Vaginismus or not?

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    Hello everyone,

    I have been experiencing vaginal pain with my first sexual partner and couldn’t have comfortable penetration and also had issues with tampon inserting previously. I went to doctor few months ago. First time vaginal exam was very discomfortable for me, I was unintentionally closing my legs. Yet my doctor hasn’t diagnosed me with vaginismus she said that she doesn’t feel my muscles tighten up on her fingers when she examines. She advised me to use dilators. After the covid19 issues, I had to wait for dilators as I live in UAE and had to order online. In the mean time, I had 2 times penetrative sex with my new partner and it was even worst. It was very painful and even when he puts 2 fingers in, it was painful. I had vaginal soreness/discomfort for 3 days after. In the second time, I also bleed. I finally got my dilators and went to doctor again last week and practicing now. My doctor is the sweetest and very supportive. My question is does my condition still a vaginismus or only vaginal pain issues? I read online that vaginismus has degrees and seems like my condition is lower/medium level vaginismus according to some websites. Thanks!

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi lamomesel,
    This can all be very confusing as there are varying degrees of “vaginismus”. For some women fear of penetration can be greater than pain associated with penetration. Some women are able to use tampons and cannot tolerate a gynecological exam. Some women will opt for the Botox procedure as the idea of inserting anything inside the vagina is too difficult, feels impossible etc. What is true for all women with vaginismus is that it can be overcome. So glad to hear that you have a supportive doctor and it sounds like you have a plan. The idea of dilation is to stretch and relax the muscles. When you have been able to work with a dilator that is slightly larger than your partner’s penis you will then hopefully have success with painfree penetrative sex.
    Hope this information is helpful and stay in touch.


    Hi lamomesel – so sorry to hear about the pain issues you’ve experienced with your partner! I had vaginismus that was eventually treated with the botox procedure at the Maze Clinic, and before that, many of my experiences at doctors or gynecologists were incredibly similar to yours. I couldn’t bear to have examinations done and would close my legs, wiggle away, etc. I think that while it sounds like you have a mild/medium form of vaginismus like you say, treatment with the dilators will be helpful to you both in making it easier to be penetrated and in helping you gain comfort and confidence in your body so that gynecological exams and other stuff will be easier for you in future.

    Let us know if you have any issues or questions around dilation going forward – we’re always glad to help!

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