Vaginismus & labour

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  • #35723
    valentina
    Participant

    Hi, I have been suffering from vaginismus for ten years. When my husband and I decided to have a baby it took us seven months to conceive between a few failed attempts at intercourse and general anxiety of penetration but we finally did it and I am now expecting a little girl in 10 weeks. I have been suffering from extremily bad pelvic floor pain ( for which I have seeked the help of a prenatal physio ) and I am experiencing the tearing, burning and tightness sensation that comes with it. This condition is not allowing me to be in the best head space possible for delivery and I am now getting extremily worried about having a vaginal delivery.

    I am worried after all the progress I have made including having the botox treatment from Maze 4 years ago that the vaginal checks throughout labour, the possibility of tears and stitching, the possibility of interventions such as the ventouse or other instruments will all be detrimental in taking me back to a place where I am absolutely terrified of even being touched. On the other hand I know that a successful vaginal delivery could be the ultimate cure I have been looking for. Anyone able to share their delivery stories ? I am frustrated of hearing friends share theirs as I don’t feel they fully understand my condition.
    Also my obgyn reccomended I start using a tool called epi-no which terrified me just to look at. Anyone experienced with that? Thank you 😊

    #35786

    Hi @valentina – thanks so much for writing. And I encourage anyone who has had a vaginal birth post-vaginismus and would like to share their success stories to please do so here!

    First of all, you sound like a a very courageous and resilient person, and I want to congratulate you on all the work you’ve accomplished to get you to where you are today! Secondly, your experience with anxiety right now is totally understandable. But over the next couple of months, I strongly suggest you leave no stone unturned regarding self-compassion and anxiety management. Do you have a trusted relationship with your OB who understands your concerns? Are you allowed to have a doula or other support person accompany you during labor and birth (should you want one)? Are you speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in vaginismus and perinatal issues and can help you process and strategize when it comes to coping emotionally? We can offer that to you here, if that’s of interest. While giving birth is an unpredictable process, preparing mind and body for as much as possible (and being flexible and open to change) can help you synthesize all that you need to, and it can help you have productive conversations with your support team.

    RE: the Epi-No: not sure where you live but the device is not widely used here in the US. Ask your OB for evidence-based research to help you make the best decisions. There are other techniques women (and their birth team) can employ to help prevent tearing both prior to and during labor. Happy to speak further if you would like more information.

    I wish you all the best, valentina!

    #35893
    Heather
    Participant

    Hi Valentina!
    Unfortunately I have not experienced this. However, you’ve come so far just to conceive your baby and that is AMAZING! I second what Jennifer said. Do everything in your power to prepare! My vaginismus was more relentless on the mental side of things. It took a while for me to get my brain to stop being so scared. What I did was I would talk to myself, tell myself that it’s okay and that this is MY body and MY body is SAFE! When you talk to yourself, you listen. Dilate(if you can) often! Get yourself familiar with your body, touch your vagina and even go in your vagina with your finger(s) and massage those PC muscles from the inside of your vagina. I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you’re able to do, but if dilating and inserting fingers isn’t possible right now then I would search around for a book regarding vaginismus. There are a lot of helpful psychology tools to help you re wire your brain and stop the fear and hopefully prevent muscle spasms.
    But at the end of the day, you are a mother which means you have super Mom strength and you can do this!! Congratulations on your baby 🙂

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