It’s painful

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

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    Hi. I’m Vane. I’m 25, Christian, and have been married to my husband for 2 years by next month but we haven’t done intercourse yet. I couldn’t get a pap smear a lil more than a year ago from the pain and my gynecologist suggested we get dilators. We did and it’s not helping much. I don’t look forward to the pain. I’m also suggested therapy but we don’t have the money to do so, so we’re just stuck in limbo. We do oral and manual sex to make up for it but hubs wants to do intercourse and I’m always knowing that it wouldn’t happen. Thankfully he doesn’t push me and supports me but it does make me feel useless in the end. I don’t know what to do.

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi Vane,
    Welcome to the forum – glad you found us. You have already taken the first step to overcoming pain with penetration by having purchased dilators. You said they are not helping much and maybe I can clarify how dilators can be helpful. They are used to “slowly” stretch the muscles inside the vagina. It’s a process whereby you start with the smallest dilator (put a lot of lubrication on it) and keep it inside for 10 minutes. Then at your pace (maybe weekly or after 2 weeks) you insert the next size dilator and work with that one …you do this until you can insert a dilator that is a bit larger (wider) than your husband’s penis. I can’t emphasize enough that this is a process and you will get there. In the meantime continue having pleasurable sex (using hands and mouth is sex!) with your partner.
    There’s a great deal of information on the forum and on our website for you to draw on. Please let us know how things are going for you.


    Hi Vane – wanted to check in and see how things are going for you and if you’ve tried dilating again. Like Helen said, it’s very much about the gradual process of getting more comfortable with having something penetrate you and stretching the muscles to gradually accommodate larger and larger things, so a degree of discomfort is actually a necessary part of the process!

    It can take time as well to re-learn your emotional and psychological connection to intercourse and penetration. Having pain around penetration for so long means that you have to rebuild trust with your own body, and that takes time and intentional focus.

    Let us know if any of this helps or what other kinds of problems you’re facing. I promise it doesn’t always have to be like this and that a happier sex life is possible!


    Still having a hard time. Hubs and I still use other methods but penetrative is not working.


    Hi VaneFC!
    I’m really sorry you’re still having a hard time. Vaginismus is very curable, so don’t freat!
    Have you been dilating? If so, have you been keeping a consistent schedule?
    Physical therapy also works wonders!! A good one will NOT push you beyond your boundaries. It is their job to relieve pain,not create it 🙂 That’s what mine always told me. She was great!
    I’m happy for you, that you and your husband are still finding fun ways to have sex and you will be able to have penetrative sex one day! Vaginismus just takes some time to overcome 🙂
    Also, if you have been doing all of these things and you feel like it’s too painful, or scary/stressful to go further… I really highly suggest the BOTOX procedure. A last resort type of thing! If you can dilate on your own, or go to physical therapy, that would be great for you! If you aren’t doing those things, I think you should because it is working those muscles slowly and gradually, that cures vaginismus.

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