So many years of aversion, how to change?

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    After many years of painful and unsatisfactory sex, and my natural reaction to try to avoid having sex or even becoming aroused for fear of pain, I was finally diagnosed with vaginismus and treated successfully (in theory) with physical therapy and dialators. After a long period of sexual inactivity I am very scared to test out my success with my long time partner. His infidelity led us to a sex therapist which helped me get my diagnosis. We are both trying to stay together. The damage to our relationship combined with my fear and reluctance to engage make it difficult to recreate an intimate bond. Does anyone have any similar experience or advice?


    Hi Maryro – first of all, let me congratulate you on getting a diagnosis, treatment and now being ready to try intercourse. That is a big achievement, and you should be proud! First intercourse after prolonged periods of abstinence can be intimidating, but there are a few tips that we usually give to our patients:
    1) Dilate prior to intercourse, ideally with a dilator that is one size larger than your partner. That will help ensure your muscles are relaxed and ready for prime time!
    2) Lube lube lube. You can’t use too much.
    3) Your partner is probably scared to hurt you, and it is not uncommon for the man to lose his erection, or have trouble getting one (bc he is anxious, not because you are doing anything wrong!). Depending on age and circumstance, we sometimes recommend he consider a drug for ED such as sildenafil to help prevent this. This is a conversation he can have with doctor prior to first intercourse.
    4) The first time might feel “mechanical” or “technical”. This is normal as you get used to intercourse again. And it will get better with time and practice!

    I hope that helps, Maryro. Keep us posted on how it goes!

    Jackie Giannelli FNP

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