Triggered by media coverage

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    I am wondering if there is anyone else in this group who experienced an increase in spasms or pain as a result of all of the coverage of sexual harassment and assault in the news. I have found myself experiencing pain that had gone away for some time, and have a friend who said she went into severe spasms after one of the stories came out.


    Hi DooleyHornberg – this is a really interesting question. I haven’t experienced new spasms but I have noticed that all the media coverage has made me reflect on my vaginismus a bit more recently. Like today I read this article:

    It’s long but a really good read (and even gives vaginismus a brief shout-out) and I think it shines a light on why issues like vaginismus go so long without being identified as abnormal or treated so that the sufferer can find relief – we live in a culture that treats female pain during sex as a normal happening, which is extremely messed-up. It makes complete sense that you would be triggered by what’s been uncovered recently – sadly it makes this club of women with sexual experiences in their past that cause them to feel shame grow a lot bigger.

    If your spasms continue it would probably be worth telling a doctor or therapist – it’s upsetting to acknowledge how many men in the world don’t care about women’s pain, but I hope we can seek solace in each other and in the men we know who have been good allies to women! And of course we are here to talk at the forum to anyone who has feelings that have come up that they need help working through.


    Hello DooleyHornberg,
    Thanks for writing to us. I think stress and anxiety of any kind can trigger pain that we thought we had tackled. The media coverage of the sexual assaults has been incredibly jarring, and I have spoken with patients that have be affected by it both psychologically as well as physically. Hopefully, it will go away on it’s own, but if not I agree that you may want to see a medical provider to check in. Of course the pain is real, and not all in your head, but it also might help to process some of your reactions and feelings to being so inundated with all the news about sexual assault. Journaling or speaking with a therapist might also be a good way to process all of these feelings that could be affecting your body. I am guessing we will continue to be hearing these stories for awhile, and while it is great that they are being told and heard, it can take a toll on body and mind. I know I took a break from reading my usual media outlets as the truth has been overwhelming. Take good care of yourself, and as recessivegenequeen wrote, please do reach out to the forum as much as you need to.

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