Demons of Secondary Vaginismus

Lamont Level 5 – Secondary Vaginismus – patient awaiting treatment

Stephanie is 20 years old and has pain with any form of penetration. She has also developed pain in the vulva and the vestibule (area just outside the entrance to the vagina). Prior to this she had a normal sex life. Her libido has suffered as a result. She has failed to improve despite a number of treatments including Kegel exercises, dilators, physical therapy and lubricants. Attempts at excessive alcohol consumption were also of no help. This type of story is typical of secondary vaginismus, suitable for the Botox treatment program including dilation under anesthesia and post procedure counseling. A few men will stick around, they are very special and love their soul mates. This however is the exception, and all too often I get letters like the ones below:

Stephanie’s Story

I Botoxed My Vagina“I never heard of vaginismus until I came across the article in Cosmopolitan (I Botoxed My Vagina, November 2011). I did more research about it and came to the conclusion that this is what I had. I’ve had this condition for 2 years now and it has been the hardest 2 years. I’m in a good relationship with an awesome guy, but vaginismus has definitely put a strain on our relationship.

It Feels Like Something Sharp is Scraping my Insides 

I did not always have this problem; it just hurt one night and then turned into a continuous thing. The first year it didn’t bother me as much as it confused me. This condition has taken its toll on me both mentally and physically. It feels like something sharp is scraping my insides.  But needless to say my partner has gotten way better on the issue and has stood by my side through everything. This year my partner has also been doing research on this topic and has a better understanding on things. He has learned to not let it bother him like it did before. It has been the complete opposite with me. I can honestly say that I have let vaginismus affect me in the worst way.

My partner has said to me on many occasions that I’m a completely different person and I completely agree with him. It has made me lose my confidence that I once had and my desire to even try to have intercourse. We still have a good relationship, but it has been very tough. We get into a lot of arguments now, even about things that shouldn’t matter at all. I believe it’s from all the tension that vaginismus has put on us and how I have let it affect me. There’s been many times where I’ve talked to my partner about how I feel about myself and what I usually have to say isn’t good.

I’m no longer happy with myself anymore. I feel like something that I once enjoyed has been completely taken away from me. I also feel like I don’t give him what he wants and that he’ll just walk away and find someone who can. Because I feel this way my insecurities have been really bad and have caused problems in our relationship. I cry more now then I ever have before. Whenever we do try to have intercourse and it usually fails, it makes me disappointed in myself and I cry not only from the pain, but how I feel about myself.”

A month and a half later she writes an update:

” I’m e-mailing you to give you an update on how things are going. It seems like things are just getting worse. I feel more irritated on a daily basis even when I’m not doing any activity. I am still trying to continue the exercises that I’ve learned from physical therapy and it has now gotten to the point where it’s almost impossible to do them because it’s just too painful. Trying to have intercourse has gotten even harder and has gotten worse with what happens. Every time I try to have intercourse I seem to get swollen (sounds weird but it does happen) and it stays swollen for at least whole day.

Also, the relationship with my significant other has gotten even worse than before when I sent you my article.  We are constantly arguing and its worse than what I was before. This vaginismus has definitely impacted my relationship in the worst way possible. We’re still trying to work on things to try and fix things as much as possible, but it’s hard when I’m not completely happy with myself. This condition has changed me as a person and not for the better. I’ve almost gotten to the point where I don’t remember who I used to be. I feel like I’ve lost myself through this horrible experience. I’ve been really down lately and recently my sister had pointed out to me that I was getting depressed because of everything going on. And as I’ve thought about it…she’s right. I’ve let vaginismus get to me so bad, but I think on anybody it would be mentally and physically exhausting. Just for me it seems like it’s completely controlling my life. I think about it night and day. And I don’t want it to, I just want it to be gone so I can become myself again. So I’ve decided to go to the doctor and talk to her about everything that’s been going on and to see if I can be put on an anti depressants until I am able to shake this funk off. I’m also going to start seeing a counselor so I am able to just talk about it because it’s horrible just keeping it all built up inside and keeping it to myself.

Who can I contact in your office to talk about payment plan options? Me and my boyfriend are really wanting to do the procedure even if it takes a little while to pay off everything or to save up for it. If you could give me that information I will start planning everything immediately.

I’m so glad that I’ve found that article in cosmopolitan, because it has honestly given me hope in something I never thought was possible. And Thank you for giving me the chance to tell my story and thank you for listening and always being there.”

Commentary Dr. Pacik

These letters tear at me. They are filled with grief and no place to turn to. Worse than this letter are the letters I receive where the woman is considering killing herself.

I’m not a fan of putting these patients on anti-depressants unless there are specific reasons for doing so. What she needs is treatment to control the vaginal spasm and this can be accomplished easily using the Botox program. We are working closely with insurance companies and slowly making progress every year. With the FDA approval I received for my research more insurance companies are now covering at least a portion of the treatment. For more information about insurance coverage please call the office.

Postscript

Dr. Pacik,

I know I haven’t emailed you in a while to give you an update on things. My life is extremely busy with school and a new job where I work 7 days a week at all times.

Well first thing is, is that me and my boyfriend have broken up. I’m pretty positive it was because all the the stress with the vaginismus. i believe it became to much for him to handle. He decided to leave when i was broken down and at my worst. Its been really hard to deal with because i felt like he was the only one who truely understood what was going on considering he was experiencing it with me. On top of already having to deal with the vaginismus itself and how it has made me feel, its made me feel even worse because it tore my good relationship apart. Ive been dealing with all of that for the past month, but i can honestly say as time goes on i start feeling better. It feels good not to constantly argue with somebody. I still have insecurities and still trying to find the confidence i once had, but slowly but surely im getting better mentally.

Also, i still plan on getting the procedure done with or without him because i owe it to myself to get it done. I deserve to be completely comfortable and happy about myself. I believe i deserve to be able to have a normal sex life too. My mom and best friend heather completely support me and plan on coming with me when i get the procedure done. They’ve really helped me out a lot to feel better about myself. With that said, i have started saving up for the procedure, and i get closer and closer every time i put money towards it! i’m still extremely excited about it.

I remember telling you i was thinking about being put on a anti depressant . . . well that didn’t work out. I had a bad reaction to it so i am no longer taking anything and i am totally okay with that. I also looked into seeing a therapist but i didn’t find anybody who i felt like i could just talk to, but that’s okay the couple people that do know about my condition are ALWAYS there when i need to talk. I look forward to seeing you and your workers within the next year or so!

If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact Dr. Pacik’s office at 1-603-669-0290 or 1-800-640-0290 (US only) or via our contact us form.

Images used with permission from 123RF.