My Story

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    Hello everyone, I am new to this forum but not new to vaginismus. I have been married to my best friend for 7 years but as of yet we have not been able to have sex. After a few months of online research I found out what vaginismus was 3 years ago and bought a set of dilators but really didn’t know how to use them. I had talked to a few doctors about my symptoms but (being old school male doctors) I was told I just needed to relax and have a drink or two before we attempt having sex. So I have up on getting professional help and set about trying to do it on my own, not very successful. 18 months ago I was in a horrible accident and the resulting surgeries and weeks in the hospital and rehab facility made me a little more forward with stating my desires and symptoms with my doctors. Because of the PTSD I suffered from the accident I told my husband I wanted a divorce this summer and we began to attend marriage counseling. Our sex life inevitably came up in a session and our counselor referred me to a female OB/Gyn who officially diagnosed me with vaginismus. She gave me some advice on how to use the dilators more effectively and suggested I find a female therapist to work with as well since our marriage counselor said he wasn’t comfortable dealing with the issue because he knew nothing about it. I found a therapist who was willing to work with me and I have been seeing her for 6 months. We have worked on progressive muscle relaxation and other relaxation techniques that have been very helpful for me. I have just started using the largest dilator in my set which is roughly the same size as my husband so we are all confident that pain free sex is in the near future.


    Hi shortstep9-23, I’m so sorry about your accident and struggles with vaginismus. But I am so happy that you have found Dr. Pacik’s website and this Forum. I totally understand your frustration with doctors and professionals as I went through many too; saying to just relax, it’s all in your head, drink alcohol, and on and on. I felt so all alone, that I just had to be a freak if doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me or couldn’t help me. I struggled with vaginismus for as long as I can remember, 35 plus years. Just last year I stumbled across Dr. Pacik’s website and in October went back to NH to have the Botox treatment. I’m just thrilled to say that the treatment worked for me, even though I thought for sure it wouldn’t work for me since I had it for so long. Just a few weeks ago I had my first successful GYN appointment! I am so impressed that you have been working with dilators on your own. And it is so awesome that you are using the largest dilator. Please know that we are all here for you. I highly recommend that you contact Dr. Pacik as he truly understands and has compassion for all of us who suffer or have suffered with vaginismus.. His dilating and Botox program truly works. And for me this Forum has been such a blessing. I have a place that I can go to and share my ups and down with women that truly understand. You are doing great and I look forward to reading more of your posts .


    Hi shortstep. You wrote “I was told I just needed to relax and have a drink or two before we attempt sex.” This is unfortunately so common to hear from doctors who have no knowledge whatsoever about the true physical component of vaginismus. I was told this as well in the past while suffering with vaginismus and it was a combination of humiliating and frustrating. The more that we can all do to talk about vaginismus and educate doctors about the condition, then no other women will have to hear “just relax” or “try having a drink” as a treatment method.

    You wrote about your accident. I am so, so sorry that you’ve had to go through this and I am truly here for you.

    You further wrote about working on progressive muscle relaxation and being able to insert the largest dilator. Woooooooh! This is a huge accomplishment and one to be very proud of. I was not able to even insert even a q-tip prior to having Dr. Pacik’s procedure as no matter how much I tried to “will” myself to do it, I just couldn’t relax enough to insert anything and whenever I tried, I felt like I was hitting a brick wall. Once I awoke from the procedure with the largest blue dilator in place, this was the first thing that had ever been inside of me. My hubby and I were both in amazement that a) something was inside of me and b) it was pain-free. Thereafter, we practiced inserting the dilators of all sizes and were able to transition to intercourse in 7 days. A true miracle as we had gone for our entire relationship and marriage without ever being able to.

    I, like, Nakitalab would also recommend to you and anyone else reading this to work with Dr. Pacik in some capacity, either through receiving the procedure with progressive dilation, sex therapy, and comprehensive post-procedure follow-up or through the remote supported dilating therapy program. He truly is the expert on vaginismus and more knowledgeable about it than any other physician in the world.

    Here are a couple of posts that describe remote supported dilating therapy:


    In addition to this, Vashalla, a recent new member on the Vaginismus MD Forum has written about receiving remote supported dilating therapy and I would highly recommend following her posts as they are an educational read that thoroughly describes this process. Here are just a few of them:

    Post 1: “I’m brand new to this forum, and will start working with Dr. Pacik soon through internet counseling once all of my stuff arrives. I’ve had vaginismus since college (about 10 years now), and I identify as having secondary level 1 vaginismus, meaning that I was able to have some sex in college before my vaginismus really kicked in and that I can tolerate pap smears pretty well now. They used to be fairly painful and stressful though…Three years ago, I met a wonderful guy who I’m still with. This weekend, we’re celebrating our 3rd anniversary together. A couple of months or so into our relationship, I had let him know about my vaginismus and had him read some stuff on the Vaginismus Awareness Network’s website, which sadly seems to be defunct now. He’s been completely supportive and understanding this whole time, and has never once pressured me to try having sex with him. I’ve done some self-guided dilation therapy since I found the name for my situation, and since meeting my boyfriend, I’ve gotten him involved in it from time to time. One of the other challenges my boyfriend and I face is that both of our libidos are pretty low. He says his is normally this low, even before he met me, but I know that mine used to be higher. There’s not a whole lot of external motivation for me to dilate on a regular basis because of that. I’ve made some progress over the years, but not enough. I’m very hopeful that working with Dr. Pacik via Skype will get me on track to make some huge strides soon.”

    Post 2: “On day 14 (yesterday), I was able to get the #6 dilator in! 😀 My normal dilation routine has been to start with the #4 for about 20 minutes, and then move up to the #5 for the rest of the period. Just to give all of this some context, I use the glass dilators and insert them while sitting on the toilet, like I’m putting in a tampon. I’ve found a lot of success that way. I do all my dilation at once in the evenings usually, just because it works better with my work schedule. I’ve been doing really well with it, and it only takes me maybe 30 seconds to a minute to get each of those sizes in. It’s been easier and easier to walk with them in and take care of dinner and other chores. Yesterday morning, I had the house to myself, and I decided to try putting in the #5 first. I felt confident that I could do it without having to use the #4 first. Took a little more work to get the #5 in than usual, but not bad – only a minute maybe to insert. I left that in for about 40 minutes before trying the #6. The #6 took a lot more work to get in. I did lots of kegel exercises and tried the pushing out technique. It hurt a little bit trying to get it in, but I never let the pain get past a tolerable level. If it got to be too much, I backed off and did some more kegels. Doing it this way really only took 5-10 minutes, though I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if it had taken 30 minutes. Going from the #5 to the #6 was a huge step mentally and physically for me. Once it finally slid in, I was pretty happily surprised. I took a couple of Aleve for the little bit of soreness I was feeling and planned to just lie in bed reading for the rest of the time. As soon as I lied down on the bed though, I had a small panic attack because it actually hurt being in that position with the #6 in. That was a surprise. I fought to keep my panic from rising and overwhelming me and honestly, just barely succeeded in doing so. I just kept telling myself that it’s ok, this pain is temporary, and as soon as I get up, it’ll go away, because it didn’t really hurt when I was standing just now. Lesson learned though – missionary position will NOT be a good idea when my boyfriend and I transition to intercourse. I managed to calm myself down and stand back up where it was more comfortable. Then I just sat in bed reading for almost 2 hours. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing, but it was tolerable once I finally positioned myself just right, and the book was a decent distraction.”


    Post 3: “My boyfriend and I actually had enjoyable pain free sex last night! 😀

    We hadn’t even planned on trying last night, but the stars aligned and we were both in the mood and even had some free time together. I decided that I was ready, if a little nervous, to try just tip only (though I figured it would probably just go right in). As I thought, it went completely in with ease. I had already dilated with the #4 for maybe 20 minutes, #5 for a little over an hour, and the #6 for 20 minutes. We started with me on top, and that was a little bit sore, but not by much. I think it might have been because my legs are a little more tense having to hold myself up in that position. We just stayed still like that as I became more comfortable with it. After a little while of just being like that, I decided I wanted to try missionary position with a pillow under my butt. In order to do that, he had to pull out completely, but I knew it would go back in again easily, so I wasn’t worried. Surprisingly, that was completely pain free! I did notice some discomfort with the wrinkles of the condom, but it didn’t hurt. I know that Dr. Pacik recommends no thrusting the first time, but after having him in comfortably for a little while, I decided that I wanted my boyfriend to try some very gentle thrusting. I’m really good at communicating when he needs to stop or adjust, and he’s extremely good at doing so when I ask him to, so I think that made a huge difference in what we were able to do last night. I trust him completely. If my boyfriend wasn’t as receptive to my physical and verbal cues to ease up or stop, then we would have just left it at that with no thrusting at all for the first attempt. Long story short, by the end, he was able to thrust pretty quickly (enough for him to climax), and it actually felt pretty good to me! Today is my birthday in the eyes of the law, but technically since I was born on the other side of the world, yesterday was my birthday. So hooray, serendipity! That was quite a lovely birthday present :)”

    We are all here to support you shortstep and I look very forward to reading more of your posts. :):):)

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