Waiting long before seeking help

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  • #45376
    bettydee
    Participant

    First of all, thank you so much for this forum. I’ve been reading bits and pieces from all your posts over the past few days, and I think it’s amazing we can all share our experiences here. Knowledge is power!

    “Knowledge is power”. Ha! Look who’s talking! I’ve had vaginismus for over TEN years – from the first day I’ve had sex – and I was only officialy diagnosed recently. I feel ashamed to admit this, but I’ve always thought most women were in pain during sex. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? But when I was young, sexual pleasure wasn’t part of sex ed. It was all about preventing a pregnancy and how dangerous it was be to have unprotected sex. Pleasure – or should I say female pleasure – was never talked about. The first time I had sex it hurt so much I thought my vagina was ripped open. The guy I dated had some experience and he kept saying he was nearly there and that it was almost over. “It was almost over, ” like a visit to the dentist. Slowly but gently I was given the impression that pain was part of the deal.

    I remember I stayed in a hotel for work once, and one night I could clearly hear the couple in the room next to mine having sex. The girl was screaming she was in pain, but the next day I saw them coming out of their room hand in hand and I thought: “Ok, so it IS normal. I’m worrying about nothing!”. I’ve had several partners, there was NO way they couldn’t have seen I wasn’t enjoying sex, but they never said anything about it.

    It took me ten years of my life before I had the courage to seek help. My question is: does this happen a lot? Have you also thought pain was normal? How long have you waited until you decided to do something about it?

    #45405
    Heather
    Participant

    Hi bettydee! Absolutely, yes, I too thought pain was normal and that girls who had sex were brave and dare devils lol! My vaginismus didn’t even allow a finger comfortably without severe pain and I didn’t start seeking treatment until 2018 when I was 23 years old. I am so proud of you for beginning your journey!! You are so brave and you WILL rise and conquer this challenge! Consistency is what kills vaginismus. Is there any advice I could offer you? Let me know if so I’ll be glad to help! 🙂 You got this!

    #45686
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi Bettydee – coming here to second Heather’s point that MANY people grow up thinking sex is a normal and inexplicable part of sex. It’s a desperately sad failing of our culture’s sex education and general unwillingness to discuss women’s health concerns in general. I first started sensing that something was wrong with my vagina when I started dating at 15 and didn’t figure out I had vaginismus until I was 21 – and it wasn’t a doctor who helped me discover this, I had to figure it out myself after a bad visit to a campus health center. It was another 3.5 years or so until I actually got treatment right after I turned 25, so I lived with the pain and shame for almost 10 years. This kind of story is SUPER normal in the vaginismus community and is probably the majority of cases. It’s rare for a woman to get answers or treatment quickly after experiencing the issue, many of us push through the pain. I desperately hope education around this gets better and future women can get treatment more easily and suffer less.

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