Support from the VaginismusMD Forum Eliminates Suffering in Silence
One common thing we hear over and over again from women who are inquiring about Botox treatment for their vaginismus is that they have remained silent about their condition for a very long time. Usually, no one knows that they are suffering from vaginismus except their husband or significant partner or maybe they have shared some of the details with a close friend or relative. Their silence only makes the condition worse because they feel like a freak or less than a woman.
Our VaginismusMD Support System consists of myself, my wife Janet, our staff of wonderful caring people, Heather, Nakita, and Allie, our moderators of the VaginismusMD Forum AND all of our previously treated patients. It is my feeling that this support system is one of the key elements for having such a high success rate in our Botox Treatment Program for vaginismus.
Recently, the following exchange of Pre-Procedure Questions and Answers took place:
Botox Treatment Program for Vaginismus and Pre-Procedure questions:
1. Is the procedure painful?
The procedure itself is not painful at all. I remember being super, super anxious prior to mine. B/c of this, I received IV Verced, which helped significantly to reduce my physical symptoms of anxiety (i.e. feeling like running out of the office, feeling like I was going to pass out, etc.). Then, I remember holding my hubby’s hand and simply going to sleep. The next thing I recall is waking up from the procedure in the recovery room, again, holding my hubby’s hand and covered with a nice and warm heated blanket.
2. How bad was the recovery?
The recovery was not bad at all. I woke up from the procedure in the recovery room with the largest dilator (blue – pure romance) inside of me. This was an incredibly huge moment for me b/c it was the first time that anything had ever been inside of me period and it may sound strange but I felt relieved that it had worked and I wasn’t broken. My hubby and I were both in a bit of shock that it was inside of me and didn’t hurt. It felt a little strange b/c I had never had anything inside of me before this but not painful at all. I immediately felt like I had to pee and asked the recovery room nurse if I could use the bathroom. I then removed this dilator myself; peed; and inserted it right back inside in the standing position. And, again, I had to pinch myself that I was doing this at the time and it felt so surreal. I then spent 2-3 hours in the recovery room with my husband right by my side and with this nice and comfy heated blanket on. I practiced removing the dilators and re-inserting them and then had my hubby’s hand on mine while doing this and then allowed him to do this himself. Initially, I didn’t want him to be next to me in the recovery room while dilating. I was so shy and the awesome recovery room nurse, Andrea, spoke so kindly to me and us and said, while it was my choice if I wanted him there or not, vaginismus is something that does truly affect the couple and not just the woman and by allowing him to be present and there for me, we would be working at overcoming this together. I took about 10-15 minutes to think about this and then made a decision that she was absolutely correct and I allowed him to stay right with me while dilating and like I wrote, put his hand on mine while I did this and then even do this himself. It may sound so funny, but we both felt like it brought us closer as a couple and I learned to trust him that much more and let down my guard. He also needed this experience to see that something could be inside of me pain-free and I wouldn’t be saying – stop, stop, stop or crying b/c of excruciating pain as this was our ordinary experience with any attempts at intercourse. Instead, while dilating, we were both able to insert, remove, and re-insert the dilators pain-free.
3. How weird is it having the dilators in you?
Dilating was the biggest pre-procedure fear and anxiety I had about the entire treatment program. I had never been able to even insert the q-tip. I never could visualize inserting these huge dilators and if anyone would’ve told me prior to actually doing it that I would be able to, I still wouldn’t have believed them. It is one of those things that I had to go through to believe it happened and I could do it. You WILL be able to do this too, even if you don’t see it right at this moment. I described what it felt like waking up with the dilator above and how it felt strange at first b/c nothing had ever been inside of me but not painful at all. Then, what is so, so important is the wall of resistance feeling that my hubby and I had always had w/any attempts at intercourse and I had always had with any tries to even insert a q-tip was gone. B/c of this, I was able to insert the dilators right in without the feeling like they were hitting something. I also very liberally coated the pure romance dilators with Lidocaine/Surgilube lubricant which made it that much easier to slide them in. I inserted them while standing up just as I had done after the very first time that I took out the large blue one; peed; and inserted right back in. While it didn’t hurt to have the dilators in, it did at times just feel kind of strange for me and I had to get used to the feeling of something being inside of me. I found that distraction worked during this time and if I was reading something or talking to my roomie (another woman who also had vaginismus and had the procedure on the same day), I didn’t have the time to focus and think about the dilators being in.
4. Can you go to the bathroom normally with them?
To go pee, I had to remove the dilators. I then went and used this time to re-coat the dilator with surgilube/lidocaine. Then, I was able to re-insert the dilator right back inside and pain-free, again, which felt surreal but was possible b/c I didn’t hit the usual resistance feeling that I always had in the past.
5. Do you have to wear the dilators on your period?
I usually have a heavy period and did not use the dilators while on my period. During my very first period post-procedure, I was terrified that I would never be able to go back to dilating. However, when my period ended, I started back up with the medium sized pure romance dilator (purple). I did just as I had done in the office, over-coating it with lubricant, and was able to re-insert it right back inside in the standing position. To my surprise, it went in with ease and the 5-days that I didn’t dilate b/c of my period did not affect my progress at all.
6. What happens when the Botox wears off?
I was terrified of this and knew it would happen at around the 4-month mark. I thought the vaginismus would come back and was just very, very nervous. However, I noticed no change whatsoever once it wore off. I hope this is not TMI but I will share with you. My hubby felt like I was very open at times post-procedure (prior to sex, I always dilated with the largest blue dilator for a few hours and used a significant amount of lubricant). Once the Botox wore off, he noticed that I wasn’t as open which he liked more and I also noticed that I produced more natural wetness and didn’t need to use as much lube as I had in the past. But, the vaginismus never did and has never returned – thank God.
7. How long did it take until sex was normal and not routine/medically looked at?
This took time but was so worth it. We were able to FINALLY make love after our 11-year struggle within 7-days of this procedure on July 4, 2011. In the beginning, I dilated for 2-3 hours prior with the largest blue dilator and liberally used lubricant. For our first time, he gently removed the dilator and inserted himself in its place and he went right in. We had decided in advance that if it worked, great, but if it didn’t, we would just try again. We were shocked and amazed that it slipped right in on our first try after removing the dilator and he even thrusted with no pain during this time. We both cried afterwards and I remember it being such an emotional experience. Then, we both had to really learn how to have intercourse and turn it from mechanical (I’m just so happy that it now works) to pleasurable. I would say it probably took us about 6 months to a year of practice and experimenting to reach this point. We tried using different positions and discovered what we each liked. In the beginning, I automatically closed my legs (leg-lock) as a continued anxiety-reaction even though there was no pain. To work around this, we tried doggy-style (from behind) and with him standing up and me on the edge of the bed – both of these positions prevent leg-lock and actually feel very nice and pleasurable. Another thing that helped us is to transition from the medical dilators to using vibrators. We got the Candy Stick and this was our very first vibrator and we both enjoyed experimenting with it. It also took a lot of the clinical aspect of intimacy away and we both looked fwd to using it prior to intercourse. Many months later, we also got the Lelo Liv, a second and smaller vibrator which we also really liked but the Candy Stick is our absolute favorite.
8. How long did it take to enjoy sex/want sex/feel sexy?
I think this is probably different with every couple. Post-procedure, I have always been the one to be more interested in actual sex and desire this often. Vaginismus affected my hubby in the fact that he turned off sex for so many years of our life. We were able to enjoy oral sex and we both very much liked this but we could never achieve actual intercourse. Post-procedure and post-vaginismus, now that the whole thing is possible, it has taken him time to go from “I can never have sex” to “now I can have sex any time I want to.” Whenever I wear a sexy costume and initiate, he always loves and desires it and we are continuing to work on both being the ones to mutually initiate. But, this is just our situation. Several girls on the Forum have talked about low-libido b/c of vaginismus and ways to overcome this as well. Some great ideas are sensate focus exercises, massage, taking warm baths together, etc.
9. Did you guys fall in love all over again once sex was part of the picture?
My hubby and I have definitely become so much closer as this huge problem is not hanging over us any longer. I suffered from so many emotions while having it (i.e. depression, low self-worth, etc.) and this impacted our everyday life and relationship. While we did have intimacy, I always cried after b/c I could not have the real thing and the whole thing caused so much tension in our lives and relationship.
10. Did this make you want to have a family?
Absolutely. The number one factor that influenced me to find this cure and have the procedure was our desire to have children and start our family. Right now, we are actively trying and are looking fwd to the day when this becomes a reality.
From the Moment you make your First Connection with VaginismusMD . . .
From the moment you make your first connection with us, you will be greeted by a staff member who has considerable knowledge about vaginismus and understands the difficulties vaginismus sufferers face day to day. Each and every one of our staff members is committed to supporting our patients in every phase of their care. As of this writing, we have treated over 250 patients with a cure rate in excess of 90%. This high cure rate is due to the fact that Botox works in the cure of vaginismus. Equally important is the post-procedure support that our staff and I will give to each and every patient. This is what makes our treatment program different and successful.
If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.