October 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm #22005chloemorrisParticipant
Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my story to help girls in England with vaginismus, as I really struggled to find somewhere in the UK that would do botox.
My history: I am 19, and have never been able to insert anything into my vagina- not even a cotton bud. I first tried at 13 to insert a tampon, but was unsuccessful, and had many failed sex attempts over the years which put me off trying to put anything in there. I got a diagnosis at around 17, and was told by my GP to do breathing exercises, which did nothing. At 18 I did a year of therapy with Relate in Brighton which did nothing for me as I had no reason to have vaginismus- I hadn’t been abused, my family were open with sex and I had a positive mindset towards it.
At 18 I got my first serious boyfriend, and that made me want to sort out my problem more. I saw a Cosmo article about a girl who’d had botox in England, and so I contacted her and she gave me the details.
I went to The Gynae Centre in Queen Anne Mews in Marylebone, where I was told that I was one of the worst cases the Dr had seen, as I’d hardly let him touch me, and started crying as soon as he did. The actual procedure (botox and hymenectomy under anesthesia) was completely fine, except that I was bleeding a bit too much so Dr had to put a few stitches in, which healed fine. 2 weeks later I went back to the clinic for Dr to check me over and tell me if I could start inserting my dilators, which I got from my GP. Everything physically was as it should be, but I still had a mental block, and still wouldn’t let him touch me, and didn’t let him insert the first dilator as planned. Instead I said that I would work on it at home.
I quickly was able to insert a cotton bud, but not the first dilator- it was way too big (about the size of a finger) and so I ended up using about 10 makeup brushes as dilators, as they were much smaller and were a more gradual increase. After a few weeks I managed the first dilator, but my progress onto the next ones was a bit slower due to the large size difference between them.
A whole 2 months after my botox, I let my boyfriend finger me when we were on holiday in Prague, and it went way smoother than I expected, so that night when we were a bit drunk I decided to try sex for the first time with him. It went in fairly easily, and stung a lot at first, but the pain subsided with time. Since then we have had sex every day, and it’s a lot less painful now, however I always dilate after foreplay but before sex so that the sex doesn’t hurt at the start. I hope to get to a point where I don’t need to dilate at all, but I’m happy with my progress 🙂
I took a lot longer to get to pain-free sex than the girl from the Cosmo article, but the progress was quite steady so I never felt too worried about it.
Feel free to ask me any questions!! I hope I’ve helped someone!October 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm #22006Aimee Goldman, RWHNPMember
How wonderful that you were able to get the help you needed for Vaginismus. We are always happy to hear success stories.
Sounds as if you are doing great.
As you are doing, continue to dilate before intercourse to ensure pain free intercourse.
Thank you for sharing your story.
It is great to know that women in England can be treated for Vaginismus without having to travel too far.
Keep up the good work and continue to share your message so that more women can seek the help they need to overcome Vaginismus.November 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm #22042recessivegenequeenParticipant
Chloemorris, I am so happy to hear you were able to find someone who was able to point you in the right direction in London – one of the reasons that resources like articles and the forums are great is because they can give people the information they need to seek help and treatment! I have noticed that Cosmo has historically been good about publishing vaginismus content.
I’m extremely impressed with how much you were able to keep at dilating on your own without help – this is often the part that trips a lot of people up, especially if they feel they aren’t progressing through the dilators fast enough. Patience is your greatest tool, and a lot of women working through their vaginismus right now can take a lesson from what you’ve learned!
I also want to commend you for getting help so young – I’m 26, and you’ll find women on the forums of all ages who have known about this for all different spans of time. It’s easy to put off working on it, but I know you will be so glad you tackled this head on.
Our sexual lives have many chapters. Sex and how you experience it will likely keep changing over the course of your life. We are always here to listen and talk if you ever need any advice or have any questions. We are all so proud of you!November 10, 2017 at 4:52 am #22046
Chloe, thanks a lot for sharing your experience! It does mean a lot to me. I’m currently waiting (for 2 months now) for physio and psychosexual treatment and I don’t even know when I will get to see them. My GN thinks I have provoked vulvodiniya, whilts I think it is vaginismus. So I don’t even know my diagnosis, which obviously is not helping.November 10, 2017 at 5:21 am #22047chloemorrisParticipant
The NHS aren’t the best for diagnosing these sorts of problems it seems, as my NHS GP and gynecologist weren’t particularly helpful. If you book a consultation with The Gynae Centre, the doctor will diagnose you and tell you if you are suitable for the botox – however it will cost £200. If you end up getting the botox it ends up coming to over a £1000. I was lucky as I have a very supportive mum who paid for the whole thing for me, as I’d never be able to afford it, being a student living away from home!
I bet the physio has a good chance of helping. I never received that. Just before the botox I was referred by my GP to psychosexual therapy, but I didn’t fancy waiting for that to go through, + I didn’t really think it would work for me as the therapy I had didn’t at all. My therapist tried to make me more comfortable with my body, however I am already totally comfortable, and told me and my boyfriend to massage each other to get comfortable with each other…which we already are.
If your GN thinks it’s vulvodiniya, could you ask for a topical anesthetic? Then if it doesn’t help that would suggest its vaginismus.
One of the GPs even prescribed me valium to relax me and take away the anxiety, but it did absolutely nothing for me! Just made me sleepy and forget what happened. However, this might work for someone if they have more of a mental block than a physical one?
Here’s the cosmo article if you want to read it: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/sex/a9255298/vaginismus-treatment-botox-success/
She went to the same clinic as me.
Chloe xNovember 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm #22054Heather34Moderator
Huge, huge Congrats on your success Chloe!!!!November 21, 2017 at 11:56 am #22120
Congratulations Chloe! Very happy to hear about your improvements and success!
Aliyat, keep at it – I know you’ll be able to get the help you need. I hope you get a correct diagnosis soon so you can move forward with treatment. Keep us updated!March 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm #22560
I don’t usually post things on websites like this so bare with me if I waffle slightly, but I truly do feel like I’m going slightly insane with this vaginismus and I’m desperate for a cure.
I recently underwent surgery in Jaunary to remove my hymen, it was too thick for natural penetration and furthering this I’m apparently in the top 20% of women in the UK with a smaller than average pelvic frame, therefore I’m naturally tight and made insertion of anything/any kind my whole life prior to this operation not only unbearably painful but also impossible.
From this, I genuinely believed I would finally be able to use fingers, have sex and go on with a healthy sex life. My ex boyfriend was with me for 5 years and wasn’t able to get near me like that, which no doubt lead to our break up. My current partner now is someone who I’m ready to spend my life with, and has been truly amazing in supporting me on this journey. However, the disappointment and overwhelming feelings of guilt that I had the first time we tried to have sex after the op (waited 6 weeks as instructed) have stayed with me and my confidence has gotten incredibly low. I genuinely believed I could finally have sex, and didn’t understand why it wasn’t working?!
The gynae told me in my follow up appointment that I’m suffering from vaginismus. I was gutted when I heard that because I had read up on it previously and was praying that it wouldn’t be this problem. I’m going to be having pelvic physio and psycho sexual counselling, but sadly I see a lot of people don’t seem to have mich success with this?
I’m originally from London, however have moved northwards in the UK to liverpool. I found an article on BOTOX for vaginismus and I am shocked at it’s success rate- it sounds like a life saver. Does anyone know if the NHS offer this service and is it only in london? Or do you think I should try the therapy and physio before I go down thebotox route? I just don’t want to be wasting my time / money (therapy is private as there is not many psycho sexual therapists about) when I could have a solution here and now.
Any kind of advice here will be so much appreciated. I have really been suffering in silence with this vaginismus and it’s hard to not let it define you, the sad thing is my sex drive is high and all the feelings are there, it’s my body that completely reacts before my head and I would just love to hear from other Peeople that have gone through or going through it so I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks so much
MeghanMarch 4, 2018 at 5:35 am #22561
I completely understand you! All I want is to get over and done with it. From what I understood reading different sources it all depends on severity of vaginismus. Also botox is not always affordable to everyone.
I’m now going through physio and psychosexual treatment via NHS. It does take time! I now know where my vagina is, how to dilate your finger (I was told it feels like the top of your mouth inside), I read a wonderful book by Emily Nagoski Come as you are (I highly recommend it!), reintroducing partner sex. So far it is about accepting yourself, your body, acknowledging that we are all different. Its helping me. There is vaginismus account on Instagram run by a lady from Scotland, we share our experiences with NHS and treatment suggested by doctors (they now all know how to approach vaginismus, some not even what it is). But on the back of my mind (because of my age) I’m also thinking when. So it all depends I suppose.
I think it is very important to exchange information, treatment techniques, so do not hesitate to ask.March 5, 2018 at 10:59 pm #22566recessivegenequeenParticipant
Hi Meghan – I just wanted to chime in here even though I’m not in the UK area to say I’m so sorry to hear about your vaginismus diagnosis, especially after you thought you had find a solution. I know how frustrating it can be to have periods of hope that get dashed when the need for more treatment reveals itself. None of us like having to deal with this issue, that’s for sure.
It looks like Aliyat gave some great resource suggestions and has used similar services through the NHS. Before considering botox, you might try getting a set of dilators and seeing if you make any progress working with those first – if you click around these forums, you’ll see a LOT of info on how they are used. If you do decide to go the botox route, dilators are a key part of treatment anyway, so you’ll probably end up with a set sooner or later, but sometimes people are able to treat their vaginismus by practicing with dilators alone.
I know it might be hard to believe right now, but there IS a light at the end of this tunnel! Vaginismus is a strange problem to have in that it can be completely and entirely cured on both a physical and psychological level in time. Even if you are feeling like this problem defines you, there is a way through and we will support you every step of the way!March 6, 2018 at 10:18 am #22570
Hi guys. Thank you for your input it means a lot. I defo agree that dilators are the way forward for now. I understand it’s rather pricey for Botox treatment. Has anyone had any luck with dilators?? If I’m being honest I don’t even know where to begin with them – I am petrified ha!
ThanksMarch 6, 2018 at 2:17 pm #22574
Hi Meghan, my research showed that everyone was talking about Sh! silicone dilators. I didn’t buy them straight away, waiting for what doctors would recommend because I came across other silicone brands as well. My physio therapist recommended Sh!, so I finally got them. They are quite sticky. When I later first saw my psychosexual counsellor (and I found her more knowledgeable than physio therapist), she didn’t say no but I could see on her face that she doesn’t really approve them. I had another session with her today and she explicitly told me that she doesn’t find Sh! good, they are sticky due to which are hard to help. She has apparently even complained to Sh! Anyway, she didn’t want me to spend more money but I said its alright, I need to progress. SO she recommended either Inspire or Vagiwell, both same quality silicone and brands available via Amazon. She had Vagiwell with her, they are also silicone but a better quality and not sticky. I now plan to get Inspire as like their shape. I would be glad to hear other reviews as will before proceeding.March 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm #22634
Thanks for your advice. My therapist told me last week that she’s not sure on dilators herself, but it’s a regularly used treatment so I should give it a go. She said interestingly that I am a refreshing case of vaginismus as my desire and arousal is there however the spasming is still occurring. Unfortunately, the more sex failures that happen at the mo, the more the guilt and lack of confidence creeps up on me more and more the next time, which is what I didn’t want to happen.
My therapist also said that physio may help, and she recommended I look into acupuncture – anyone had this? Also, I’ve read up on the vagiwave which is meant to be helpful for the physical spasming however doesn’t necessarily stop the emotional side of it.
Feeling pretty lost and emotional all the time because of this. However, therapist said she can see I’m doing everything I can and you guys on this blog have been incredibly helpful and I’m truly grateful.
Any other suggestions I’m willing to try anything
ThanksMarch 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm #22645
I’m so so sorry to hear about your issues with your hymen and sex. I want you to stay positive though because I know you can get through this! I’m not from the UK and I don’t have any advice on acupuncture (although I’ve always wanted to try!), but earlier you asked if anyone had success with JUST use of dilators and I can definitely speak on that! Also, I think it’s also a great sign that you still have the desire/arousal to have sex because I could relate to that too, even after some painful attempts – which is why I bought dilators and eventually seeked treatment 🙂
I definitely relate to your story, and I think that you might feel comfort in reading my success story, as I was in an extremely similar boat and got through dilation therapy a much more confident and strong person – and it was obviously the hugest weight off my shoulders to not feel so anxious and worried about sex – I honestly can’t even describe the relief!
I think I was a difficult case seeing as I couldn’t wear tampons and had extreme anxiety my first few appointments. It definitely took some time for me to get through all of the dilators. Here are a couple quick excerpts from my post:
“This comes from me being a very difficult case – I couldn’t wear tampons from the pain/fear, and the thought of dilating with even the smallest dilator gave me immense fear. The physical portion of the first couple appointments were incredibly nerve-wracking; I was prescribed Xanax to take before each following appointment.
When I was able to move up in dilator sizes every appointment, I felt accomplished and motivated.
Just wanted to reach out and share a bit of my story. While there were times of frustration and times I wanted to give up, I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to make the first appointment and persevere …”
My post and another success story from someone who had the Botox procedure that you mentioned can be found here:
I think a good step would be buying dilators (even though your therapist may not be sold on them), then NOT GIVING UP. Start at the very very smallest.
It might not be easy at first (I couldn’t use them on my own but if you are seeing some type of PT that can help you put them in and then practice at home) but with time and determination you can do it! Vaginismus is SO TREATABLE, it CAN BE FIXED!
I hope this helps a bit, feel free to private message with any questions or concerns. I know firsthand that vaginismus is a lonely lonely thing to go through – but YOU CAN DO THIS! <3March 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm #22646
Oh also – even though you don’t have the dilators yet I just want to let you and Aliyat know that I went at a slow and steady pace with the dilators (moving up in size every 2-4 weeks, whenever I made my appointment with Maze women’s clinic) and it worked for me. Watching TV while dilating helped me relax a bit and not solely concentrate on the dilating/pain.
Remember that whatever pain you’re feeling during dilating is temporary and it’s the muscles getting used to something they’re not used to (I’m not in the medical field but that’s what I think)! If a dilator hurts too much, go back to the previous size and dilate with that one, then try again.
Also, I’ve tried a couple different lubricants and I like coconut oil the best. LASTLY, use of a vibrator also helped me with some discomfort!
Good luck and keep us updated!
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