What can I do now?

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  • #28418
    Jennilovek
    Participant

    Hello,

    I’m Jennifer and I’m 25 years old. When I was 10 years old I went to the doctor with my mom and witnessed her getting a Pap smear. It totally freaked me out that when I was older I would have to get something like that done and it just stuck with me. When I went through health class in 9th grade my health teacher told us girls that the first time is going to be very very painful and we are going to bleed a lot. Ever since those two events I have been completely scared by any penetration.

    I’ve tried putting a tampon in several times of all sizes and I always thought it was weird that it hurt and I couldn’t get it in even just a quarter of the way. I’ve tried having sex with two guys and each and every time it failed and was very painful. I thought something was wrong with me and I was the only one who experienced this. Every time someone goes to touch near there I clench close and my body tenses. I have never had a Pap smear before because honestly it is one of my worst fears. I don’t want to go to a regular gyno because I feel like it would be a bad, painful experience. I feel like I would have a full on panic attack and wouldn’t be able to do it because even thinking about it gives me a bunch of anxiety.

    As of right now I am going into nursing school. I cannot seek treatment because I can’t pay for nursing school and the cost of treatment. Once I graduate and nursing school and begin working I am certainly going to seek the treatment! In the mean time though is there anything anyone recommends I can do anything to maybe possibly help? I’ve heard about the dilators but honestly it scares me to try one and I don’t think I’m comfortable with it! I am single and plan to be til I graduate so there’s not rush in treatment but I would just like to explore my options.

    Thanks everyone!

    #28511
    Sks823
    Participant

    Hi jennilovak,

    Just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel, as I went through the same issues you’re experiencing. I realized what I had was vaginismus in my very early twenties and seeked treatment at Maze pretty soon after. I had bought dilators on my own but was having trouble using them, so at Maze they put them in (a different brand) for me and helped show me how to use them so I could practice on my own at home.

    In the mean time before you are able to seek help, I do suggest buying dilators to see if you can use them on your own. Using tons of lube (I used coconut oil) and going very very slowly and not pushing yourself, the smallest one should be easier to put in than a tampon.

    I do have a lot of advice for dilating – for me, it was very important to NOT GIVE UP. It might not be easy but with time and determination you can do it! Always remind yourself, vaginismus is SO TREATABLE, it CAN BE FIXED! Don’t stick to any timeline, listen to your body. I also loved watching Netflix when dilating as a nice distraction! Buying a vibrator to make it more enjoyable could also help once you are able to use them.

    In my opinion the biggest challenge was when I didn’t exactly know how to use the dilators on my own (and/or didn’t have the confidence to), but once I was able to put in the smallest one by myself, the rest of my vaginismus “journey” went much smoother (with lots of small successes, like being able to use tampons!)

    I know firsthand that vaginismus is a lonely lonely thing to go through – but YOU CAN DO THIS! It’s always a good idea to look through success stories on this forum to show you that there were so many of us in your shoes that were able to overcome vaginismus. Also, I think that the small successes that came with using dilators (inserting the smallest one and not feeling pain, moving onto the next size, using tampons, etc.) kept me going and motivated. I definitely know that after my first couple appointments at Maze didn’t go so well (anxiety, pain, feeling helpless & like treatment wouldn’t work on me), having even the smallest successes helped me get on track to eventually “graduate” from the dilation therapy.

    Keep us updated and you’ve come to the right place for advice – so many other knowledgeable people are on this forum who would love to help and encourage you 🙂

    #28655
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Agreed with Sks823 – I think dilating is a useful first step because if nothing else it can help you assess how bad your case of vaginismus is and what options for treatment might be appealing in the future. I got the Pure Romance set of dilators from Maze and found them deeply helpful, and you could also check out Dr. Pacik’s book When Sex Seems Impossible to read more about vaginismus and how it can be treated.

    We are here to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out with your concerns. Vaginismus doesn’t have to rule your sex life forever and it’s totally possible to get help!

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