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  • #23587
    jpeters19
    Participant

    Hi all,
    My name is Jessica and I am 24 years old. I have struggled with vaginal pain for as long as I can remember, the earliest being age 15 when I first got my period and tried to use tampons but would be in such excruciating pain that I had to remove it. I have tried multiple times to use tampons thinking I was inserting it wrong, but no matter the “angle,” it was still unbearable pain. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I had sex for the first time, and let me tell you, I cried uncontrollably the entire experience. When he finished, I just laid there in such pain and felt sore for a week afterwards. I had sex with him a couple times after that and it never got better, the pain would be excruciating, no matter what position we were in. Last week I was able to get health insurance so I called up my gynecologist and went in for an exam. I told her about the pain I experienced in the past and when it came time for the exam, I nearly leaped off of the table from the pain. All she had done was apply a light pressure using a Q-tip and that was shocking how painful. When she inserted the speculum, I was crying and my back was arched, my vagina felt like it was being torn. She wanted to do some research before she told me anything else, so she called me today and told me I have this condition, “Vaginismus,” but did not give me much more information. She mentioned physical therapy but I don’t even know where to start. What causes vaginismus? I’m so lost right now and my mom isn’t much help because she doesn’t understand what I’m saying.

    #23588
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    Hi Jessica,

    I am so glad you found our forum, because you are not alone.

    We don’t exactly know what causes vaginismus. I often seen vaginismus linked with anxiety, which can cause a fear of penetration. With this the vaginal muscles become tight and spasm closed when penetration is attempted. The very tight muscles make the vaginal opening more sensitive, and feel impossible to penetrate, this causes pain, which further promotes the anxiety surrounding penetration. Its a viscous cycle.

    I think finding a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area is a great idea, and the perfect place to start. Just google pelvic floor physical therapy and your zip code and that should give you some referrals.

    You can also purchase a dilator set to start training your muscles to stretch and relax. We like to recommend the pure romance dilator set or soul source.

    If you want to give us a call for a free 10 minute phone consultation to discuss your specific case in more detail, please don’t hesitate to call.

    Melissa
    914-328-3700

    #23594
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi Jessica – I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with vaginismus. My story was very similar to yours – once I started dating at 15 I was wary of being touched down there and would always squirm away from partners or doctors. In college when I was 21 I learned about vaginismus and took another 3 or 4 years to finally get treatment right after I turned 25. I remember asking the questions you’re asking – especially where vaginismus comes from and why I was cursed with it. I never found answers to those questions beyond the fact that it seems to befall anxious people, especially those raised in homes where sex was taboo or considered sinful. But the good thing is that you can fix yourself without figuring those questions out completely. And I encourage you to try – I’m so much happier for getting that treatment and still can’t believe sometimes how normal my sex life is now. New partners don’t even know about my vaginismus unless I tell them as part of my sexual past.

    I got the botox treatment at Maze, but even if you don’t I’d encourage you to get some dilators and attempt working with them, in part to see how severe your vaginismus is. Please don’t give up – it’s possible to lead a totally normal life with vaginismus, as hard as that might be to believe right now.

    #24090
    Sks823
    Participant

    jpeters19,

    I completely relate to your post & am so sorry for what you’re going through!

    It’s great that you found this forum and know that you have vaginismus. I am alllll too familiar with the feelings of confusion, despair & pain that you feel! Melissa & recessivegenequeen’s responses touch on all the points I would, but I wanted to give you even more hope too because I was in your shoes and I overcame vaginismus with dilators (with the help of Maze Women’s Health) – dilators come in very small sizes (thinner than a tampon) and increasing sizes (penis sizes) and although it might seem impossible now, you can train your muscles down there to stretch and eventually have comfort inserting the largest dilator sizes!

    I think calling Maze for their free consultation is a good idea. Another early step would be to look up other women’s health centers & make one appointment with one that has experience with vaginismus so they can show you how to use dilators. If you have health insurance, you can maybe call them or look up online – ask if they cover a pelvic floor therapist or what the copay will be. A quick google search shows a bunch of pelvic floor therapists that take a number of insurances.

    and then the next important step is NOT GIVING UP. It might not be easy but with time and determination you can do it! Vaginismus is SO TREATABLE, it CAN BE FIXED!

    In my opinion the biggest challenge was when I didn’t exactly know how to use the dilators on my own, but once I was able to put in the smallest one by myself, the rest of my vaginismus “journey” went much smoother (with lots of small successes, like being able to use tampons!)

    I hope this helps a bit, I know firsthand that vaginismus is a lonely lonely thing to go through – but YOU CAN DO THIS! Definitely look through some success stories on this forum to show you that there were so many of us in your shoes that were able to overcome this. 🙂

    #24228
    anonymous123
    Participant

    Hi Jessica,

    I relate to this more than I can express. I am 19 years old and my mom does not understand either, and it made it very difficult. I had to schedule and find physical therapists on my own and work it around my college schedule. It has been a rough few months considering I was just diagnosed in September. I went to physical therapy and it was a hard for me considering they could not even get a sense of what areas were bothering me because I was so uncomfortable and anxious that I too would leap off the table. With that said, I got a list of exercises, breathing techniques, and bought a dilator set that went a long way for me. I recommend you buy dilators just to see where you are at. Even if you cannot get the first size in, DONT PANIC because that was me 4 weeks ago, but with patience and relaxation it eventually moves slowly. Like very slowly… It took my 10 different tries to get the first one in.

    Keep us updated. This forum got me through a lot of issues and confusion. I do not think I would have the confidence that I have now without it.

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