My Story – 39 days post procedure
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
August 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm #9376PumpkinParticipant
Hello – I had posted my story at the 10 days post-procedure mark, but it seems to have disappeared. Today, I am 39 days post procedure and would like to re-share my story. I am 36 years old and have struggled with Vaginismus for 22 years. I didn’t always know that this is what it was. I was a swimmer growing up, and first tried to use a tampon when I was 14. It seemed so easy for my team mates but, when it was my turn to try, I just couldn’t do it. It was frustrating, especially when I had to miss practices or swim meets, but at that time I just chalked it up to being young. I had a few boyfriends later on in high school and in university, but nobody that I was ready to take the “big step” with. I then met my now-husband when I was 20 and he was 22. Even at that young age, I knew he was the one and I knew that I was going to marry him. I thought for sure that he would expect us to have sex and couldn’t believe my luck when one evening he told me that he was saving himself for marriage. I was incredibly relieved. In hindsight, I can see that it was a perfect excuse to continue ignoring my penetration fears. We got married when I was 26. I had seen a doctor just before our wedding day because I was very scared about the honeymoon. She told me that it was normal to be nervous and that I should drink some wine and relax. She assured me that everything would be ok. Well it wasn’t ok. Our honeymoon was a 10-day disaster. I had naively convinced myself that because we were now married, it would just magically happen. It never did because of my extreme fear. Each time we tried, my legs would snap shut and I would forcefully push him away. I couldn’t help it – that was the instinct that always kicked in. We tried to get help over the next few years, and were shunted from doctor to doctor. One doctor told me that I was depressed (uh…no kidding), and another prescribed Ativan. The last one suggested lots of wine and eventually flat out told me that there was nothing anyone could do for me. She did refer me to a Psychologist who I saw for the next few years. The Psychologist was lovely and she helped me in many other aspects of my life. I carried extreme guilt because I knew that my husband had waited his entire life to have sex and I felt terrible for putting him through this. I felt very ashamed and not like a real woman. Those feelings seeped into other aspects of my life and really shook my confidence. The therapy helped me deal with all that. Unfortunately, we stopped seeing doctors and just gave up on intercourse. We were at a loss and had no idea what to do. Our marriage was great in every other aspect, so we avoided this one detail – for almost 10 years. As we got older, our desire to have children became stronger. All of our friends were moving on and starting their own happy little families. We felt left behind. Plus, people were constantly asking us when we were going to start a family, or WHY we didn’t have children yet. (People can be very insensitive, but that’s a topic for another day). Still, my husband stood by me and constantly reassured me that we were in this together – sex or no sex. Children or no children. I reached my most hopeless point earlier this year and decided that I HAD to do something about this. I was sick and tired of being a 36 year old virgin, married for 10 years. So, I found a Pelvic Floor Therapist in my area. She was WONDERFUL and in a short period of time I had made some progress with the smaller dilators. She really showed me that my body was made to accommodate a penis, and ultimately a baby. Unfortunately she ended up moving a few months after I began working with her and I was not able to move past the #2 Pure Romance dilator on my own. I was once able to get the #3 in, but it took over 2 hours and was excruciating. In the meantime, I had contacted Dr. Pacik and before I knew it, my procedure was booked! My husband and I made the trip to NH earlier this summer. I am SO glad we did. I was very nervous on the evening before the procedure. We spent that evening at Canobie Lake Park, which is an amusement park in Salem, NH. We acted like big kids and it was the perfect way to take my mind off things, and a great way to spend that evening. On the morning of the procedure, I was slightly nervous but mostly just ready to do this. Everyone was SO nice and I felt at ease the second we walked in. Ellen greeted us. Tracy made me feel comfortable before and after the procedure. Dr. Kramer, the Anesthesiologist, was very kind and did his best to make sure I was relaxed. Dr. Pacik was very caring and understanding. He was a breath of fresh air after all we had experienced with other doctors. The procedure itself was a breeze and was over before I even knew it. After practicing with the #5 pink and #6 blue dilators, I left the clinic wearing the #4 purple. That afternoon, we went shopping (while I was wearing the #4 dilator!) and I spent the evening reading my book by the hotel pool (also with the dilator). The counseling session with Dr. Pacik the next day was very well planned and informative. He really cares about us girls and all we have had to deal with because of Vaginismus. When my husband and I returned home, I was very diligent with my dilation schedule. Sure, there were some bumps and set backs, but at 39 days I am pleased to say that I am now very comfortable with the #5 pink Pure Romance and #5 glass dilators. Since the first day, I haven’t had many successes with the #6 blue one (Pure Romance or glass), but I am not worried about that. Just 5 days post procedure, my husband and I achieved successful intercourse! We started with tip-only penetration and have slowly been able to move toward some light thrusting. It is getting more comfortable for me and it is starting to get more enjoyable for him. I finally feel like a real woman and my confidence has shot through the roof! A few weeks ago, I purchased a pregnancy test for the first time in my life!!! That was huge. It sounds silly, but I walked around the drugstore with the box prominently displayed at the top of my basket. Silently, it was like I was advertising to everyone in the store “see that box? Yeah, I need it. Because I am having sex!!!” I ended up getting my period, but that was fine because I then had the opportunity to use tampons for the first time in my life! That was another huge milestone!!! I am so excited about everything that has happened over the last 39 days! Making the trip to NH was the best decision we could have made. We are incredibly grateful and there is no way we could ever properly thank Dr. Pacik and his wonderful staff.August 17, 2015 at 9:48 am #13843KimberlyParticipant
Hi Pumpkin! (haha cute name) I really enjoyed reading your story. I am so happy for you and your husband. It must be the most amazing feeling in the world to be able to finally achieve this.
My procedure is scheduled for August 26th and I cant wait. I’m extremely nervous but extremely excited. For years now I’ve been dreaming about how much I will change once I can finally get rid of this problem. That’s why I loved that part where you talked about showing off the pregnancy test in the store. I would SO do something like that haha. I can’t wait to be able to walk around with the confidence knowing that I am finally “normal” and can feel like a confident and healthy woman.
KimAugust 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm #13845PumpkinParticipant
Hi Kim! You should definitely be excited!!! I am excited FOR you! I can assure you that you don’t have to be too nervous. It will be over before you know it and you’ll be able to start the next chapter of your life. It will be worth it. I still can’t believe that after all this time, I was finally able to post a success story! Soon, you will be posting yours and I can’t wait to read it!
Keep us posted!August 21, 2015 at 5:59 am #13848Dr. PacikParticipant
I’m so happy you re-posted your story. As you point out there are many failures of vaginismus treatment along the way, seeing therapists that are unable to help while watching your and your partners libido going downhill. Little wonder everyone arrives for treatment like a bundle of nerves. The more severe the vaginismus, the more failed treatments, these all equate to feelings where hope becomes lost. We are well aware of these challenges and routinely provide some sedation often even before going into the operating room. Working with an anesthesiologist has made my life easy as well as the lives of the patients. The treatment is completed before you know it. The often five hours of counseling the next day allows women to make quantum leaps in both their understanding of vaginismus and their own progress with dilators, something that was impossible just days before.
I would love to hear from our other dilating divas. How can you advise women coming in for treatment? How is it possible to overcome the high anxiety so prevalent in this community of women? Did you wake up with your large dilator in any pain? How rapidly do you feel you made progress? These are the common questions I am asked. I would love the others to weigh in.October 29, 2015 at 8:38 am #13910Heather34Participant
Hi Pumpkin! I loved reading your success story and am so, so, so very happy for you and your husband!!! :):):)
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