Vaginismus and maturity

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    I was 16 when I had sex for the first time. Young, but surely not an exception. My mom knew I was dating someone, but she didn’t like my boyfriend at all and she thought I was too young to be in a relationship. I was scared she would be mad if I told her we had plans to be intimate, so instead of asking her if I could start using the pill, the only birth control we used was a condom. Stupid. I know (I hope I’ll have a better connection with my own daughter).

    My first time was an awful experience. My boyfriend couldn’t penetrate me and I cried the whole time because it was so painful. When things didn’t get better the second and third time, and the pain still continued to be intense even with another boyfriend, I knew something wasn’t right. But I had no clue what and I didn’t dare to talk about this to my mum.

    I’m 23 now and in the mean time, I’ve followed therapy and I’m able to have sex. Still not completely pain free, but at least it’s possible.

    What I’m trying to say is that as a 16 yo vaginismus patient, you can’t rely on a network of doctors and/or therapists (at that time my mum still went to the doc with me when I was sick!). Going to a doctor on my own without telling my mum, that was simply something I couldn’t imagine. And honestly: at that age I didn’t want to talk about such a delicate subject to a stranger either, even if it was a doc.

    At the age of 20 I became more independent. I started working and rented my own apartment. I also went to a new doc (without my mom this time!), but it still took me a year or so before I had enough confidence to talk to her about my problem.

    It is only now that I realize that in order to treat vaginismus, you need to have some kind of maturity you don’t have as a 16 yo. As far as I understand, most patients find out they have vaginismus during their first sexual experiences. In some girls, this will be before they are 18. So this means that most women who have sex at a relatively young age, are left in the cold when it comes to treating vaginismus, right? Cause it is far easier to get help when you discover you’ve got vaginismus at the age of 21.

    I wonder if we (in general) can do something about this. Is vaginismus always going to be a “difficult” subject for young teens because it requires a certain level of maturity? Can we, as parents, help them out by providing them a safe and open environment to talk about intimate issues? Are there other things we can do?


    I love this post! I agree! When I was younger, I found out something was wrong with my vagina. I couldn’t use tampons and told my Mom but it wasn’t much of a concern for her. She didn’t even know herself, what vaginismus is. And I think THAT’S the problem. There’s so little speak about such a big issue! We grow up understanding that ED is an issue men can face, but no speak about vaginismus. I think if my Mom had known what vaginismus is, we could have began treating it sooner. But it begins by bringing awareness to the issue. A lot of people don’t even know this kind of problem exists.


    Really interesting points here, sammy2021! You make a good observation that 16-year-old girls might not necessarily feel ready to undertake treatment for vaginismus like dilating, but I think the thing that would make a big difference is whether they were already aware that kind of pain was normal in a lot of women and also treatable in the future. If a 16-year-old had repeated pain with intercourse but KNEW that vaginismus was a condition that existed, she could make the decision not to have intercourse until she was older and ready to seek treatment and stick to other activities in the meantime, or even just know that there wasn’t “something wrong with her” that felt completely unique. A lot of girls who discover their vaginismus at a younger age believe that no one else will understand what they’re going through when in reality many women will face pain with intercourse at some point in their lives. Knowing you’re not alone and that there are established treatment options out there would make a big difference in my opinion. It’s my hope that the next generation of children will be better educated by their parents and also that sex ed will evolve to encompass more of these topics so everyone is more informed and these problems are less stigmatized in future.

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