Reaching Out to Young Women

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  • #9057

    kfmom
    Participant

    I am the Mom of a 19 year old daughter who is going to be treated by Dr. Pacik in December, 2013. She has been with the same young man for going on 4 years and has struggled with Vaginismus and related pain since age 17. She has tried numerous traditional treatments and therapies since that time with no success.

    As a parent, it is heart breaking to learn that your child struggles with any medical condition. Especially a condition that is shrouded in silence and so damaging to women and their partners’ self-esteem and healthy relationships. Both my husband and I are proud (and relieved) that our daughter had the courage to reach out for help. I am honored that she trusts me enough to be open and include me in her journey.

    I know how difficult it was for her and may be for many young women visiting this site today. Questions and stigmas abound:
    • I’m too young …
    • What’s wrong with me …
    • I can’t talk to anyone about this …
    • I’m not married …
    • I’m single …
    • What will my parents think of me ???
    • How can I possibly follow a treatment plan when I am in college or high school ?
    • I’m struggling with depression and anxiety …

    The list goes on.

    I was shocked and saddened to read on Dr. Pacik’s and other sites about women who have suffered for years with no relief. Why is it that in a day and age when we are bombarded with Viagra and male enhancement information, that so little is said about female sexual dysfunction?

    I am sure that any of the women on this forum will tell you “do not wait!!!” You are stronger than you think and your family will want you whole and well too.

    We hope that our daughter will be a Dr. Pacik success story and will overcome this condition early in life before further negative impact sets in. Her – and your – sexual identity is a key part of a healthy adult life, self image, current and future relationships and your ability to be a mother one day.

    To Dr. Pacik and his team – I am so glad that our research led us to you. I can’t put into words how much I pray and hope that you can help our daughter be whole.

    #12189
    Dr. Pacik
    Dr. Pacik
    Participant

    Thank you for your touching post. It is important for young women to understand the importance of sharing something as important as vaginismus with your parents. When it is shared I have never seen anything other than full support. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing this, just give them a copy of my book “When Sex Seems Impossible” and tell them “this is me”. You don’t need to speak another word until they have read the book.
    I would love to hear from the others what your experiences have been discussing vaginismus with parents.

    #12195
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi kfmom. I enjoyed so much reading your post and it’s so wonderful to see a family’s support. I am so, so happy that your daughter opened up to you and you will be right there to support her along the journey of overcoming vaginismus and she WILL overcome. There are so many posts and threads within this Forum about the difficulties surrounding sharing the condition with family and friends and, often, women with vaginismus share this fact with no one except their partner and doctors/providers. For a woman reading this right now who may be considering talking to her mom or dad about this condition, do you have any specific advice or suggestions for her? Any and all advice that you have would be helpful, including how your daughter brought up the conversation to you and your husband. Dr. Pacik has suggested one way of talking to family is to provide them with a copy of his book as an ice breaker to begin the conversation. I spoke to an amazing woman in the past and drafted a letter that explains the condition and the struggles that accompany it and she gave this to her family member. But, any thoughts/comments/ideas that you have about this would be very helpful for others in this situation right now. Please know that we are all here to support your daughter in her journey of overcoming vaginismus. I overcame vaginismus in June of 2011 and went on to have successful intercourse within 7 days of treatment after struggling with this condition for several years and all of our marriage. Your daughter could not be in better hands or with a better and more caring group of people than you will find in Dr. Pacik, Janet Pacik, Ellen, Cynthia, and all of the staff. As your daughter’s procedure is coming up in December, please feel free to ask any questions at all that either you or she may have pre-procedure and please know that we are all here to support both you and her. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    #12212

    kfmom
    Participant

    So, how to talk to your Mom and Dad?

    Remember first and foremost two things:

    1. This is a medical condition
    2. Your parents LOVE you and want you whole and well

    You don’t have to be best friends with your parents to ask for help. I am a big believer in writing a letter to address difficult topics and then talking it through. I think heather’s suggestions of starting with a note and perhaps dr. pacik’s book are good ones. I believe you will find your parents more understanding and supportive than you think. They will NOT want you to suffer for years with a condition that effects your adult well being. Don’t be embarrassed. Seek help. As parents our goal is to raise children to be happy, healthy productive adults. They won’t want this to stand in your way anymore than we did. In fact, it is heart wrenching.

    Our involvement with our daughter’s treatment has been more of a process vs. one big dramatic disclosure. When younger, sHe had a lot of trouble with irregular periods. We have a pelvic health specialist gynecology practice near our home and she was treated there when she was 15 and 16. She has also had the same boyfriend since that time. She was very open the first two years of their relationship that she was not ready for sex. When she turned 17 things changed and my husband and I assumed that they were now sexually active. It was a short time thereafter that she asked to return to the doctor that treated her at the pelvic health center because she had questions. That was the beginning of her two year journey to dr. Pacik.

    Shortly after after visiting the doctor she told me that she was experiencing a lot of pain and that sex and vaginal exams were difficult or impossible. She shared that the doctor had diagnosed her with vulvar vestibulitis. Over the next almost two years she was prescribed topical and oral medications, physical therapy, etc. with no real progress. We also saw a cumulative effect on her confidence and mental well being. Her relationship went through some ups and downs. She was depressed and frustrated and we were concerned about the side effects of the medication she was being prescribed to treat her pain.

    Our daughter is a very private person and would not speak about her progress or lack thereof that often. Time passed quickly but it was clear that the current course of treatment wasn’t working. I found dr. Pacik researching on the Internet. The more I read, the more his treatment approach seemed like the answer and exactly what we hoped for. We contacted the office, My daughter filled out the forms and spoke to dr. Pacik and the date was set.

    You may hear a lot of things from you doctor(s) and parents:
    This will resolve itself in 2-3 months (the specialist)
    Maybe you are just not ready (dad)
    It will get better – it isn’t comfortable in the beginning (mom)
    Use lubricant … Use a different lubricant
    Try this topical medication … Now this one … Now that one
    Try antidepressants, neurological medications (lots of side effects)
    Physical therapy and so on

    No loving parent will want you caught up in this cycle. We want our daughter happy, healthy and cured – period. This is a medical issue and though it obviously involves sexuality it is not just about sex. We trust her choices and she has a strong moral compass. We are proud of her in every way now and always.

    If Dr. pacik’s program seems right for you, reach out. I believe your parents, like us will be relieved that you did and will support your treatment 100%.

    Good luck and if I can help or you want to talk to an understanding parent let me know.

    Heather – Thank you for your kind words and encouragement for Our daughter’s upcoming procedure next week. Congratulations to you on conquering your battle with vaginismus and sharing your success and support with the forum.

    #12236

    PomPom
    Participant

    I must first tell you that Dr. Pacik and his staff are absolutely outstanding, amazing and far surpass anything my husband and I have ever seen. My daughter had the procedure done over the summer and had an amazing outcome. For the first time in her 21 years her self esteem has soared and has her first boyfriend who has been very patient during this procedure and has stood by her. All in all I would totally recommend Dr. Pacik for anyone suffering from vaginismus.

    #12238

    kfmom
    Participant

    Thank you so much PomPom. It is so encouraging to hear about your daughter’s positive outcome and great experience with Dr Pacik and his team. We look forward to hopefully the same results!

    #12243
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi kfmom. I want you to know that we are all here for you and your daughter as well as the other patients who will be having their procedures this week and next week and I just know everything is going to go so, so, so well. Sending hugs and support!!!

    #12264

    kfmom
    Participant

    Today marks one week since my 19 year old daughter’s procedure with Dr. Pacik and his wonderful team. It is difficult to put into words but what a life affirming experience it was and continues to be!

    I am writing this update in the same thread as “Reaching Out to Young Women” so you can get a sense of what it is like to be accompanied by a parent vs. a spouse or significant other. Others have written at length about the actual procedure itself. Suffice it to say that my daughter (K) was treated with compassion, respect and dignity. By her choice, I was by K’s side throughout the pre-surgery exam, surgery, recovery and counseling/follow-up. In retrospect she realizes that what her imagination conjured up in anticipation, as is often the case in life, was much worse than reality.

    Dr. Pacik talked her through each phase of the process, helped ease her fears and administered medication when warranted. Once under anesthesia K has no recollection at all of her experience. She, like the other 250+ of Dr. Pacik’s patients, woke up with a #6 blue dilator in place. This is when the real healing began.

    The curtains were drawn back and we were introduced to a young married couple who struggled with vaginismus since their wedding night almost two years ago. We also were joined by a recovered vaginismus sufferer who was observing that day and collaborating with Dr. Pacik. Be sure to check out her blog http://www.myvaginsmustory.com. After a brief awkward moment or two, over the course of the next day and a half stories, laughter, frustrations and fears were shared. It was very helpful to K to hear from others who have the same condition.

    Both K and the other young woman treated were able to proceed immediately to #5 and #6 dilators the next day with minimal discomfort. In fact, K had very little discomfort after the procedure at all – just taking some Advil on day 1. Yay! She continues to make good progress and we are very hopeful that she will join Dr. Pacik’s success stories.

    For young women reading, I want to assure you that Dr. Pacik and his team checked with K every step of the way about her desires and whether or not she wanted me present for each step. I, of course, also told K that I would leave with zero hard feelings whenever she asked. This was her treatment and her recovery. I am honored that she chose to include me and know that we will remember the experience always.

    Although recovery from vaginismus is a journey and K has not arrived at the end point yet, she already seems so much lighter … as if a huge burden is lifting. I want to thank every member of Dr. Pacik’s team for the wonderful care they provided. You have my commitment that I will continue to advocate for increased awareness and understanding of vaginismus. It is time for the shroud of silence to be lifted. K is hopefully one of the lucky ones who will find resolution early in her adulthood. So many others are not so fortunate. This is a real tragedy when effective treatment is available. Once again, we cannot thank you enough.

    #12267

    Janet Pacik
    Participant

    Hi kfmom, I just want to say that your post is heartwarming and brought tears to my eyes. Dr. Pacik and I feel so fortunate that we can help these women overcome vaginismus. So many of our young patients feel that they cannot share this with their mothers. I am hopeful that maybe some young women reading these posts will get the courage to tell and include their mothers in their struggle. Support from family members is so important. This past Monday, we had another young girl arrive with her mother; and like you, she was included in the entire procedure. This mother, too, was very supportive and loving and caring.

    #12268

    kfmom
    Participant

    Thanks Janet. I hope you are feeling better! Isn’t interesting that you had two Mom-daughter patients back-to-back? I am sure K would be happy to talk to this week’s daughter if she is interested. It might be helpful for them to have each other to chat with since they are close in age and treatment date. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Peter, Ellen, Cynthia and everyone else on the team.

    #12276

    Janet Pacik
    Participant

    Hi again kfmom, I did forward your post to our single patient this week and she was so happy to read the post. She mentioned that she would be showing it to her mother. If K would like to communicate with this week’s single patient, please have K email me and I will see what I can arrange.

    #12279

    janemurphy
    Participant

    Hi kfmom:

    Great post, thanks for sharing your experience and prospective. So glad to hear your daughter is making progress. If she ever wants to chat she can always reach me at info@myvaginismusstory.com

    Jane

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