Vaginismus, Diabetes, and Infertility

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    I’ve been looking for a group like this for some time, though part of me wanted to avoid it, because I could somehow tackle these issues on my own. I feel I have no one else to whom to speak about these issues. I have a regular psychologist on standby, if need be, though as I have been in partial remission from depression, I have been seeing her less, and less. She’s been amazing for so many of my issues, but not so much with this one.

    So, (hopefully brief) background: I found out I had a problem with vaginismus the first time I had to have a pap smear. I was 19, and the doctor wouldn’t prescribe one of my medications without the pap. See, I also have PCOS (I was diagnosed at age 15), and had to be on contraceptive medication to have a monthly cycle, as I had none at that point without the aid of medication. The first pap was horrendous, blindingly painful, and humiliating, as I pleaded with her not have the exam, given that I had never been sexually active at that point. It turned out that I also had a yeast infection at the time, so there was even more pain. I felt light-headed, and I cried. I managed to get through future exams, but they all pretty much made me feel light-headed, and were quite painful. Fast-forward to age 28, when I finally met my current partner. The first time we tried to have sex, it was painful, and there was no penetration. I decided to buy a set of dialators online, and followed the course. It took months of regular use for me to graduate up to the large dialator, and months more to actually start having sex with my partner, and even after starting this, it wasn’t always successful. There were days when it was possible, and days that I had considered set-backs, when it was too painful. He was quite patient, and forgiving throughout all of it. We have had our good moments, when sex has been pleasurable for me, but it hasn’t been consistent. It’s still a work in progress it seems.

    Fast forward to today. I’m 37, and have now just decided to try to become pregnant, which of course requires regular sex. I’ve had relatively pain free sex with my partner (same partner) the majority of the time, when my body hasn’t had other problems. I’m diabetic (which goes along with PCOS), so I get frequent yeast infections, which makes sex painful again. My diabetes is well managed for the most part. My A1C is below 6, and I’m vigilant about avoiding the sugar, but still I get these infections regularly. So, there’s the pain from the infections exacerbating the previously existing pain issues of vaginismus. I treat myself regularly, but the infections come back, over and over again, as does the pain. There probably isn’t much hope of me getting pregnant to begin with, given my age, and my PCOS, but with so many factors facing me at once, sometimes it just makes me want to scream, particularly when I feel I have no one to talk to about this stuff that can provide any measurable help. I think this is out of my OBGYN’s league really. As yet, there is no cure I’ve found for recurrent yeast infections (at least none that my doctor’s have apprised me of). So, I’ll make another appointment with my OBGYN, but I don’t hold out much hope at the moment.


    Welcome to the forum. I think it is great that you were able to progress in terms of dilation and relatively pain free intercourse.
    As you mentioned Diabetes can often cause recurrent yeast infections. We prescribe Diflucan 150 mg for one dose. We then repeat this dose both 3 days and 7 days after the initial dose.With recurrent yeast infections we find that maintenance control is necessary to fully treat recurrent yeast infections. In maintenance treatment we give Diflucan 150 mg once a month for a 6 month period.
    I hope this is helpful to you.
    As far as pregnancy , 37 is the new 27..Having PCOS is no longer as big an obstacle to pregnancy as once thought.
    Hang in there!


    Hi Sirius! I just wanted to start by saying a huge congratulations and taking so much of your vaginismus treatment into your own hands, and having so much success with it. The Maze clinic helped me finally deal with my vaginismus, and I can’t imagine what it must have been like to have to go through it on your own. It’s clear to me that for you to have the kinds of setbacks most of us in treatment have–slow progress, getting disheartened, feeling pain even after we’ve hit certain milestones–and to CONTINUE your treatment purely of your own will is an amazing thing. There is no doubt in my mind that you’re an incredibly strong woman, and it sounds like you have a supportive partner to boot, which is great.

    If what you really want is to get pregnant, my opinion (bear in mind, my not-a-doctor opinion) is that you have what it takes to give it your all–you’ve showed us the depth of your resolve. I know it’ll be hard, but I know you’ve made it through huge challenges before too.

    If you ever want to talk, know you’re not alone–we don’t all share the exact same challenges here, but we have all felt the pain of vaginismus and are cheering for you to get what you want out of your life! Good lucky, and we’re here for you if you need us!


    SiriusStarNut: glad you’re here!


    Hi SiriusStarNut. We tried to conceive for several years and became pregnant using the syringe method alternating w/intercourse when I was 37. On the month that we conceived, it was solely w/the syringe method. I shared our story in a prior post (see below). Please know that you have my support 100%!!!!



    I am so inspired by your story – you did an amazing job of progressing with dilators on your own and it’s AWESOME that you are able to have some pain-free intercourse. Through many difficulties/struggles, you stayed strong which is so empowering.

    I loved reading through Heather’s “Tips for Trying to Conceive” so I hope you try her tips!

    Good luck and we are all rooting for you!

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