Success Stories (2)
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
May 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm #24941kb1996Participant
I am from the UK, so was not treated by Dr Pacik, but I did receive private treatment in the UK for the botox procedure that Dr Pacik offers to make progress with dilators! I wanted to share my story as it is a bit different to some of the others I’ve read and illustrates a bit of an issue in the UK with this sort of condition.
I first noticed that there was a problem when I was about 16 when I attempted to use even the smallest tampons – absolutely no joy and lots of pain and frustration especially when all my friends were able to insert them with ease. Then it became more obvious that something could be wrong when I attempted intercourse with my first long-term boyfriend at 18 multiple times and was met with the most excruciating pain. I arranged to see my GP, who attempted to examine me but was unable to as I could not tolerate the pain of insertion. She referred me to the sexual health clinic at my local hospital who gave me my first set of dilators but they were these hard plastic things with limited sizes. I felt rather hopeless as I couldn’t even insert the smallest one after several long-duration attempts and it actually totally put me off because I just thought what’s the point? I continued to attend follow ups for about a year after being given the dilators, obviously with little progress and little hope to be honest.
Because of my past history (I had suffered sexual abuse as a child) it was assumed that the reason the dilators weren’t working must be because of some deep-rooted psychological problem I had, even though I had received thorough counselling for these issues and felt as though I had fully overcome it. I was not aversive to or scared of sex, I really wanted to be able to do it but just wasn’t able to. Slightly begrudgingly I agreed to attend a psychosexual counselling service – but my nearest one was located in a different city so I had to travel there every two weeks for an appointment. Another snag is that once you start the appointments, you are only allowed 6 in total so if you haven’t worked out your complex sexual issues in that time, bad luck I guess! I found the experience a little distressing as I felt like I was being encouraged to resurface lots of previous trauma and I didn’t understand how this was conducive to achieving what I wanted now in terms of having painless intercourse for the first time. In fact it just put me off! I decided to stop going to the appointments all together and just concentrated on finishing the rest of my degree (I was at university at the time).
Almost two years later, after I broke up with my second long-term boyfriend it occurred to me that there must be a way to fix this issue. After graduating I had a lot more free time, and so I looked into my options and that is when I heard about the botox treatment. It is still fairly limited in the UK in terms of places that offer it, and is not available on the NHS as of yet. In fact, it was never even mentioned to me as an option when I was receiving NHS treatment for the problem. I read about a few women who received the botox treatment privately in London and decided to go for a consultation. At that point I was feeling rather desperate and just wanted it sorted so I agreed to go ahead with it, with the addition of a hymenectomy under sedation. I received treatment in November 2018, and went for my follow-up a couple weeks later. I was feeling a bit skeptical about it all, as I didn’t feel much different but I didn’t want to interfere too much with the area as it had been operated on as well. I took my Inspire dilators that were recommended to me by my doctor. He got me to lie in the chair and said he was going to insert the first, smallest dilator which is essentially finger-sized or even smaller. He held it at the opening for a few seconds and I remember thinking “This isn’t going to work” but then he said “Okay, have a feel” and amazingly he had inserted it and I had felt minimal pain. It was very surreal as I had never been able to insert anything at all! I suddenly felt like there was hope and was excited to carry on with dilation independently.
I made an effort to dilate most days a week for differing times depending on my schedule (I’m a shiftworker so this varies quite a lot). It was slow progression for me, as I wasn’t able to reach the fifth size (largest in this set) until around the 3-month point, and I wasn’t able to insert it fully until around 4 months. I also found that I made much more progress once I practiced moving the dilators in and out, similarly to how a penis would move during intercourse.
Last week I attempted intercourse for the first time since receiving the treatment, and I was successful! I made sure to fully dilate immediately prior, and spent a lot of time doing foreplay, but after that it all just went rather smoothly! I couldn’t believe it and am still in disbelief! Very glad to put the stress of vaginismus behind me! I hope this helps other girls/women in similar positions – especially in the UK as I understand quite a few of us are just palmed off to psychosexual counselling if simple dilation (without botox) is not successful!
Congratulations to all the other women who have succeeded with this treatment – and good luck to those of you still going through it! Keep persevering and go with it at your own pace!May 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm #24942Jennifer Dembo, LMSWParticipant
kb1996 – congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It illustrates a few interesting (and encouraging!) points:
1. You were kind to yourself and you set your own pace. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough! Every body is different, everyone’s approach is different, dilators are different, and of course, so are penises! Manage expectations according to your recommended dilation protocol, goals and lifestyle.
2. You got creative with dilation insertion to further your progress.
Your story is inspiring and I’m sure it will be helpful to many on this forum. If anyone has any questions about Botox or dilation and/or other potential treatments for vaginismus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Maze!May 11, 2019 at 8:15 pm #25038JennicatParticipant
Do they insert a dilator and leave it there after the surgery?May 16, 2019 at 4:13 pm #25056MaZuParticipant
Hello! My name is Marina and I was treated for vaginismus two years ago. After my treatment, I made the decision to be open about my vaginismus, and talk to as many women and men as possible about it. As we all know, female sexual pain is still treated like a taboo and this social stigma prevents hundreds of women from getting proper treatment. Vaginismus is still a big part of my life and I am interested in developing a project about the female experience with sexual pain. I would love to talk, listen to your stories, and also share my own. So if any of you is interested in voicing your opinion and/or experience please let me know.
You can contact me on:
email@example.comMay 21, 2019 at 11:58 am #25077recessivegenequeenParticipant
Kb1996 – congratulations! Your story is really inspiring and I’m so happy you got results. I think it’s wonderful that you were patient with yourself – it can be so hard to keep going if progress feels slow, but that’s what really makes things work in the end!
Jennicat – if you get the botox treatment at the Maze clinic, what happens is you’re put under anesthesia while botox is injected in your vagina. Increasingly large dilators are then inserted while you’re asleep until you wake up with the largest dilator inside of you. Other clinics do botox in slightly different ways, but it’s by far most effective when you wake up with the dilator inside (and can see for yourself that your vagina is “normal” and capable of being penetrated). Hope this helps!
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