Vaginal stabbing pain 15 yr old daughter?

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    Hello there,

    My daughter is 15 and has experienced vaginal “stabs” for several years now. She describes it as fast, like lightning, and then over, but may be several stabs then nothing for days or weeks, then more.

    This peaked around age 13, so I had our pediatrician have a look. I forget what it’s called, but basically her vaginal opening wasn’t fully “open” but perforated. We were referred to a specialist, who scheduled her for a quick day surgery, where she was numbed down there with local, and that skin was snipped. This was a horrible ordeal for my daughter. She screamed the entire time saying she could feel it. Ugh. For the first time after that, she inserted a tampon, but said it was extremely uncomfortable. She’s worn tampons a couple times since, but HATES it and says it hurts taking them out.

    Fast forward to 15, the stabs are occurring again and more often, and she has massive anxiety and stress over this. She wants to have another exam to find out if anything unusual is going on in there, but feels like she can’t take it. Even describing a pap makes her cry.

    I’ve asked her if she’s ever been molested, raped, inappropriately touched and she swears she hasn’t, and has no memory of anything like that. But she also has fear of sex (not sexually active yet, for sure). With all of these symptoms I’m beginning to wonder if something happened in daycare when she was a toddler that she can’t remember? Lord. I don’t know. But I want to help her fears subside and help her understand there are solutions. The only “trauma” I can think of that I’m aware of was that she fell climbing a rock wall when she was 4 and racked herself severely on one of the rock grips. She was bruised there but I didn’t notice anything wrong with the opening of her vagina, though I confess I wasn’t examining that area very closely???

    I guess, my questions are:
    1- Do these symptoms sound consistent with vaginismus?
    2- What would be a good first step for her given her massive fear over exams?
    3- Does counseling help? She’s so young I want to move forward with caution and wisdom.
    4- I’ve wondered about endometriosis also????

    Concerned mom doing research~


    Hi Gstrom – good to have you here! I am so sorry for the pain your daughter has experienced – it must be so scary for you as a mom.

    It’s possible that your daughter could have vaginismus, especially since inserting tampons is uncomfortable, though I will say that the stabbing pain is not consistent with most vaginismus sufferers, I believe – pain without insertion is more common of vulvodynia. I’d recommend giving the Maze Clinic a quick call – they’re lovely people who are good at helping you to figure out what’s going on, and they’ll do a free phone consultation if you call them at 914-328-3700.

    I received therapy as a teen for issues not related to vaginismus when I was 17, and I will say it helped me a lot. I think therapy can be good for teenagers just because it can represent a nonjudgmental space. Very much your call, but if she seems especially emotionally distressed over the physical pain, it might be a good outlet.

    As for her fear of exams, I was once able to receive a pap smear under full anesthesia (before I was treated for vaginismus). I was put to sleep completely and felt NOTHING, so if you have major concerns, that might be an option, though I don’t know if there are age restrictions on that. I think I was 19 when I had it done.

    I hope some of this helps! Good on you for doing your research to help your daughter!


    Your poor poor daughter! With the pain she’s gone through, her fear of sex/penetration is understandable — and consistent with vaginismus. However, like recessivegenequeen wrote, the stabbing pain isn’t and could definitely be symptom of something else!

    As for your four questions, a good women’s health center (like Maze) or gynecologist should have:

    (1) knowledge about vaginismus and treatment (like dilators)
    (2) options for those with pain/fear of insertion who need to take exams – like how recessivegenequeen was able to have exams under anesthesia – and I was prescribed Xanax to take before coming in for my vaginismus physical therapy (I used dilators)
    (4) in-depth knowledge about endometriosis!!

    As for your third question about seeing a counselor, (3) Maze Women’s Health has licensed therapists for their patients, but that may not be super common even with good gynecologists/women’s health centers (although they may have recommendations). I agree that seeing a therapist or counselor may help her with her fear & anxiety surrounding her vagina troubles – but to be honest I’m also under the opinion that everyone in the world can get some benefit of seeing a therapist they trust (like recessivegenequeen, a nonjudgemental space) 🙂

    Good luck with everything and keep us updated! Stay optimistic – there are a lot of treatment options depending on her diagnosis!


    Update: We just went to the doctor yesterday. PCOS is the diagnosis. Ovaries are covered in cysts. Irregular periods and sudden cystic acne along with her pains were consistent with PCOS so dr did an ultrasound to confirm. Also took blood to test for testosterone.

    Treatment is low dose birth control and clean Whole Foods diet.

    We have a lot to learn. Thank you all for your support and replies.


    Gstrom, thanks for the update, and I’m really glad to hear you have some answers and a way forward to helping your daughter. It sounds like you are ready to learn and help her forge her path, and I wish you so much luck in doing so! Please do keep us updated on how it goes.

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