Success Stories (2)
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
June 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm #12948Janet PacikParticipant
Catherine, So happy for you!!!! We love to hear such wonderful postscripts — please do keep us informed about your pregnancy and of course your delivery! Just so so so wonderful!June 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm #12949
Congratulations Catherine! I just had my procedure Monday 6/9. I fell great. It’s a whole new experience!June 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm #12953Dr. PacikParticipant
Two years-Wow! I remember the two of you as though it were yesterday! I remember the struggles, the uncertainty and the amazing support of your husband.
My heart goes out to you. I am so happy that you are pregnant. May it be everything you dreamed about.
All my best wishes. PeterJuly 4, 2014 at 10:03 am #13022
Hello everyone! 🙂
I had my procedure on 2 June 2014, and I would love to share my story. I know there are so many on here, but if mine helps even one person who is living with this, I will be over the moon! This is my first time pouring my heart out, and I hope you enjoy reading it!
From quite a young age (approx 15), I became aware that I was ‘different’. It started, as it often does, with a tampon! I could not insert one – I went through countless packets trying, and would cry after every failed attempt. My boyfriend could not even penetrate me with a finger, so sex was off the table. I desperately tried to allow him in, but would end up in tears due to the pain. I went through various relationships since then (I am 22).
Whether I was single or involved with someone, I had a constant feeling that there was a huge gap in my life. I felt abnormal – like a ‘freak’. I felt that my body hated me and would always work against me. I felt that God did not like me, and that I did not deserve to experience such special things as sex and childbirth. I felt that this was simply my burden to bear – some people get cancer, some get into accidents, some are born into disadvantaged backgrounds, some people can’t see or hear – my burden was that I could never have sex or have children. I learned to block it out, and in some way accept that I could never be a mother or an intimate partner. It is difficult to describe these feelings so matter of factly, because I don’t think I can ever put into words the pain, self-hatred, loneliness, depression, anxiety and deep, deep sadness I felt over the years at such a young and vulnerable age. I felt I was all alone in the world, and I did not really serve a purpose. I was heartbroken and confused.
Anyone that I did talk to about it either did not understand, or said it would ‘pass’ as I got older. A doctor tried to show me where my vagina was located exactly, but ended up hurting me. Psychotherapists tried to teach me to let go and take control of my body through talk therapy. I ordered dilators – I tried almost everything you can think of, and it was ultimately a waste of time and money. However, the one thing I did gain from this process was the things I learned about myself during psychotherapy. I talked through how hard it was to grow up in a household where my mum seemed to hate my dad, and where I never witnessed as much as a hug or kind word exchanged between them. I learned that my boyfriends had been controlling and a very negative influence on my self-esteem and self-confidence. I learned that experiencing things such as my mum battling cancer, my brother battling depression and my parents separation all contributed to the self-blame I had been turning inwards on myself for years. But most of all, I learned that I was stronger and wiser than I had ever imagined, and that my life was worth living.
I’ve always said that the one thing I 100% believe in is karma – everything comes full circle, either in this life or the next. In early 2014, my boyfriend had decided to leave to go and work in abroad. This man had been manipulative, nasty, disloyal, controlling, a bully, and physically abusive. I was beaten up badly twice and often threatened. I was terrified of him but yet I was absolutely mad about him – I can see now that I had a fear of being alone and was not strong enough to leave. Thankfully, he made the decision to leave. I can now honestly say that this was the best thing that could have happened to me, and I am so grateful he walked out of my life. It was at this point that something changed inside me – I wasn’t going to ever go back to him again. I was going to love and respect myself, sex or no sex, no matter what. The night before he was due to leave, I googled ‘vaginismus’ treatment as I had done 1000 times before – and there was Dr.Pacik! I read the site, and could not believe what I was reading.The next morning, I thought I had dreamt it – that is not an exaggeration, I literally thought I had dreamt it.
I am very lucky to have an amazing, supportive mother, who took out loans with me to finance the treatment. She held my hand the whole way through, and ultimately changed my life. I owe everything to her. I also spoke to one of Dr.Pacik’s former patients (also from Ireland) which was a huge comfort prior to treatment. I would be more than happy to go through my experience of the treatment step by step with anyone reading this, but basically I am going to condense it; Dr.Pacik and his team are absolutely incredible. The level of care, support, patience, understanding and competence is absolutely amazing. It was like a dream come true. The procedure was virtually painless (just a little needle!). It was surreal, emotional, and empowering – the first day of the rest of my life! In fact, I am in the process of designing a little tattoo to symbolise the day 🙂 I wish I could express how wonderful Dr.Pacik and the team are – in my opinion they should all be named saints!!! 🙂
Every cent, every plane ride, car journey and bus was worth it – there is no doubt that this is the CURE. This is what you are looking for – do not look any further for a solution to your vaginismus. Prior to treatment, literally nothing had ever been inside me. In fact, if I didn’t have a period, I would barely believe I even had a vagina. Now, I am dilating regularly and successfully. It is surreal and so amazing to have control over my body. I feel complete and truly happy. I had successful intercourse on Sunday – my 22nd birthday!!! 🙂 I was walking on clouds for the day. I am no longer going to hate or fear my body – I will love, cherish and protect it, just like it should be cared for! The thought that I will one day (fingers crossed) have babies makes my heart literally swell with happiness and gratitude – and I owe it all to this outstanding team of people at 57 Bay Street! <3
The one thing that I would like to point out to women that will be having the procedure in the future is that although it is a life-changing, fantastic, invaluable experience, sometimes you may have inklings of self-doubt. For the first 2 weeks after treatment, a little voice in my head was saying; “Do you deserve this?” “Is this too good to be true?” “Will you be the one person who regresses and go back to square one?”. All I can say is do NOT listen to these thoughts! It is natural to feel overwhelmed and uncertain – it is a huge physical and psychological change you are experiencing. I remember telling my mum that I felt like I had been given the cure to a long-term illness – it was an unreal feeling. The ‘why me?’ feeling. But then I realised – that is exactly what had happened! I was cured! And why wouldn’t I deserve it, had I not suffered long enough?! You ARE worth it, you are 100% worth it. Your body is your own, and no one can ever take that from you. Stay strong and positive, and remember to love yourself through every step of the way. <3
Sometimes I hear myself talking, and also on reading through what I have written, and this thought crosses my mind; I sound so old and wise and serious for a fun-loving, single 22 year old girl! If any of my friends knew the full extent to how low I have felt and the dark places i have gone to, I doubt they would believe me for a second. But that is the nature of vaginismus; suffering in silence. This condition stunted my growth as a woman and a person for so long, that I really want to shout my story from the rooftops to all of you. Each story is so unique and filled with emotion, and I wanted to translate that, rather than the ins and outs of the condition itself (which I am sure you are all familiar with). I have come so far from the sad, scared and helpless 15 year old girl that I was. I feel like my life has truly transformed and I have blossomed as an individual. I would love to help anyone who would like to chat about anything at all regarding this condition.
Sending so much love and hope your way girls. Remember, you are not broken. You are not a freak. You are beautiful and strong and lovable. it is YOUR life, and you are so, so worth it!
xJuly 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm #13029Dr. PacikParticipant
Thank you cherryblossom123 for posting your story. I am sure it will empower many. I would love to hear what the others think. I am sure it will resonate with many of the women both pre and post treatment.July 6, 2014 at 2:40 am #13031HannaParticipant
Hi cherryblossom123. Thanks for sharing your story, I really identify with you feeling like this was going to be your burden that you had to bear. It’s so nice to hear you are doing so good!! How I wish I could have found Dr Pacik when I was 22! You have it all ahead of you now, and you deserve every wonderful thing that comes your way. Say Hi to your Mum too xxJuly 6, 2014 at 5:02 am #13032
Thank you so much Hanna and Dr.Pacik! 🙂
I am very lucky and grateful to have found this amazing solution at a young age! 🙂 So excited for the future! Mum says to say hi to you and hubby and that she often thinks of you, and hopes you are doing great! I think she feels like a mother hen to all 5 of us that met in June! 😀
xxxJuly 6, 2014 at 7:28 am #13033
What a great story! I relate so well. I wish I knew about dr Pacik when I was 22 as well. My husband and I didn’t find him until I’m 32. And at 32 you can only imagine what is going though my head. Am I to old? I am doing so well with dilating and fairly fear doing it too. I can wear tampons which is amazing now during my period. I had my procedure on June 9th and I’m loving the outcome. I am excited to one day have sex with my husband and stArt trying for that baby wee really want!!!July 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm #13037
Hi KatieG07! Thank you so much 🙂 That is fantastic, what great progress! I have no doubt you will have every success in making that baby 😉
It sounds silly but I’m actually so excited to use tampons so I’m actually looking forward to my period!! Strange right?!! 😀 I am a complete neat freak and I DESPISE using pads. I hate the feel of them, the look of them – it’s been like wearing nappies! Tampons seem so much more convenient and hygienic! 😀
xxJuly 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm #13038
Thanks cherryblossom123! It’s a great felling to wear tampons. I. On my 1st round of having my period after my procedure and it’s summer so it’s been great! I can enjoy cute summer outfits and not worry about the undergarments being those annoying granny pants 😉 annnnd I can go swimming!!! No more sitting on the side watching everyone have fun! I still wear a pad at night but that’s pretty much it now or when I am dialating! I feel life had changed since. The procedure and I can do more things “down there” I couldn’t do before. We become more aware of our bodies. I could have gyno exams before but they were a little painful and the last one I had this past week was great. I didn’t feel a thing and my dr was so happy 🙂 we joked and I said “well I prob don’t feel the finger exam bc I’m dilating with a 4 & 5 which is bigger then your finger every night”
Good luck with tampons I love the multi pack- light regular and super tampex pearl with the applicators. A tiny bit of lube and they go In so well!
KatieJuly 7, 2014 at 5:15 am #13039HannaParticipant
Hi Cherryblossom123. That is so nice – your Mum is just lovely! I often wonder how you and Alice14 are doing, we are just in the process of sorting through the photo’s from the trip, so we will have to send you both the group photo. We had a fantastic holiday, dilating is going really good, and now we are home settling in to winter :/ and no matter how warm and cozy our house is – the dilators and lube are FREEZING cold! Haha.July 7, 2014 at 10:12 am #13041hereisnowhyParticipant
Cherryblossom123, what an amazing story! I am SO excited and happy for you that you were able to have pain-free intercourse just 1 month after the procedure, what a great birthday gift! Your story, like many of ours, is heartbreaking and I am so thrilled you are on the “other side” of it now. It can only go up from here! I had my procedure 2 weeks after you, and am successfully dilating to a #6. My boyfriend and I have yet to try intercourse, but are planning to as soon as possible. We do not live alone and find it hard to find alone time, and are both always tired at the end of the day (but who isn’t?!) but we will be trying for intercourse soon! I have been diligent with dilating and truly feel a difference. I am so excited for the next chapter! As for wearing tampons, they are just THE BEST. I thankfully was always able to wear tampons even with vaginismus, and I agree with KatieG07 that Tampax Pearl are the BEST! Sure tampons will take some getting used to but you’ll get the hang of it quickly! I am not sure if Tampax is available in Ireland or what kind of other tampons there are, but hopefully you can try them out because I won’t use anything else! Of course, as we know, every vagina is different so maybe a different tampon will be better for you, but thats my 2 cents on tamps! I truly enjoyed reading your story, cherryblossom123 and I hope you continue to have success! The support you have from your mother is untouchable and so helpful. Happy Dilating! 🙂July 16, 2014 at 11:27 am #13082
Hanna, so good to hear you are doing so well!! 🙂 The cold sounds awful though – we are having an unusually warm summer in Ireland for once!!! 🙂 Mum and I had a fab time too – Boston was amazing 🙂 Can’t wait to see the photo! It seems like so long ago but it was only last month :O Life has changed so much 🙂
hereisnowhy, thank you so much, I’m delighted you enjoyed reading it. I found it very therapeutic to write it all out 🙂 Today and yesterday were my first time ever using tampons and I am getting used to them already! Sometimes I find they do not go in far enough, so I just use the smallest silicone dilator to push it up that bit further…I’m sure after a while it will come much easier 🙂 If you are dilating to a #6 then it seems like having sex is just a tiny step away! 😀 Sometimes I feel a bit fed up because I’m not in a committed relationship at the moment and can’t ‘practice’ sex regularly, but I think everything happens for a reason so I try not to dwell on it 😀 I hope everything works out wonderfully for you! 🙂
xxxSeptember 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm #13394Heather34ParticipantQuote:Quote from Catherine on June 12, 2014, 11:35
I just wanted to send along this additional note of encouragement and gratitude…
Two years ago today, my husband and I met Dr. Pacik for the first time — and his procedure changed our lives.
Like so many on this forum, I was completely unable to have sex with my husband. At 39 + and two years married, I felt utterly frustrated, misunderstood, and isolated. Thanks to Dr. Pacik and his team, after just a few weeks post treatment and dilation, we were able to have pain-free sexual relations. Absolutely incredible.
Today I am adding one additional post-script: my husband and I are now six months pregnant…. awaiting a baby girl this September. The miracle continues : )
For anyone questioning this procedure, take this to heart. Fear not!
May you know all that life can offer…. !
Thank you, Dr. Pacik!! – Mary Jo “Catherine” Casilio
Huge CONGRATS Catherine. So, so, so wonderful! Sending you huge hugs!!!!!May 17, 2015 at 1:09 am #13758Flufy2015Participant
I dreamed about writting in this category (Sucess Stories) and I would like to share what just happened.
I am married for 6 years, Lamont level 5 vaginismus, I already cried so much and felt shame and guilty for a long time. I almost give up to find a cure, but fortunately I started doing my own research again few months ago. After knowing dr Pacik I decided schedule the treatment and I made a choice: I chose to never fear again, I chose that I need to win! So I had my procedure 10 days ago (May 6th) and this night something really beautiful and unexpected happened: my husband and I had intercourse (tip only) and I am feeling so much happy!!!!!!! I know that I still have a long journey until full intercourse but this event gave me so much hope and joy that I can’t describe! I am here to say to everyone do not give up! I had bad time dilating (pink #5) just few days ago and I didn’t plan to try intercourse today, but it happened… well, it really happened 🙂 I had some tears (of happiness) and that is the reason to be here writting this short story of success. I hope that soon I will be back with my full success’s story 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Don’t give up! Just live each day and soon everything is gonna be ok 🙂
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