The GYN Exam
A success besides transitioning to intercourse is the ability for our patients to have a successful GYN exam. Most of our patients have never been able to have a gyn exam because of the fear of penetration of a speculum. After the Botox treatment for vaginismus plus progressive dilation, every patient gets the opportunity to hold, feel and practice inserting a speculum. This is a very important exercise as this experience helps reduce the penetration anxiety of a speculum. I advise them that it is important to dilate at least one hour before; and if possible, arrive at their exam with the dilator in place.
Success with GYN Exam 2 months Post Botox Treatment
The following is an email I received from a 28-year-old patient who had grade 5 vaginismus for 12 years. She had unsuccessful treatments including 4 years of anti-anxiety medications previously to being treated with Botox for her vaginismus. She achieved intercourse in 2-1/2 weeks after treatment. This email was received 2 months after treatment.
Hello Dr. Pacik,
Just thought I would share that I had to get a HSG test done today (I was diagnosed with PCOS) and I was nervous about the doctor putting the speculum in for the procedure since it was the first time since the Vaginismus treatment. I dilated with pink the night before and wore the pink dilator to the procedure this morning as well. My fertility specialist actually told me that he spent a couple years in a Vaginismus treatment clinic in PA, which made me feel a little better since he at least was familiar with the diagnosis.
It is still hard for me to believe that I just went through that without any pain. I just wanted to say thank you again!
GYN exams (dreaded and success!)
For more stories on the dreaded GYN exam and the success of overcoming this fear, please visit our website for the following stories:
- Fear of a GYN Exam — typical stories, or remarks, of what patients have shared as they fill out the questionnaires. They are asked “How do you feel just knowing you will have a GYN exam? Please elaborate.” The severe reactions, which provoke a “fight of flight” response (palpitations, hyperventilation, sweating, trembling, nausea, vomiting, wanting to run away, wanting to attack the doctor), are the reasons for classifying them as a Pacik level 5 severe vaginismus.
- Success with GYN Exam – Heather’s story. Heather struggled with vaginismus for 15 years as a severe Pacik level 5 primary vaginismus (the most severe form of vaginismus) and never had any form of penetration. She achieved pain-free intercourse one week after treatment using Botox injections and progressive dilation under anesthesia with post procedure counseling and support. She has always been terrified of a GYN exam. Success with GYN Exam is her commentary following her first gynecology exam with speculum and Pap smear.
- Dreaded GYN Exam — There are many challenges to women who suffer from vaginismus. For some, any form of penetration is monumental, especially for women struggling with the more severe forms of vaginismus. This may range from inability to insert tampons, cotton tipped applicators, dilators, GYN exams and of course intercourse. Most patients with vaginismus are terrified of the GYN exam. Read about one of my patient’s experience with her GYN exam after Botox treatment for vaginismus.
If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.
Images used with permission from 123RF.com