I have learned a great deal from my patients. Every time I need to explain something it causes me to pause and ask myself how many others know the answer to this.
I have been in touch with a patient from England who has struggled with vaginismus for five years. Her thoughtful comments caused me to think how I could share this with others.
“As a result after our conversation, my husband and I ended up having a long chat about how the condition of my upbringing/relationship with my parents etc. has affected our relationship, in terms of me being much more inhibited in expressing sexual feelings, and having a much more reduced sex drive than him, and how he has been struggling with this over the years (more so than I had appreciated).
“It seems a great tragedy that people like us, who, young and innocent tried hard to save sex for marriage (we met when I was 16, didn’t marry until 22), had lots of hopes and dreams about our intimacy, only for these to be repressed by the trials of this condition. Fortunately (thanks to you!) we now have hope, but I feel sad that, whilst generally we have a very good relationship and strong marriage, it has affected us perhaps irretrievably. How things are at the moment sort of seems normal (though not adequate) to me now, it’s hard to consider how, after the treatment, we will suddenly have the fresh, healthy (and regular!) love life that he talks about!”
WOW! I was floored by these comments, yet how often does this same scenario play out? I thought long and hard about these eloquent words. We save ourselves for marriage, yet how often does strict sexual or religious upbringing interfere with our sexual functioning as adults? Though we do not know the exact cause of vaginismus, we still suffer the consequences of our upbringing.
Vaginismus. The elephant in the room
My patients come from all walks of life and bring with them a vast array of relationships. Some have wonderful relationships and vaginismus has only made them stronger. Others struggle with living as sister and brother and sometimes worse, as roommates. I have received countless emails describing “the elephant in the room”. Some struggle severely with compromised libidos while others simply use other forms of love making to strengthen their bonds. The variations are endless.
For those who have been able to maintain a healthy relationship, it is fairly easy to progress to more intense unrestricted love making. For those who are struggling it is expected that these couples will need professional counseling. Low libido may very well persist after vaginismus treatment, for which a certified sex counselor can be of great benefit.
There is a “high” after treatment. Women are suddenly able to dilate with large size dilators, never before thought possible. Even intercourse and GYN exams are easier than imagined. But whatever the makeup of the relationship prior to treatment, this may very well persist in the months ahead. It is too much to expect that the cure of vaginismus will suddenly change the years of trauma and suddenly improve libidos that have been compromised. One can but hope to take small steps towards one’s goals and rely on professionals to help us the rest of the way.
If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.