Sharing Some Hope

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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    Hi ladies,

    I am sharing my story here, as this forum is a place I turned to for hope and encouragement before my procedure.

    For context, I have an anxious personality and am diagnosed with anxiety. I have had anxiety around sex, and around men in general, for as long as I can remember. I also have a phobia of medical things that results in me fainting. Some of the times I fainted were kind of related to vaginismus I think in retrospect. 1) I fainted on the school bus thinking about getting my period for the first time after my mom had just tried to prepare me for it. 2) I fainted during a sex education lesson in health when the teacher was showing anatomy visuals. 3) I fainted once in the bathroom trying to insert a tampon. When I tried being intimate with men in college, I thought I was just too anxious. I always ran away right before we got to having intercourse. Then I had an experience, when I was about 23, when a man held me down and forced his fingers inside me, leaving me feeling an excruciating pain. That is when I realized I might have a problem and went into a research-frenzy.

    My depression had become the most severe it has ever been, which is what prompted me to finally make an appointment. When I went to Maze for my first visit, I cried the entire time and felt like I wanted to throw up when the Q-tip was barely even near me. I had the Botox procedure in January 2020 and then consistently dilated, and continue to dilate. Just over one month after the procedure, I had intercourse with a guy I had gone on a few dates with. I’m not even still seeing him, but the fact that I know I can have sex now is pretty profound given where I started. The support team at Maze was beyond great and dilation is so key for me. My journey with vaginismus is not over, but I have come quite far.

    You might feel like you are the most extreme case, as I did. And it has not been an easy process by any means. I think it’s also important to note that I have learned how powerful my mind is. But by telling my story, I hope that if you are feeling sad, alone, scared, or nervous, you can know that you are not alone and that there is really hope.

    Wishing the best for you all.

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi apk123,
    Thank you for “sharing some hope”. So glad for your success – you worked for it. Your post is inspiring and you are inspiring.
    We wish there was a magic wand to cure vaginismus and alas there isn’t – there are dilators (kind of like a wand) and Botox and peer and professional support.
    We are here to help.
    Stay awesome apk123,
    <3 Helen


    thank you sooo much for sharing. i’m having my botox procedure soon and this post definitely makes me happy and hopeful. 🙂


    apk123, thanks so much for sharing your story! You have made an incredible journey to where you are now and as someone else who has gotten the botox procedure in the past, i can also testify to how powerful it is to have that assistance. Being able to have intercourse will give you more confidence to meet new partners in the future and you should be so proud of yourself for how hard you worked to get to where you are today.

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