Introduction-Long Term Vaginismus
September 11, 2012 at 11:36 am #8642
I just turned 52 and have had vaginismus since I was a teenager (not knowing it at the time). I first realized something was wrong when I started menstruating and couldn’t use a tampon. It was like I was hitting a wall and I couldn’t insert it. I had a strict family and was told no sex before marriage and that if I did my hymen would be broken and my husband would know and be very upset with me. So I was very afraid of sex from the get go. It didn’t sound like fun to me, only painful. Out of high school I became engaged and we tried to have intercourse but again, my body wouldn’t let anything, anybody in. My fiancé was told that if he broke my hymen it would be all better and to get me drunk and when I was relaxed jam his fingers inside of me. Well we tried this and I knew, even though I was drunk, what was going to happen. When I finally relaxed and didn’t think he was going to do it he did and it was very painful and of course didn’t work. After that I have never trusted anyone, even my husband of 31 years down in that area. I was never able to have a pelvic exam. It always ended up with me crying and feeling so ashamed that I couldn’t allow them to get close to me. Finally with valium and a baby speculum I was able to give an exam. It was very uncomfortable and painful. My fiancé broke up with me and I knew it was because I was unable to have sex. So after that I tried to become promiscuous but of course my body would not let me. I felt like a freak, frustrated and depressed. My libido was great but I just couldn’t let anybody in. I met my husband and we decided to wait until marriage before we had intercourse. We did everything else but intercourse prior to being married. On our wedding day I was a nervous wreck worried about our first night. It was awful; as much as I wanted to I couldn’t have penetration. I cried and cried. It was the worst day of my life. After several attempts and a few years later I realized that we had never had penetration and we decided to seek out help. I had gone to a GYN appointment with my younger sister who had the same trouble with exams as I did. The doctor said that it was odd and asked if we had been sexually abused. We did not think so; it was the last thought in our minds. She suggested that we look into it as for both of us to have the same symptoms seemed odd to her. So I went to a sexual abuse seminar and they had a check sheet and I found that I had marked almost everything so they said I had been sexually abused. So I found a counselor and they were convinced that I was abused even though I had no memories. This was in 1992/93. I went into even deeper depression and started a support group class and one on one counseling. It was an awful time. Looking back on it, I know that I wasn’t sexually abused. It was the only way they knew how to diagnose me. It seemed like at that time “sexual abuse” was “coming out” and there were lots of diagnosis. I am sad about those many years because I ended my relationship with my Dad because of it. I lost several precious years with my Dad. I was never abused. I was severely misdiagnosed. After 15 years of struggling with this condition, feeling humiliated, that I was a freak, that my husband didn’t deserve me we found a doctor who diagnosed me with vaginismus. I underwent surgery to remove scar tissue, the outer ring of my hymen and an episiotomy. After I healed I was given dilators and lidocaine. It took a long time to work up to the largest dilator I was able to have intercourse. We found there was only one position for that would work and where I felt comfortable because I was in control. Several years later, on-line I found a self-inflating speculum that I purchased and take with me to my yearly exams. I have an awesome nurse practitioner who has had unbelieveable patience and has helped me through the exams. I have to take an anti-stress med before I go in, use lidocaine before I leave the house, use lidocaine when I get there and then I have to insert the inflating speculum in myself and then she pumps the air into it to inflate. Each time I am crying because I feel so humiliated that I can’t be normal. Until a few months ago, our love making consisted of me “getting prepared”. I would use lidocaine and a dilator prior to intercourse. Sometimes it would help and sometimes it wouldn’t but it would allow my husband to penetrate me. A few months ago I became extremely frustrated and wanted love making to be more spontaneous and loving, less robotic and so I started using the dilator without the lidocaine and started having intercourse without the lidocaine. We didn’t realize it but the lidocaine had also been numbing my husband all of these years. Penetration is extremely painful and I am an emotional wreck during and afterwards. I so want to be normal and be able to make love to my husband like a normal woman and be uninhibited. I just found Dr. Pacek’s website this last week and cannot believe how many women suffer from this. I am not alone and some women have it much worse than I do. It just breaks my heart because I know how it has made me feel all these years. I would not wish those feelings on anyone. It is truly devastating. I don’t know if there is hope for me since I have suffered with this for so long. I’m praying that Dr. Pacek will be an answer to my many years of prayer. I have been so blessed by a wonderful understanding husband, but I would give anything to be able to make love to my husband, truly make LOVE and not just perform the act with all the pain and tears. I am so sorry for all who have suffered through this awful condition and I’m so happy for those who have successes with Dr. Pacek’s treatment. I’m afraid for me, that I have had this too long for any hope.September 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm #10294aroseParticipant
thank you for sharing this… my heart went out to you as I read your story. It is so tragic, but you are not alone in all the emotions and heartache you expressed.
Whilst it may (though may not!) take you a bit longer to overcome the condition with Dr Pacik’s programme due to the longevity of your condition, you are in fact one step ahead of many of his patients in that you have been able to have penetration with your husband, even though it was painful. Many of his successful patients were never able to insert anything before they came to him.
I am about a month and a half after the procedure… we can have intercourse, though I still have to ‘prepare’ as you mentioned with dilation before hand, and whilst it’s not always a totally relaxing experience yet, it is not painful as such, and we are always making progress… (we were never able to achieve penetration beforehand). Dr Pacik and his team are there on hand to give you advice and be there for you every step of the way, and whilst I haven’t found it always the easiest of journey’s, it is not a physically painful one.
I appreciate that you probably are very cautious about having renewed hope, when so many times you have only been disappointed, but I strongly recommend that you have a chat with Dr Pacik – whilst there are no guarantees I definately think this treatment is work the risk of hoping again.September 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm #10295lesocParticipant
I firmly believe that there is still much hope for you. Perhaps you are a bit older than the average lady that comes around here – but who knows, you could have another 20, 30, or 40 years with your husband still. That’s far too long to keep such sorrow and disappointment. We can’t change the past but we can keep trying to make positive changes, right? Sometimes it really feels too hard or even impossible, oh man does it ever. No one here would ever say your feelings are unjustified. BUT – If you can find it in you to take the risk, in the end I believe you will not regret it one bit. There will always be a cheering squad at hand here. o-(^_^o)September 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm #10297
Thank you for your support and kind words arose and lesoc. It means so much to me. I’m really looking forward to talking with Dr. Pacik and learning more about the treatment. This is the first time in 30+ years I have a real sense of hope.September 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm #10298Heather34Moderator
Hi Nakita. Welcome to the forum and thank you so, so much for sharing your story. It truly tears me up to read of everything that you’ve gone through in your struggle to overcome vaginismus. I, too, tried so many different treatments (i.e. using the dilators on my own with a kit, physical therapy, etc.) for several years and my entire relationship with my husband to no avail. Prior to receiving this treatment, I had never been able to even insert a q-tip without excruciating pain. I had never had a successful gynecological exam and even had to undergo laparoscopic surgery without ever having an ob/gyn exam, something that comes so easily for those without vaginismus. Within 1 week of treatment, I was able to have pain-free intercourse with my hubby for the first time ever and it still just feels so unbelievable and absolutely wonderful! I’ve also been able to have successful gynecological tests and exams for the first time in my life, which is so important and medically necessary. I absolutely 100% KNOW that this procedure works and will work for you and your husband as well.
I’m also incredibly impressed by your mention of researching, purchasing, and using the self-inflating speculum for ob/gyn exams. For 15 years of my life, I was never able to have a successful gynecological exam and could tolerate no penetration whatsoever in this area. As I wrote above, I even had to undergo a laparoscopic surgery without ever having an ob/gyn exam b/c they were impossible for me due to vaginismus and I simply refused them. Your perseverance in finding a way to have the exams even with vaginismus is just amazing. Also, as arose mentioned, the fact that you’ve previously used dilators and had intercourse will be a huge benefit to you going into the procedure.
We are all here for you 100% and I know you will have tremendous success with this procedure and it will truly be life-changing!September 16, 2012 at 12:26 am #10308
Thank you Heather34 and thank you for talking with me today. Your story is truly encouraging to me and I am so happy for your success. Thank you for this forum. It is so awesome that we have a place that we can support one another. We truly aren’t alone….all these years I thought I was the only one suffering with vaginismus.September 16, 2012 at 8:12 am #10312Heather34Moderator
Hi Nakita. I enjoyed talking together yesterday and sharing stories and I am here for you always! :):):):)
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