve penetration – it sounds like you worked hard and were able to stick with it until you saw results! Everyone’s path through vaginismus is different, and even though you didn’t involve doctors or dilators in your treatment, there are so many familiar elements – especially the logical conclusion a lot of us have about “If I can insert THIS, a penis shouldn’t be a big deal!”
I hope your story will motivate others to seek help (though I will say there’s no shame in needing the help of a doctor, gyno, physical therapist, or anyone else in your treatment process) – it’s great that you are finally able to have the sex life you want!August 19, 2018 at 7:55 pm #23520Sks823Participant
Love this success story! I used dilators to overcome my vaginismus, but agree that a lot of it was mental – I also had a couple moments when it just CLICKED in my mind that because of my progress with dilators, tampons/a pap smear/a penis wouldn’t be nearly as uncomfortable/painful as it was before…
So happy to hear about your happy sex life! Great post and I hope this encourages others with our issue that with determination and experimentation they will be able to overcome vaginismus!September 10, 2018 at 7:07 am #23591
This is a very reassuring story to hear. As I cannot insert the dialstors in me but can insert 2 fingers sideways some maybe I should continue trying to insert more fingers slowly?September 10, 2018 at 9:24 am #23593
Strega001, I think more than anything what’s important is just to focus on progress that feels like it’s working for YOU – no two vaginismus journeys are the same, and if you’re seeing progress with fingers you should pursue that. One thing that’s useful about working with dilators is that it’s very easy to tell whether you’re making progress because you’re inserting an object of a standard size the exact same way, so it’s easier to tell when sensations start to feel different and tightening is less bad. I would still encourage some dilator work once you’re very comfortable with fingers if penile intercourse is your final goal, but it’s all about what works for you at the end of the day!January 31, 2019 at 5:02 pm #24259
Thank you Recessivegenqueen.
I have since had the Botox treatment here in London at a private clinic. Although I haven’t really attempted to have sex with my partner as I’m fearful it won’t work. I was able to tolerate tip to size 3 dilator when I went for my follow up a few weeks ago. I’m still dilating at home but I can’t get the larger ones fully in. It’s been 6 weeks since my Botox treatment and my doc encouraged me to try sex but I am worried it won’t work. Also it’s been difficult for us to initiate sex with each other. Any tips?
Thx S001😊February 2, 2019 at 10:08 am #24270
Hello Strega!!! Congratulations on having the botox treatment and beginning dilation – these are huge steps and you should be really proud of yourself for how far you’ve come already.
My first tip would be to NOT rush sex with your partner. I know that after such a long wait that most people are eager to get to that important moment, but it’s SO important for you to feel comfortable first or you’ll run into the same issues and feel an unnecessary sense of frustration. I’m not sure what dilator set you’re using (and thus how big the size 3 dilator is) but I encourage you to get comfortable enough with a dilator that’s slightly larger than your partner’s penis if possible – it’ll make the transition to the penis feel easier than dilating and give you more confidence, which helps a lot the first few times.
As far as initiating sex, this can sometimes be something that has to be relearned. A lot of the intimacy and curiosity and exploration of a couple’s sex life can get stifled by one partner having vaginismus, so sometimes you have to start back at square one. Learn how to touch and kiss and caress again and you’ll be reconnected to that person and feel more ready to have that kind of connection with your partner again. I also recommend discussing beforehand how attempting sex will go (something you can say when you’re ready, maybe) and I’d encourage you to take the lead in these encounters so that you can feel confident that you’re in control.
Good luck and I hope some of this helps! Let us know how it goes!February 5, 2019 at 11:30 am #24291Jennifer Dembo, LMSWModerator
Congratulations, strega001! You’ve taken a giant step. And I couldn’t agree with recessivegenequeen more; remove the focus from sex right now to getting reacquainted with your partner. Although this may feel like yet another barrier to having intercourse, try and reframe it as a refreshing and fun (yes, fun!) project. Pretend you’re being intimate for the very first time – it’s arousing and exciting and it will likely kick off a whole new narrative around sex for both of you. You can keep whatever you’ve historically enjoyed together, but allow for different experiences as well. With time and patience and a little bit of exploration, you’ll ease into your objectives instead of hurtling towards them.February 5, 2019 at 11:31 am #24292Jennifer Dembo, LMSWModerator
Congratulations, strega001! You’ve taken a giant step. And I couldn’t agree with recessivegenequeen more; remove the focus from sex right now to getting reacquainted with your partner. Although this may feel like yet another barrier to having intercourse, try and reframe it as a refreshing and fun (yes, fun!) project. Pretend you’re being intimate for the very first time – it’s arousing and exciting and it will likely kick off a whole new narrative around sex for both of you. You can keep whatever you’ve historically enjoyed together, but allow for different experiences as well. With time and patience and a little bit of exploration, you’ll ease into your objectives instead of hurtling towards them.May 24, 2019 at 6:26 am #25100
Thanks Jennifer for your support. Unfitting my partner was not willing to preserve and get reacquainted to and become intimate. I found this to be the case throughout my journey with him. He just didn’t seem to be I interested to arouse me or make me feel good. He has subsequently left me which I have found very upsetting and feel rejected. I am beginning to realise he was not the right partner for me as he did not want to make effort to try. We tried only twice since the Botox treatment and basically that was trying to him. I am continuing to dilate on the largest silicone dilator but can only get in 70 percent which my psychosexual counsellor seems to think is enough. However I still feel very upset at the behaviour of my ex. He has made me feel so bad and also not desired by him as he said he has no passion for me. I am trying to remain positive that I will get through this and will have sex with a More supportive partner.May 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm #25104
STREGA001 – I’m so sorry to hear about how things shook out with your partner. I’m glad that from this experience you can extract the takeaway that he wasn’t the right person for you. If he was able to see all the physical and emotional work you were putting into dilation and didn’t feel like trying himself, that has everything to say about him rather than about you.
I know this outcome is probably still very painful, but you have been so brave, and the great thing about finally seeking treatment for vaginismus is that no one can take away the growth and development you’ve experienced from you. That improved relationship to your body and your sexuality will be carried forward into your next relationship as well as any others that might come after it. Just look at how far you’ve come – when you first joined this thread, you weren’t even able to use a dilator, and now you’re on the largest one! That was hard work that YOU did.
If you find yourself still struggling to cope with the feelings of your breakup or are simply feeling stuck, your psychosexual counselor may be able to help you work through those emotions, or seeing a regular therapist might not be a bad idea if that’s outside the scope of your current counselor.
I know how isolating vaginismus can feel, but in many ways you are setting yourself up for a life without it. Someday it will just be another thing you happen to, that you tell someone about who can appreciate how far you’ve come.May 30, 2019 at 5:32 pm #25113
Thank you regressivegenqueen. I agree my partner was selfish and did not want to put in the effort. He did accompany me to one of my psychosexual appointments before breaking things off two weeks later admitting he himself had intimacy problems… My psychosexual counsellor believed he had issues from his past that he had not dealt with therefore putting a lot of blame and pressure on me. He was really quite insulting toward me at times and blamed it on the lack of sex. But how would I have been able to be intimate with someone who Made me feel
Anxious and was not willing to arouse me?
I had my last psychosexual appointment today and was asked to continue dilating. However I find it hard to do this everyday and we agreed 3 times a week would be sufficient. Do you think that is enough? I feel I have made some progress however still can’t manage the silicone no. 5 fully but have over 3/4 in.
Is there anything else I can do to help me along and feel more comfortable with my Vagina? I want to have a smear test soon too.
Strega.May 31, 2019 at 4:05 pm #25115Leslie Turner, WHNP, CNMModerator
Congratulations on the progress you have made! We recommend continuing w frequent dilation, no less than 3/week.
As far as becoming more comfortable with your vagina, I think one of the first steps is to acknowledge that you have put in the work for yourself and YOUR body. Yes, intercourse does involve another, but this is your dilation journey and I recommend celebrating how far you have come. You may want to use an internal vibrator in place of dilation some days; some women find it relaxing. And you can use it externally to stimulate the clitoris prior, which would also help w relaxing the pelvic floor.June 1, 2019 at 9:51 am #25116
Strega, I’m glad your psychosexual therapist has helped you find perspective on the experience and that you have some clarity in the awareness that your partner brought some of his own baggage into the relationship. Vaginismus sufferers are often so used to heaping blame upon ourselves for the problems in our relationships that it’s easy to overlook the ways our partners get to hide their own troubles behind that more visible issue.
I agree with Leslie that a consistent dilation schedule of at least 3 times a week is a good idea, as is exploring your body on your own. I definitely began to realize once I had my botox treatment and started dilating that I was very uncomfortable even with touching my own vagina in certain ways. I had used vibrators before but didn’t like using my hand, partly as a holdover from just being uncomfortable being touched by men down there. There are a lot of negative associations to unlearn and many of them can happen on your own as you recover from your split with your partner and prepare to meet someone who can understand your situation and offer more compassion.August 27, 2019 at 7:33 am #25639Sks823Participant
Congrats on your progress and so sorry to hear about your ex-partner. Dilating 3x/week is good, and try moving the dilator in and out when you are dilating (if you aren’t already) – which admittedly feels weird but can really help when you do transition to sex.
Use of vibrators and just starting to get to know your vagina is also super helpful, as others mentioned. Even looking at diagrams of a vagina can help, or reading articles about women’s masturbation!
Also – don’t forget to be patient. Everyone overcomes vaginismus at their own pace so if you’ve been having trouble with a dilator, just try again in a couple of weeks (of course, start with the dilator you’re more comfortable with, then try to insert the bigger one – slowly with lots of lube/coconut oil/whatever)!
Sorry again about your difficulties with your ex-partner, but it’s amazing that you’ve stuck with the therapy and dilating – you are changing your life and will have much more confidence with sexual activities in the future!
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