What's my first step?

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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    I found out I have vaginismus in May (2017) and have not been able to stop thinking about it. Most of the time I’m fine, and my boyfriend and I have a healthy sex life, despite not being able to have vaginal sex. Sometimes, though, I get way in my head and read up on the internet and get so upset.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half; after ~4 months of dating, we started trying to have sex. It obviously didn’t work, but I just figured that was because it would’ve been my first time and I was scared. Then we tried more, and more, and more, and I thought I just wasn’t ready. After about a year, we tried again, and got the furthest we’ve ever gotten with vaginal sex, but it started to hurt so bad before he was even halfway in that we just had to stop, and we haven’t tried since. Partially because about a month after is when I was diagnosed, partially because my confidence is shot. He is super supportive and understanding, but I can’t help but feel like I’m this huge burden now. It’s frustrating, because I love him so much and I want to have sex with him, not just to show him I love him but for me, because I love him, but I physically can’t. I have issues with tampons too, though sometimes I can fit “light” and “regular” sized tampons.

    I just really have no idea where to go for answers, advice, and support. My friends don’t really get it, as I’m the only one who has this issue, and I can’t really afford gyno visits right now.


    Hi Kgilbert13 – I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through with your boyfriend. Your experience sounds so much like what I was feeling and going through when I was younger and just figuring out what was wrong with me, and I know how difficult and isolating it can be. There’s the guilt of feeling betrayed by your body, and of not being able to share the intimacy your partner wants, and the isolation of feeling that no one else around you understands what you’re going through. Those are such difficult things to feel and I wish you didn’t have to experience them at all.

    You asked what your first step is, and I think the most important first step is to understand that this is a problem that can be fixed, one way or another. When I first discovered what exactly it was that was messing up so many of my relationships, it seemed impossible that I could ever get to the point of being normal – and even if it was possible, it seemed like a lot of work. But the amazing thing is that if you’re willing to put in that work, your success can almost be guaranteed. There are a lot of options to consider in terms of treatment, but the botox treatment I received has something like a 90% success rate – in the medical world, those are incredible odds.

    In terms of where to go for advice, answers, and support – you’re here! The forums have a ton of great information in them about issues people at all stages of their treatment and recovery have questions about, and if you can’t find an answer already on here, you can always ask a question! Another thing I’d recommend if you want a comprehensive look at what treatment can be like, is Dr. Pacik’s book, When Sex Seems Impossible. It contains a lot of info about the condition and its treatment: https://www.amazon.com/When-Sex-Seems-Impossible-Vaginismus-ebook/dp/B004GNFTNU

    I’m not a doctor, so I won’t say I know what’s best for your treatment, but the Maze Clinic is always happy to help advise on your treatment. If you are looking to work on your vaginismus at home, I would highly recommend getting a set of dilators and working with them at home (maybe your boyfriend can help too if that would make you comfortable!) At any rate, please know you’re not alone and that we can always answer your questions and support you if you need it!

    Also, I just yesterday saw an article about vaginismus on Elle’s website, so this is more widespread than you probably realize! http://www.elle.com/life-love/a47223/why-is-pain-during-sex-still-so-common-and-accepted-for-women/


    Why don’t you think about giving us a call for a free 10 minute consult.

    You might be a great candidate for the botox procedure.

    The best first step is reaching out to the right people who know how to treat vaginismus.

    We are here for you, so don’t hesistate to call.



    Hi KGilbert,
    Sorry you’re going through that. Unfortunately vaginismus is such a lonely experience; I often tell people that statistically, someone you know has vaginimus, but you don’t know because it’s not talked about generally.
    We get it!


    Hi KGilbert,
    Sorry you’re going through that. Unfortunately vaginismus is such a lonely experience; I often tell people that statistically, someone you know has vaginimus, but you don’t know because it’s not talked about generally.
    We get it!


    I agree with Melissa. A free 10 minute consult with us is a great way to start.
    With the consult we validate how you are feeling and let you know that you are not alone. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one to take. We can walk you through different treatment plans that we have found to be successful in treating patients with Vaginismus.
    I am so happy that you found your way to our forum. Welcome.


    As a relatively new patient (since mid July) of Maze, as Aimee can attest, I was TERRIFIED at my first appointment (actually physically shaking), but the team at Maze immediately put me at ease. I’ve been working at home with the dilators, as well as having regular appointments. I can honestly say I am making progress and I really recommend that you take advantage of the consultation – it made a huge difference for me to realize this is a physical issue. You can even use this forum as a way to check in with others and have people cheer your progress on. Like everything, it takes a little effort and a commitment but it’s worth it to feel like you are connected to your body. Good luck – I’m rooting for you!


    Hi KGilbert13- Just checking in to see how you are doing. I hope that you took the first step in seeking treatment for
    Vaginismus. The first step is always the hardest as it involves acknowledgement of Vaginismus. Seems as if you have done this already
    Let me know if there is any way I can help you navigate the treatment options for Vaginismus.
    We are here for you and rooting you on every step of the way.



    I’m so so sorry to hear about your issues with your attempts at sex, but it’s great that you’re now diagnosed, and it’s awesome that your boyfriend is so supportive. I hope you’re doing well – it’d be great if you came back to update us on how you’re doing. As you can tell from the replies, your story is *very* relatable.

    I definitely relate to your story, and I think that you might feel comfort in reading my success story, as I was in an extremely similar boat and got through dilation therapy a much more confident and strong person – and it was obviously the hugest weight off my shoulders to not feel so anxious and worried about sex – I honestly can’t even describe the relief!

    I think I was a difficult case seeing as I couldn’t wear tampons and had extreme anxiety my first few appointments – it’s great that you can wear some smaller tampons. Here are a couple quick excerpts from my post:
    “This comes from me being a very difficult case – I couldn’t wear tampons from the pain/fear, and the thought of dilating with even the smallest dilator gave me immense fear. The physical portion of the first couple appointments were incredibly nerve-wracking; I was prescribed Xanax to take before each following appointment.

    When I was able to move up in dilator sizes every appointment, I felt accomplished and motivated.

    Just wanted to reach out and share a bit of my story. While there were times of frustration and times I wanted to give up, I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to make the first appointment and persevere …”

    My post and another success story from someone who had the procedure that Melissa mentioned can be found here:

    I think the next step (like recessivegenequeen and others mentioned) would be buying dilators or making an appointment with a women’s health center that specializes in vaginismus, then NOT GIVING UP. It might not be easy but with time and determination you can do it! You said your confidence is shot, but it shouldn’t be – vaginismus is SO TREATABLE, it CAN BE FIXED!

    I hope this helps a bit, feel free to private message with any questions or concerns. I know firsthand that vaginismus is a lonely lonely thing to go through – but YOU CAN DO THIS!


    Hi kgilbert13. I’m so, so sorry for what you have gone through with vaginismus and I am so glad you found the Forum. I had vaginismus during my 20s and into my early 30s and did not know where to turn for treatment and the whole thing felt extremely isolating. Please know that we are all here for you. If you haven’t, I would definitely reach out to Maze and work with their team in any way possible. Unlike so many doctors who don’t understand the condition, they DO and know what each of us has gone through or is currently going through with it and how to successfully treat it. I think it’s great that you are able to use tampons. Have you tried using dilators? I tried many different types and like the Pure Romance silicone ones the best as they are a softer material and have handles which I found made it easier to insert and remove. Please, again, know that I am here for you 100% and send you my support today!!!

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