I’m new here and feeling alone

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  • #23560
    haley428
    Participant

    Hi there! I’m new to this site and I am struggling with this condition. I’m 29 years old and have never had sex or been able to make it through a gynecological exam. My boyfriend of four years is supportive in terms of not pushing me, but I’m not sure he can ever fully understand why I have this problem and I’m sure it’s frustrating for him as well. Only recently have I been able to insert the smallest, thinnest plastic tampon I could find, and that was after locking myself in the bathroom for a long time and using lubrication, and being totally relaxed which isn’t possible at the doctor’s office. This wasn’t my first attempt either. Every time I try to have a pelvic exam done, the pain is excruciating and feels like a sharp knife trying to enter me despite them trying to use a pediatric speculum. They can’t even try to insert a finger without me jumping off the table. When I was in college, I went to the gynecologist for the first time and he was male even though I had requested a female. That was when I experienced the knife-like pain for the first time, and again he barely tried to insert the speculum and I was in agony. He said “Next time we might just need to try with more force.” I went home crying and felt almost violated by the way the situation was handled so insensitively. My current doctor usually gives up trying and says it’s all in my head and there’s nothing she can do about that and that she could have it done in 10 seconds if I’d only let her. I even tried Xanax I was prescribed and had my mom there with me. and I still couldn’t get through it. I went to another appointment where she number the area with little lidocaine and used dilators that were more like metal straws that increased in size. At the end she had me insert a tampon. I saw a nurse practitioner at employee health today as I was having some burning with my periods and after I told her I was afraid of the speculum, she tried to use a double q-tip swab to take a sample. It felt like knives again even when she let me do it myself. I came crying and feeling so defeated and disappointed in myself. I see a therapist regularly for anxiety and depression, and she is looking into sex therapist options for me. She is really the first person to mention Vaginismus or spasming to me. I came off antidepressants several months ago, but she thinks it might be a good idea for me to go back on them. I am fortunate that I can talk to my mom about this, but I don’t know any other girls or women my age who are experiencing this or who aren’t sexually active by this point in time. Though, I don’t really bring it up to most people for fear of judgement or that they just won’t get it. I feel like such a failure and I can’t stop crying about it. I’m ready to give up and never have a meaningful connection or ever be able to have kids. I want to be able to get through this exam for my health as well, and I have to be seen to continue getting my birth control for heavy periods. I fear being heavily sedated or put to sleep is my only option. Im scared I’ll never get over this problem. I’m frustrated that I’m not like others and I just feel so alone in the world :(. I apologize for this lengty post but I would be so grateful for any advice you can give <3. Please help! I don’t know much about treating this; wondering if I should order dilators online and what kind, etc. I just want to be able to move past this.

    #23562
    Forumname
    Participant

    Hey, idk if any of what I’m about to say will help but you’re definitely not alone. I’ve felt all the things you’re feeling; the lonliness, the negative feelings towards yourself etc etc. I have a similar issue and I cry about it all the time too. It’s such a sh*t feeling not feeling normal. Idk if you feel this too, but I get angry that every other person without an issue takes being able to have sex for granted. I also get so angry that they never explained at school during arc education that complications like these exist. I feel like if I grew up knowing this was a possibility I wouldn’t feel like such a freak for not being able to do something that is completely normal and natural. It is common knowledge that sex education in schools is awful, and I definitely think this is something that also needs to be included in it. I’m so sorry about your situation but it looks like you’re taking steps in the right direction. Maybe sex therapy is the key, I do hope that works for you and you find a solution soon. Much love! <3

    #23566
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Haley428, thanks so much for opening up about your story – many of us here can attest to how hard it is and how brave it makes you just to examine this problem you have in an attempt to find relief. I felt the same way you did for so long – like there was no way I’d ever be normal or get to have sex like other people. I couldn’t insert anything, I had years of failed attempts at intercourse and disappointed partners under my belt, and the whole thing was such a source of shame and felt so hopeless.

    But the wonderful thing was that it wasn’t as hopeless as I thought. Vaginismus is a terrible thing, but it’s treatable. I’m able to have sex now and enjoy it immensely, and new partners I meet have no idea I ever had a problem with sex before unless I tell them. So don’t lose faith, because the stakes can reverse themselves to a degree you would find shocking.

    It sounds like your experience at the doctor to insert a tampon (an early attempt at dilating) ended up working for you. That’s great, and to me suggests that you should order a set of dilators to try working with on your own at first, if only because it’s a cheaper way of beginning to find a solution. I have the Pure Romance set, which is what the Maze Clinic gives you and works with. See how dilating goes and follow the advice around the forums on how to do it (or just ask, of course – I think you stand a chance of having some luck this way.

    I would also strongly, strongly encourage you to open yourself to the possibility of the botox treatment. It sounds like you’re not too jazzed about the idea of being sedated, but this is such a small part of a process that is absurdly effective. My vaginismus was so acute that there was no way dilation would ever have worked for me. After getting the botox after 10 years of not being able to have sex, I achieved intercourse with my partner for the first time 20 days after treatment. I don’t know where you live or what your financial situation is, but if you’re at all able to make the botox procedure happen for yourself, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’m encouraged that your mother is an advocate for you and that you can trust her – I hope she can help you find a treatment that works.

    Whatever you do, DON’T give up – there is a distant shore where you’ll feel like you never had vaginismus at all and I want to see you stand on it. You may not know how yet, but you can get there.

    #23573
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    Hi Haley,

    I am so glad you found this forum, cause we are here for you. It does sound like you have vaginismus, and it is treatable and curable.

    I think your therapist is correct in suggesting going back on anti-anxiety/anti-depressants, they can help you get through the dilation process.

    I would purchase a good set of dilators, not vaginismus.com, but the pure romance set, or soul source. Most patients really like the silicone sets as they are not as hard as the plastic ones and more comfortable.

    If you are in the NY area, I would strongly consider coming in for an appointment. You also sound like a great candidate for the Botox procedure.

    Don’t hesitate to call for a free 10 min phone consultation if you might be interested.

    Melissa

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