I just turned 52 and have had vaginismus since I was a teenager (not knowing it at the time). I first realized something was wrong when I started menstruating and couldn’t use a tampon. It was like I was hitting a wall and I couldn’t insert it.
Strict Family – No Sex Before Marriage
I had a strict family and was told no sex before marriage and that if I did my hymen would be broken and my husband would know and be very upset with me. So I was very afraid of sex from the get go. It didn’t sound like fun to me, only painful. Out of high school, I became engaged and we tried to have intercourse but again, my body wouldn’t let anything, anybody in. My fiancé was told that if he broke my hymen it would be all better and to get me drunk and when I was relaxed jam his fingers inside of me. Well we tried this and I knew, even though I was drunk, what was going to happen. When I finally relaxed and didn’t think he was going to do it he did and it was very painful and of course didn’t work.
After that I have never trusted anyone. I was never able to have a pelvic exam. It always ended up with me crying and feeling so ashamed that I couldn’t allow them to get close to me. Finally with Valium and a baby speculum, I was able to have an exam. It was very uncomfortable and painful. My fiancé broke up with me and I knew it was because I was unable to have sex. So after that I tried to become promiscuous, but of course my body would not let me. I felt like a freak, frustrated and depressed. My libido was great but I just couldn’t let anybody in.
My Wedding and Honeymoon
I met my husband and we decided to wait until marriage before we had intercourse. We did everything else but intercourse prior to being married. On our wedding day, I was a nervous wreck worrying about our first night. It was awful; as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t have penetration. I cried and cried. It was the worst day of my life.
Attempts for Help
After several attempts and a few years later, I realized that we had never had penetration and we decided to seek out help. I had gone to a GYN appointment with my younger sister who had the same trouble with exams as I did. The doctor said that it was odd and asked if we had been sexually abused. We did not think so; it was the last thought in our minds. She suggested that we look into it because it seemed odd to her that we both had the same symptoms. So I went to a sexual abuse seminar and they had a check sheet and I found that I had marked almost everything so they said I had been sexually abused. So I found a counselor and they were convinced that I was abused even though I had no memories. This was in 1992/93.
I went into even deeper depression and started a support group class and one-on-one counseling. It was an awful time. Looking back on it, I know that I wasn’t sexually abused. It was the only way they knew how to diagnose me. It seemed to me that at that time “sexual abuse” was “coming out” and there were lots of diagnosis. I am sad about those many years because I ended my relationship with my Dad because of it. I lost several precious years with my Dad. I was never abused. I was severely misdiagnosed.
Finally a diagnosis of vaginismus
After 15 years of struggling with this condition, feeling humiliated, that I was a freak, that my husband didn’t deserve me, we found a doctor who diagnosed me with vaginismus. I underwent surgery to remove scar tissue, the outer ring of my hymen and an episiotomy. After I healed I was given dilators and lidocaine. It took a long time to work up to the largest dilator and I was able to have intercourse. We found there was only one position for that would work and where I felt comfortable because I was in control.
Several years later, I found an on-line self-inflating speculum that I purchased and took with me to my yearly exams. I have an awesome nurse practitioner that has unbelievable patience and who has helped me through these exams. I had to take an anti-stress med before I went, used lidocaine before I left the house, used lidocaine when I got there and then I had to insert the inflating speculum myself and she would then pump air into it to inflate. Each time I would cry because I felt so humiliated that I couldn’t be normal.
Until a few months ago, our lovemaking consisted of me “getting prepared”. I would use lidocaine and a dilator prior to intercourse. Sometimes it would help and sometimes it would not but it would allow my husband to penetrate me.
A few months ago I became extremely frustrated and wanted love making to be more spontaneous and loving, less robotic and so I started using the dilator without the lidocaine and started having intercourse without the lidocaine. We didn’t realize it but the lidocaine had also been numbing my husband all of these years. Penetration is extremely painful and I am an emotional wreck during and afterwards. I so want to be normal and be able to make love to my husband like a normal woman and want to be uninhibited.
Finding VaginismusMD website and renewed hope
I just found Dr. Pacik’s website and cannot believe how many women suffer from this. I am not alone and some women have it much worse than I do. It just breaks my heart because I know how it has made me feel all these years. I would not wish those feelings on anyone. It is truly devastating. I don’t know if there is hope for me since I have suffered with this for so long.
I’m praying that Dr. Pacik will be an answer to my many years of prayer. I have been so blessed by a wonderful understanding husband, but I would give anything to be able to make love to my husband, truly make LOVE and not just perform the act with all the pain and tears. I am so sorry for all who have suffered through this awful condition and I’m so happy for those who have had success with Dr. Pacik’s treatment.
Postscript from Dr. Pacik
This patient is now scheduled for Botox treatment for her vaginismus. She has become an advocate for other women who suffer from vaginismus and is very active on our VaginismusMD Forum. I am sure that she will be successful with her treatment and that she will update her story in the near future.
Postscript from Patient: Success on 14 days post treatment
What a day! At first I thought I was having a set-back. I was dilating this morning with #5 and moved onto #6. But #6 wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t get it in. So I thought, ok I need to relax and try again. Well I tried and tried and tried and I couldn’t get it in at all. I was in tears. Dialed down to #5 and it went in like nothing. I was so upset and so confused.
I tearfully called my husband into the bedroom and broke down and said that I couldn’t get #6 in . . . at all! He had this strange look on his face and started apologizing saying that he had replaced #6 with #7. He thought that if I didn’t notice it would probably only be a little difficult to get it in and if it was uncomfortable, then he would tell me. He felt so bad and had no idea it would affect me that way. I was a sobbing mess and at the same time so relieved that it wasn’t #6 that wouldn’t go in but #7. My husband felt so bad. He said it had the opposite effect of what he thought would happen . . . because he thinks logically.
So anyways, I put #6 in no problem at all and after dilating for 30 minutes, I asked him if he wanted to try and of course he said yes. LOL I’m still pinching myself that we had full penetration without any pain and without using lidocaine. We even tried three different positions, which is huge for me. He was able to thrust lightly but then we stopped when I started to feel a little sore. I still can’t believe it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me and for the procedure! I’m hoping tomorrow we will have time to watch more of the DVD and to possibly watch a sensate focus video too.
If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.