Vaginismus Symptoms – Heather

One of the most common vaginismus symptoms is the inability to consummate

“On our honeymoon, everything came to a halt.  Something was very wrong—with me.” 

Consummation of a marriageSevere pain takes place when penetration is attempted. It feels as though there is a “wall”. This is often identified during a honeymoon, which becomes a disastrous memory. There are many additional vaginismus symptoms such as the inability to use tampons, tampons getting stuck after insertion, difficulty with GYN exams, burning and feelings of the vagina going into spasm. More information about vaginismus symptoms can be found on the VaginismusMD website:

I knew from first reviewing Heather’s questionnaire that she had a story that needed to be told because so many women have similar vaginismus symptoms. Heather is a 25-year-old female evaluated for painful intercourse and inability to consummate. In her description of the impact of vaginismus on her relationship she wrote:

“We don’t go to church anymore.  We despise weddings because we know the couple will go on a honeymoon and have a normal sex life.  It’s hard to be around our friends and talk/joke about sex when we have no idea about the experience.  After 4 years of this depression, it has us at the end of the rope.  It’s hard to talk about divorce because we are such a soul mate match for each other, but without sex, we can’t stitch every part of our beings together, so we feel so close yet so far…”

Heather’s Story:

September 25th, 2009—before the honeymoon, life couldn’t be more than the fairytale it already was.  We were making plans; dreaming away about a big house, landing great careers after completing college in the future, having kids we could share our beloved Disney movies with, go on the most romantic vacations around the world.

Naturally, we never knew there is something that could go wrong when everything seemed to be going right…until a certain circumstance provided the opportunity for us to see this.

Upset coupleOn our honeymoon, everything came to a halt.  Something was very wrong—with me.
We would later learn from an irritated gynecologist that I have vaginismus.
Before knowing that, everything became a blur.  I didn’t understand why my body wasn’t functioning normally like the women on TV, romance novels, or basically all of the females in my life.

My husband and his growing temper of frustration intimidated me due to the less answers we had to why we couldn’t consummate.  I remember once he prayed with me before we tried again, but I was crying because I already knew that it wasn’t going to happen.  I grew angry with God for putting us in this situation that I felt we didn’t deserve.

As the years passed from 2009 to 2013—still no consummation—I had put myself through more than enough trials to make sex a possibility.

  • Bought the plastic dilator set from—failed
  • Sex therapy & counseling—failed
  • Hymenectomy procedure—failed
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy—failed
  • Buying adult toys and watching porn to feel mentally sexy—failed
  • Meds & drugs—failed

March 2014—I had emailed Dr. Pacik in interest of his treatment.
Coincidentally my husband and I were separated for a couple days since I was failing in every aspect of my vaginismus program, thus he felt that I didn’t love him enough to succeed.  I was done with trying and failing so I gave up on everything.  I felt like our marriage was next to fail.

That’s when Dr. Pacik told us, ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

June 7, 2014—we are aboard the plane for New Hampshire, I’m already crying in my seat.  This really was our last resort.  I was soul searching the entire eight-hour flight.  I was lost in my thoughts asking myself who I was doing this for.  I just didn’t know anymore.  When you have failed so many times in life in reaching one goal, it eats away any shred of hope you have left.  I didn’t have enough to keep back the tears, so I let them fall freely, careless of what the other passengers thought.

vaginismus symptoms_PacikJune 9, 2014—I am dressed down in my hospital gown, my husband in his scrubs.  Sitting on my bed speaking with Dr. Pacik in person, this is when the reality hit me fast and hard.  “I’m really here.  This is really happening.  No going back now.”  After the IV tube was put in my arm I was scared of each enclosing reality of the procedure.  I kept having flashbacks of my failures, all the lectures from counselors and church members, the shame of telling my parents, the guilt of my husband’s friends knowing and being looked at differently because no one understands.

The oxygen mask is put on over my face to put me to sleep before my hysteria got the better of me.  I woke up in the recovery room to my husband’s smiling face.  “You did great babe.  He was able to put the biggest dilator in you.”  I was flabbergasted.  I expected maybe a size three, but not the size six.

The next day was dilation day.  The other two girls were much faster than me at dilating, and this increased my anxiousness.  But I was lucky enough to get a size two in at ten minutes time.  Not bad compared to the three hours it took years ago!  This was a HUGE step—or in Dr. Pacik’s words, monumental.

On the flight home, I had two new goals: to defeat vaginismus once and for all and to spread its name as far across the world as possible.  As I’m typing, even my Microsoft Word program does not recognize the name vaginismus thinking it’s a misspelled word.

I feel it would be justified to have survivor ribbons for vaginismus victims as well.  So when people ask, the name will be well known and the cursed condition will become easily treated to free women everywhere.