Partner Participation?

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Home Forums Vaginismus Support Group Vaginismus Dilating Partner Participation?

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    Hi all. In a recent thread, Melissa mentioned the benefits of PT in addition to dilation. She writes:

    “Something to consider as an alternative or in addition to dilation is pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic Floor Physical therapists are trained to work with patients who are experiencing pelvic pain and muscle tension. They will do internal and external exercises with you, as well as help with the dilators.”

    For anyone trying this, have you brought your partner to the sessions with you? If so, how was the experience? For the Maze team, do you see a lot of partner participation with your different treatments in overcoming vaginismus?

    For me personally, this was very hard to wrap my head around while undergoing the Botox treatment program and getting used to practicing with using the dilators after. I then talked to Dr. Pacik as well as the whole treatment team and saw the benefits of having my hubby right there with me. For me, it helped me to trust him that much more and, for him, it helped him to witness and know that something could be inside of me pain-free and without our normal experiences of resistance/hitting the wall/extreme burning pain with all attempts at insertion.


    I encourage patients to have their partners involved in the dilation process if the patient is comfortable with it. I have the partner start off with one of the smaller dilators that the patient has already worked through, so that they can see that the dilator goes in, and it does not cause her any discomfort. It’s helpful to have the partner involved, and it makes the transition to having intercourse a little easier.

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    To echo Cathleen, it is most beneficial to have your partner involved in the dilation process. It can give him a good idea of the angle needed when intercourse is on the table as well as give him confidence that he will not cause you pain when you are ready to attempt intercourse. Men may develop difficulty becoming erect or maintaining an erection because they are anxious about causing pain. Having your partner involved can be mutually beneficial.


    I totally agree with everyone here. The more you are able to involve a partner in the process the better. Many partners had a hard time understanding that vaginismus is real and NOT all in your head. Being a part of the process will be a great way to help the partner learn that is not true.


    I will add that I think having my partner involved with my dilation is part of what made it possible for me to have sex so soon after my procedure (day 20). Dilating itself is not an erotic experience, but my partner and I made a point to surround it with other erotic activities that I enjoyed. He would get me aroused so that I could slide the dilator in easily. Once I came to associate my boyfriend’s presence with an easy insertion, it made the switch to a penis surprisingly smooth!

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