New.. need some hope.

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  • #25493
    Kathleen3591
    Participant

    Hi everyone I’m Kathleen. I’m 28 years old, and haven’t been able to have successful intercourse. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 years. Half of the reason why we haven’t had sex is because we wanted to wait until we were married. Looking back I think that became more of my excuse because I always secretly had a fear of the pain of losing my virginity. The first time I tried to lose it and it didn’t work I figured it was my partners size along with the fact that I was “right”. After trying more throughout the years I realized that it wasn’t getting easier. I’ve never been able to insert a finger or tampon either. The feeling I get when trying to insert anything is a burning stretching feeling, and the feeling of “hitting a wall”. After being so insecure and frustration I decided to research it and realized I’m 99% sure I have vaginismus. Maze is the only site I found to have a forum and numerous success stories available. I called to schedule a phone consultation but because I live in California the time difference has made it difficult to talk to someone so far, so I emailed them. I guess I’m just talking on here because I’m amazed at the fact that there’s other women with this issue. I have felt very alone in this for a long time, thinking something is wrong with me.. and maybe I have an abnormal sized vagina or something.. obviously I’m sure we’ve all had similar thoughts about ourselves. At this point I’m just trying to cling to hope that this will be fixed. I’m hoping that even with me being in California I can somehow get treatment or perhaps go to NY for treatment. It’s really hard feeling like everyone else is having pleasure from intercourse but all I feel is pain when I try to. Just going to pray and push forward now that I’ve discovered Maze.

    #25494

    Hi Kathleen, it does indeed sound like you have vaginismus, something that we here at MAZE are able to treat very successfully. And congratulations on taking that first step and reaching out to us. I’d be happy to talk to you, I am in the office on Wednesday afternoon/evening, if you call the main number you can ask for me and we can discuss.

    Cathleen

    #25495
    Kathleen3591
    Participant

    Thank you Cathleen! I’m going to try to call and ask for you on Wednesday.

    #25496
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Kathleen – thanks for sharing your story with us! It’s very familiar, as so many of us go years quietly wondering why we can’t have sex, often pushing aside doubts and assuming things will work themselves out in time. It’s good that you did some research and are open to seeking help for yourself – being willing to work on the problem makes all the difference!

    I got the botox treatment at the Maze Clinic and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You’ll probably notice this when you call the clinic, but the people who work there are experienced and compassionate and will take your problems seriously. It may seem difficult to get out to the clinic since you’re located in California, but I hope that won’t discourage you from seeking treatment there if it feels right. I consider it to have been an investment in myself and my life – being able to have pain-free intercourse has done so much for my self-esteem and my life happiness.

    We’re always here to answer any questions that you have, so let us know how it goes!

    #25647
    Sks823
    Participant

    Kathleen3591,

    Yes, there are SO many of us with situations just like yours! I’m so glad you’ve found this forum and Maze.

    I went to Maze (back in 2016) and my first appointments were difficult. At that point I also couldn’t wear tampons, hadn’t had a pap smear, and of course had EXTREME anxiety my first few appointments. 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.

    BUT… I persisted. With the help of Maze, after my first couple appointments (and failed attempts at home and WANTING to give up, and thinking I might be that one incurable case), I was able to insert the smallest dilator by myself. After I knew I could do that, I had much more confidence and was SLOWLY but surely able to move up in dilator sizes every appointment (I had appointments every 2-3 weeks), dilating mostly daily between appointments. Each time I moved up in dilator size, I felt accomplished and motivated. Also, after being comfortable with the first couple dilators, tampons went in easily!

    So I 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. And hopefully you do the same during your journey!

    Keep us updated!

    #25776
    Hatuey
    Participant

    I am so low. I cry myself to sleep most nights. I am still on dilator 3. It is less sore but feels uncomfortable when it is inside. It has been months now and I only have 2 months botox left. I have been told to try and do it with my boyfriend and try to be aroused. I cannot. I feel all my sex drive has been zapped out of me. To be honest I would rather eat a bar of chocolate than do any sexual non penetrative activities.Is this normal?

    #25777
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    I so sorry to hear you are struggling. But even just consistently getting in the third dilator is a big accomplishment if prior to treatment you were not able to do any dilation at all.

    Dilation is an uncomfortable process, especially in the beginning. I would guess that you are ready to move up to the next size, if you are finding the #3 is tolerable, and you had botox injections, the muscles should be soft enough to push through.

    Have you tried sleeping with the #3 dilator through the night, and then try to insert the #4 in the morning.

    I would encourage you to follow up with the provider who did your procedure, and have an evaluation. It can be really helpful to see a provider who will help guide you further in dilation. Sometimes you just need someone there encouraging you and giving you helpful tips on ways to get the larger dilators in. I always encourage our Maze patients to regularly follow up with us if possible.

    I would also encourage you to speak with a therapist if you can. You are working through a lot of emotions and it sounds like you could use the support.

    #25796
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hatuey, I’m so sorry to hear about all the things you’re going through with dilating – even when it’s going well it can be really emotionally draining and it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck! I totally agree with what Melissa said about the physical logistics of dilating, but I’d also add that sometimes the emotional changes that need to happen to get ready for intercourse come slower than the physical ones. Depending on how long you’ve been living with vaginismus, you can be working against years and years of negative programming that taught you to fear and dislike penetrative activities. Even when you start being able to insert something again, you aren’t always EXCITED about that experience and physical desire altogether can be affected (as you describe). You may have to take a few steps back with your partner and re-establish activities you like that can rebuild a sexual connection. Find ways you like to kiss, touch, and explore that you like so you can start to feel more desire and get more comfortable and you’ll find that the idea of penetration probably seems more approachable, especially combined with the successful dilating you’ve already been doing.

    Don’t give up on yourself – you’ve worked hard and you’re really close! I know you can accomplish the goals you want to achieve!

    #25902
    Sks823
    Participant

    Hatuey,

    You’re doing AMAZING – the third dilator is PROGRESS, even if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d hope.

    Great advice from both mazemelissa and recessivegenequeen. I completely agree that (mazemelissa wrote): “Sometimes you just need someone there encouraging you and giving you helpful tips on ways to get the larger dilators in.” I bought dilators but wasn’t able to use them until I started going to Maze and had professionals there to help me learn how to use them, encourage me to go to a larger size even if I wasn’t 100% sure I was ready (they would insert the larger size for me during my appointment, then I’d go home and start dilating with that one), and give me positive feedback about my progress. It made a world of a difference for me and it might for you, too.

    I’ll be honest – inserting a larger size can be painful at first – I used breathing exercises (again, taught to me by Maze) and would insert it VERY slowly for the first time when dilating at home. I had confidence that it fit because during my Maze appointment it had already been inserted – that would give me the strength/confidence to push through, even if it was a bit painful or uncomfortable. Following up with your provider could really help get you over this difficult time.

    Therapy and (as recessivegenequeen said) re-establishing activities with your boyfriend that rebuild a sexual connection (kissing, cuddling, massaging, etc.) is also a great idea.

    You will get through this and overcome your vaginismus. Sometimes there are bumps in the road, but with determination we can get through them. Keep us updated, we’re all here rooting for you!

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