What kind of pain does everyone feel?
December 11, 2018 at 8:33 am #24043Meggy22Participant
Hi there! I’ve just joined this forum after recently being diagnosed with Vaginismus. I’m 22 and from the UK and its taken me at least 3 years to finally have reached a diagnosis…I’m so inspired by everyone’s stories here and its given me strength that I can get through this! What I would really love to know is what kind of pain is everyone experiencing? This may sound like a strange question but I’ve noticed that when I put my silicone dilators in (I’m lucky enough to be able to get to around the 3rd size quite happily) and sit up in in them, I feel almost like a shooting/very uncomfortable pain. Is this normal for Vaginismus e.g is this basically just the spasm working its magic? As I see everyone talking about burning and tightness (which I also very much have if I go any bigger than the 3rd) but haven’t really hear about anything like this. Should I move around in them or should I stay in the same position and move them around with my hand? I’ve heard people walking around with them in and sleeping in them, so wondered what is best? I can sleep and walk around quite happily in the smallest (although occasionally sitting down a certain way is uncomfortable and brings a slight feeling of pain) but when I try to sleep or move around in the 2nd its very very uncomfortable (i.e. the shooting pain/uncomfortable sensation comes back) I’m very new to this so any info/experiences would be great 🙂December 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm #24063
Hey Meggy! I would say the shooting pain is probably just the dilator hitting at a weird or unnatural angle if it only happens in certain sitting positions. If you’re just feeling the requisite burning/stretching when dilating in most positions, you should be fine. It’s recommended that you start dilating lying on your back and wiggling the dilators around to get comfortable just because the insertion is easier, but stretching in other positions is always good practice. I wouldn’t push yourself if there’s major discomfort though – go at your own pace, and it shouldn’t hurt acutely (though discomfort is expected). I feel like that sounded confusing but I hope it helps!December 12, 2018 at 4:45 am #24065Meggy22Participant
No that’s brilliant thank you! 🙂December 13, 2018 at 10:48 am #24079Cathleen Kneidl, RPA-CParticipant
Sounds like you are doing well with dilators! One thing I would like to add. The dilators are working on those introital muscles that are closer to the entrance of the vagina. Sometimes I will have patients report having shooting pains, and I figure out that they are putting the dilators too far in and hitting their cervix. Not sure if that is the case with you, but just thought I would mention it.February 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm #24449
Hi, I’m glad you mentioned the cervix! I’m working with dilators but I have a terrible fear of hitting my cervix. If I do will it hurt? If so, how do I know how far to insert them to prevent this please? I also worry that my husband will hit my cervix too, especially as I’m unlikely to be fully aroused when trying!February 24, 2019 at 9:27 pm #24450
Hi endofmytether – I personally never had a problem with hitting my cervix with a dilator, partly because the dilators are usually so wide that they can’t get that far down the vaginal canal. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about it unless your husband’s penis is especially long. But this is a good reason to have dilators with a flared base, among others! What brand do you have?February 26, 2019 at 9:35 am #24453
Thanks again for your reply. I use the Femmax dilators by My Aid, which I ordered on line. They aren’t tapered so you’re free to insert them the full length but I always worry I’ll ‘hit’ something inside! I’m not sure it matters about the length anyway as dilators work on the muscles at the entrance. Also, when I was pregnant, I was told that I have a retroverted uterus and that it may affect my comfort during sex (I don’t think they were aware of my vaginismus and probably shouldn’t have said that)!
I’m doing quite well with the dilators and can now comfortably insert the first 2 sizes and am struggling to get past a barrier with the third. I read on here that some use dilators to sleep in or even do their chores around the house with them in but that fills me with dread! Is that really necessary to get over vaginismus or should I just carry on as I am?February 28, 2019 at 10:45 pm #24500
Endofmytether – great job on your first 2 dilators! So SOME people sleep with them in but I was never really able to do that comfortably. I sleep on my stomach so the angle just doesn’t work for keeping the dilator in that way. Consistent dilating every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, trumps dilating for long stretches when it comes down to it. I also found walking around with it in kind of weird-feeling and didn’t do that a ton either. Both are totally optional – as long as YOU’RE seeing progress and feeling more comfortable, you’re doing it right!March 4, 2019 at 9:51 am #24534
Still struggling with the 3rd dilator! It’s frustrating because I can use number 1 and 2 so easily, but can only get about a quarter of the 3rd one in then I hit a brick wall! Any tips for progress or do I just keep trying? At the moment I get the dilator in as far as I can then just leave it there in the hope my muscles will relax but so far no joy.March 4, 2019 at 1:44 pm #24543Helen Leff, LCSWModerator
Thanks for letting us know what’s happening. As you move up in size, dilation can become more challenging. It may be helpful to find a pelvic floor physical therapist to help you. Also are you inserting #3 initially or are you staring with #2 and then moving up to #3? it may help to first use #2 for a minute and then try #3. Sometimes it’s helpful to watch TV, listen to music and set the environment to distract you and relax you as much as possible. Do not forget that you are working with dilator #3 and that’s an accomplishment, you can and you will push through. Know that the dilator you are currently working with is not going to feel comfortable until you move up to the next dilator.
Keep us posted and continue the good work,
HelenMarch 5, 2019 at 7:09 am #24549
Thanks for your replies. Yes I always move up the dilators starting with the first one each time I try. Many years ago I reached the largest dilator with little pain but I seem to have slipped back a bit, but I suppose that’s understandable given the length of time. I will persist with no 3 dilator but I don’t want to force it in case the pain sets me back. I try to relax as much as possible but it’s difficult because I’m never alone in the house (husband works from home a lot, one child and 2 dogs!) so it’s hard to get some privacy, but so far I have managed to dilate even if only for a few minutes every day.
I’ve had a look on line for a pelvic floor physical therapist but they seem to be in short supply in the UK and none of them are local to me. However, it’s a good idea and I might go back to my GP for referral if I don’t make any progress soon.
Thanks again xMarch 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm #24591
Endofmytether, I get it! I remember dilating when I had a roommate (and sneaking aroudn so I could wash it off after without her having to see it). The dilation stages are full of annoyances, but setbacks are so common. Consistency is the best weapon but sometimes gains happen at irregular rates. The fact that you’ve gotten up to the largest dilator before is also encouraging; it means you have the capacity to do it again! Keep at it!March 8, 2019 at 2:09 pm #24594
Thanks for your feedback recessivegenequeen. Yes it’s not always easy to get alone time! I’ve made a little progress with dilator no 3 and yesterday I allowed my husband to insert a finger, but I had to have control!! However, I’ve made some research into my retroverted (tilted) uterus and it appears that it can cause pain or discomfort during sex which has upset me a little. Apparently it can also cause very painful periods, something I did suffer with when I was younger. I don’t know if there’s anyone medically trained on here that could give me some info on this; I don’t want it to hinder my progress.March 13, 2019 at 11:40 am #24623
A little update: I seem to have mastered dilator no 3 and am now attempting no 4 so some progress there! On the flip side I visited my GP (in the UK) to ask about a referral to a pelvic floor therapist but she said that they only deal with vaginal prolapse so wouldn’t be suitable for vaginismus. Any psycho-sexual condition is no longer covered by the NHS so I will have to go private if necessary. I also asked how soon my appointment for counselling is likely to come through but she just said she didn’t know and I would just have to wait, so I left feeling a bit downhearted. Oh well, I’ll just have another look on google for help!March 13, 2019 at 9:35 pm #24626
Endofmytether, that’s frustrating about what the NHS is saying – you’re totally entitled to feel downtrodden. BUT, making progress with the dilators is a huge deal!!! It means you’re seeing results and getting more comfortable. I’m glad you’ve been able to work on dilation even while hitting these other roadblocks. Sometimes this is the way of it (two steps forward, one step back) but you’re still making progress in the direction you want to go at the end of the day.
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