Women with vaginismus generally fear any type of penetration, but one of the greatest fears is that of a GYN examination. Once a patient has been treated using the Botox Treatment Program, a GYN examination becomes much less traumatic. The fear is still there, but patients are constantly surprised how easy it is. Dilating prior to the exam is key to success.
Dilating Prior to the GYN Examination
To achieve a pain free GYN exam it is important to dilate prior to the examination. One can arrive with a medium to large dilator in place and ask the doctor to remove it, or dilate for 30-60 minutes prior to the exam. Asking that a child’s speculum be used and inserting this yourself (which is part of our post-procedure counseling and demonstration) are helpful. Once a pain free exam is done, it is likely that the patient will be able to relax for future examinations. Heather, in her story below, explains how she was able to achieve a pain free GYN exam.
Heather struggled with vaginismus for 15 years as a severe Lamont/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. Here is her commentary following her first gynecology exam with speculum and Pap smear.
“Hi Dr. P. Wanted to let you know that everything went AMAZING today with Dr. C. I successfully had my first GYN exam in my life and it didn’t cause any pain whatsoever. HUGE SMILES and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! I wore the blue (largest #6 of 6) dilator for 2 hours prior to the exam. I talked to Dr. C. about you, the procedure, and the significance of just how well it had worked for me (i.e. only 1 week following surgery, we could have intercourse after 15 years of not being able to insert anything, even a “Q tip”). I also told her how great of a Doctor you were and how you do such an amazing job educating and advocating for those suffering with this condition. She said she met you twice and, too, really thought you were great.
So, after the breast exam, she had me move to the edge of the exam table. I did this and she gently removed the blue dilator and then gently inserted the speculum. Every other time in the past, I would be in tears because this hurt so bad and my legs would entirely tense up. Here, my knees tensed a little but I was able to relax them and the speculum went in with ease (i.e. NO PAIN WHATSOEVER)!!!! Right after this, she did a two finger exam as well with, again, no pain. I was so, so happy that this worked and was entirely successful.
She was surprised or intrigued at just how effective the Botox treatment was for me and asked me a lot more questions about it. It was just a wonderful experience today when every single other one that I’ve had in the past has been horrible. Thank you so much for making this possible, something less than 6 months ago I never ever thought I would be able to do. You’re the best!
Take care, Heather.”