Talking to parents about vaginismus and inability to have intercourse is a frequent stumbling block for many women.
This is a sensitive area, and especially so in a religious household. I recently spoke to a young woman in her 20’s who has been through multiple relationships, desires sexual involvement but unable to hold on to her boyfriends. She is unable to use tampons and unable to tolerate a GYN exam because of pain. She was taught to wait until marriage before having intercourse. This difficulty is a common thread among single women but can also be a hardship for married couples.
I have found that parents are very supportive and I have had mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins and aunts accompany patients for support with treatment. I have found that these relatives can and desire to support their loved ones both emotionally and financially.
Talking to parents is actually quite easy when one explains that not only is it difficult (or impossible) to use tampons but also that it is often impossible to have a GYN exam. This helps remove the conversation from sexual difficulties of vaginismus and emphasizes the inability to use tampons during menses and the disadvantage of not being able to have a proper GYN exam. One does not need to discuss sexual involvement.
In a recent forum thread, a member described how she spoke to her parents about vaginismus:
She writes: “I actually debated back and forth over whether to tell them. My mother especially tends to worry (as I’m sure most moms do!). And it’s also something that is difficult for me to discuss. Once I scheduled my procedure, though, I did have to explain somewhat, as I have a dog that I wanted to arrange for somebody to watch while I’m in New Hampshire. I actually explained it the way Dr. Pacik suggests. I left out the sexual intercourse part completely (although they may suspect it, I don’t know), but it was much easier to discuss when just focusing on my pelvic floor health as opposed to how sexual intercourse feels. My parents took that much better, I believe, than they would have if I mentioned the sexual problems as well, and it was easier for me to discuss it that way as it felt less emotional.”
In addition, the mother of a forum member, further writes on the topic of talking to parents about vaginismus:
“So, how to talk to your Mom and Dad?
Remember first and foremost two things:
• This is a medical condition
• Your parents LOVE you and want you whole and well
You don’t have to be best friends with your parents to ask for help. I am a big believer in writing a letter to address difficult topics and then talking it through. I think Heather’s suggestions of starting with a note and perhaps Dr. Pacik’s book are good ones. I believe you will find your parents more understanding and supportive than you think. They will NOT want you to suffer for years with a condition that affects your adult well-being. Don’t be embarrassed. Seek help. As parents our goal is to raise children to be happy, healthy productive adults. They won’t want this to stand in your way anymore than we did. In fact, it is heart wrenching.”
Many of our patients who suffer from vaginismus suffer in silence.
Most do not share their problems with this condition with anyone – not even their family members. I have always felt that sharing their story with their parents would help. As noted above, speaking to parents is actually quite easy when one explains that not only is it difficult (or impossible) to use tampons but also that it is often impossible to have a GYN exam. This removes the conversation from the sexual part of vaginismus and emphasizes the lack of comfort during menses and the disadvantage of not having a proper GYN exam.
If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.