Struggling with vaginismus at 50

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    Need I say more. I am 50 years old. Yes. Five-oh. 50! Ahhh. Am I the oldest woman in this forum suffering from V?
    In a way, I am feeling more depressed and have more self pity than before…

    I learned that I have Vaginismus quite late- I was 41 when my sex therapist told me that the pain I am describing during
    the attempts at having intercourse sound like vaginismus. Until that time, I thought it was mostly psychological since my
    mom had always told me NOT to have sex until I was married and I have never been married.

    I didn’t listen to my mom, of course, and had been trying to have intercourse since i was 21 but it felt like hitting a wall,
    which, truthfully, I thought was actually my mom manifesting herself as the Berlin Wall. Even that has come down…

    One more thing. I AM ALLERGIC TO BOTOX. sigh. Janet Pacik has suggested treating me with progressive dilation
    under anesthesia and then with dilation thereafter. Is anyone else allergic to Botox and tried this procedure?

    I am new to this forum and have not spoken to Dr. Pacik yet. I have been reading your posts, though, and found them quite inspiring.
    Next step- complete the paperwork and get on skype with the doctor.

    Any feedback you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.



    Hi BG, you are so not alone. I will be 55 this year and suffered with Vaginismus most of my life. I copied “My Story” below (my introduction) that I wrote in September of 2012. I honestly had given up all hope especially due to my age and length of time having it. I had the procedure done in October of 2012 and after diligently using Dr. Pacik’s dilation program I was and still am able to have pain free intercourse. I also have a prescription of Estradiol that helps with the dryness that comes with “maturing”. I am so glad that you have been in touch with Janet and that you are completing the paperwork and will talk with Dr. Pacik. Janet, Dr. Pacik and his team are the most wonderful, understanding people you will ever meet and you will be in good hands. I am here for you if you have any questions or just want to chat. The Forum is a wonderful place to share your feelings with others that are going through every emotion and struggle that you have and are encountering with this awful condition. But there is hope and it is curable. You have found the right place. Take care….

    I just turned 52 and have had vaginismus since I was a teenager (not knowing it at the time). I first realized something was wrong when I started menstruating and couldn’t use a tampon. It was like I was hitting a wall and I couldn’t insert it. I had a strict family and was told no sex before marriage and that if I did my hymen would be broken and my husband would know and be very upset with me. So I was very afraid of sex from the get go. It didn’t sound like fun to me, only painful. Out of high school I became engaged and we tried to have intercourse but again, my body wouldn’t let anything, anybody in. My fiancé was told that if he broke my hymen it would be all better and to get me drunk and when I was relaxed jam his fingers inside of me. Well we tried this and I knew, even though I was drunk, what was going to happen. When I finally relaxed and didn’t think he was going to do it he did and it was very painful and of course didn’t work. After that I have never trusted anyone, even my husband of 31 years down in that area. I was never able to have a pelvic exam. It always ended up with me crying and feeling so ashamed that I couldn’t allow them to get close to me. Finally with valium and a baby speculum I was able to give an exam. It was very uncomfortable and painful. My fiancé broke up with me and I knew it was because I was unable to have sex. So after that I tried to become promiscuous but of course my body would not let me. I felt like a freak, frustrated and depressed. My libido was great but I just couldn’t let anybody in. I met my husband and we decided to wait until marriage before we had intercourse. We did everything else but intercourse prior to being married. On our wedding day I was a nervous wreck worried about our first night. It was awful; as much as I wanted to I couldn’t have penetration. I cried and cried. It was the worst day of my life. After several attempts and a few years later I realized that we had never had penetration and we decided to seek out help. I had gone to a GYN appointment with my younger sister who had the same trouble with exams as I did. The doctor said that it was odd and asked if we had been sexually abused. We did not think so; it was the last thought in our minds. She suggested that we look into it as for both of us to have the same symptoms seemed odd to her. So I went to a sexual abuse seminar and they had a check sheet and I found that I had marked almost everything so they said I had been sexually abused. So I found a counselor and they were convinced that I was abused even though I had no memories. This was in 1992/93. I went into even deeper depression and started a support group class and one on one counseling. It was an awful time. Looking back on it, I know that I wasn’t sexually abused. It was the only way they knew how to diagnose me. It seemed like at that time “sexual abuse” was “coming out” and there were lots of diagnosis. I am sad about those many years because I ended my relationship with my Dad because of it. I lost several precious years with my Dad. I was never abused. I was severely misdiagnosed. After 15 years of struggling with this condition, feeling humiliated, that I was a freak, that my husband didn’t deserve me we found a doctor who diagnosed me with vaginismus. I underwent surgery to remove scar tissue, the outer ring of my hymen and an episiotomy. After I healed I was given dilators and lidocaine. It took a long time to work up to the largest dilator I was able to have intercourse. We found there was only one position for that would work and where I felt comfortable because I was in control. Several years later, on-line I found a self-inflating speculum that I purchased and take with me to my yearly exams. I have an awesome nurse practitioner who has had unbelieveable patience and has helped me through the exams. I have to take an anti-stress med before I go in, use lidocaine before I leave the house, use lidocaine when I get there and then I have to insert the inflating speculum in myself and then she pumps the air into it to inflate. Each time I am crying because I feel so humiliated that I can’t be normal. Until a few months ago, our love making consisted of me “getting prepared”. I would use lidocaine and a dilator prior to intercourse. Sometimes it would help and sometimes it wouldn’t but it would allow my husband to penetrate me. A few months ago I became extremely frustrated and wanted love making to be more spontaneous and loving, less robotic and so I started using the dilator without the lidocaine and started having intercourse without the lidocaine. We didn’t realize it but the lidocaine had also been numbing my husband all of these years. Penetration is extremely painful and I am an emotional wreck during and afterwards. I so want to be normal and be able to make love to my husband like a normal woman and be uninhibited. I just found Dr. Pacek’s website this last week and cannot believe how many women suffer from this. I am not alone and some women have it much worse than I do. It just breaks my heart because I know how it has made me feel all these years. I would not wish those feelings on anyone. It is truly devastating. I don’t know if there is hope for me since I have suffered with this for so long. I’m praying that Dr. Pacek will be an answer to my many years of prayer. I have been so blessed by a wonderful understanding husband, but I would give anything to be able to make love to my husband, truly make LOVE and not just perform the act with all the pain and tears. I am so sorry for all who have suffered through this awful condition and I’m so happy for those who have successes with Dr. Pacek’s treatment. I’m afraid for me, that I have had this too long for any hope. – See more at:


    Dearest Nakitalab-

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience w me. I could relate to so much of it– having a strict upbringing, told to remain a virgin until marriage,
    and suffering w vaginismus most of my life.
    You have given me hope and the will to move forward w this process. I will keep you posted as I go along.

    Thanks again!



    Hi BG- I also am in my 50’s….I haven’t posted for a very long time. i am 53….and also have a phobia of medical procedures;therefore have not attempted to be treated. I have been, on &off, following some posts and especially now when i got an email that Dr.Pacik is retiring…congratulations Dr.pacik-you deserve it.
    I have gotten now after almost a year to where my pelvic therapist can insert finger and do vag massage/myofascial release whereas before I could not even have her approach me.
    I believe,BG, just like Nakitalab said, that you can overcome this. Maybe like Nakitalab (if you’re not@menopause yet I apologize)Dr.Pacik may be able to help.


    Hi BG – I’m 45, and I just had the treatment on May 4th. I think Janet’s suggestion is a good one. The botox doesn’t even kick in for several days, and I was able to make good progress with the self-dilation even within that period. Waking up with the dilator inside of you really does flip a psychological switch. Between that and the counseling and the forum, I think you have a very good chance at improving your circumstances. Even without the botox. I encourage you to have the procedure done with Dr. Pacik before he retires if at all possible, especially in your case. With Dr. Pacik’s treatment, botox is just one of the tools used to overcome this terrible condition. By the way, I was level 5 vaginismus, a virgin, and never could insert anything or have anything inserted into my vagina except under anesthesia. I was petrified, had several failed intercourse attempts and several failed gyn exams. So believe me when I tell you this will make a difference. You get your power back. I wish you all the best. Michele

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