How to Overcome Fear?

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

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    Dr. Pacik has written so many wonderful posts concerning conquering fear. One particular post that is a favorite includes the following:

    “The fear of using dilators is perhaps one of the most common reasons women don’t think they can go through with the program. They need considerable reassurance and this is one of the major benefits of this Forum-to remove the unknown causing fear and replace this with reliable educational information. The fear of failing with dilators lingers after the treatment. Early on, it is all so strange but possible. Patience is important because with time it gets easier as the muscles are stretching and the Botox makes it impossible to go back into spasm. Even a few days of not dilating during menses is not a problem, one simply starts with a smaller dilator to get used to the dilation program once again. Now that the extreme fear and anxiety are abating, everything becomes easier”

    Prior to my procedure, I was consumed with so many fears, including the fear of failing treatment because I was terrified of dilating post-procedure. In the past, I had ordered hard, plastic white dilators and tried so many times to insert them on my own with no success. Every single time, it felt like I was hitting a wall and caused excruciating pain and burning. How would I ever be able to use the dilators in this program if I wasn’t able to even insert the smallest one on my own after trying for years and years??? I seriously couldn’t have been more wrong and it took actually waking up from the procedure with a dilator inside of me to realize this. When I woke up with the largest blue dilator inside of me, this was the first time anything had successfully been inside of me period and I was in shock that it had worked, I wasn’t broken, and it didn’t hurt at all. Thereafter, with this knowledge and quite a bit of lidocaine/surgilube coating the dilators, I was able to insert the purple, pink, and largest blue right in and without the resistance and blocked wall feeling that I had always had. Now, the burning/pain/fear/wall was gone and this allowed both my husband and I to practice inserting, removing, and re-inserting all of the dilators pain-free. I delayed having the procedure b/c I was so afraid of this and then realized, after the fact, that it was entirely possible.

    In an excellent recent success story that I read, it also discusses that overcoming fear is entirely possible with the right help and the right attitude.

    Specifically, L, Age 29, wrote:

    “I am a 28 year old who never had intercourse in her life. I’ve been this way always. I was afraid of the pain, and getting pregnant. I had been afraid that there was nothing anyone could do. At the last visit I made to my Gynecologist, he told me that it was all in my head…that I just needed to relax and it would happen. That made me feel worse because I knew it was not that easy for me to just let it happen. My boyfriend of 11 years, yes 11 years, was watching a show one day where they talked about many things including couples that were dating or were married for years and could never have sex. He told me about it and I started to cry. I thought I was the only one going through this, how selfish was I? After he went to bed I decided to Google more info about this other couples. After searching, I bumped into an article that talked about Vaginismus, a condition that does not allow you to have sexual intercourse. I was amazed about the number of women that were going through this. I was researching online for a place where I can find someone to talk to; a professional that could help me and my boyfriend get through this once and for all, and I found Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I felt weird right before I made the phone call, but at the same time I was extremely excited and hopeful to find a solution to this problem I was having. I was also a bit nervous on my first appointment, but everyone was so nice and friendly that I felt at ease right of way. Since the dilators didn’t work out very well for me. I decided to go for a more unconventional treatment. The botulinum toxin treatment was the best approach for me because it helped me overcome the fear of having something in my vagina.

    The treatment went as follows:
    They put me to under conscious anesthesia for a procedure that took about 15 to 20 min.

    After putting a topical anesthetic in my vaginal walls the doctor injected the area with botulinum toxin. After the muscles relaxed a large dilator was inserted and I woke up with it already inside. It was such an overwhelming experience waking up with the dilator inside of me. I felt accomplished.

    Within a week and a half my boyfriend and I were able to have sex. It takes some getting used to. This is a new experience for me; for us. But we are working on it. I still follow up with the Nurse Practitioner, to see my progress. As for me, I feel amazing. I’m Happy. I feel like a woman.

    Fear is a part of life. Lesson learned, you can get over it, with the right help and the right attitude, fear can be overcome. I would want other women to know that they should not let fear of the unknown control you. It’s never too late to search for help. I just wished I would’ve found out about my condition sooner.

    Vaginismus is not something that people talk about. And if it wasn’t because of that show my boyfriend saw, I would’ve never done the research and I would’ve never looked for help.

    It took me too long to figure out what I had was not all in my head. Don’t be afraid to get help. You are not alone.”

    To the veterans reading this, how did you overcome your own fears pre-procedure? Any advice would be so helpful.

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