Upon Arrival Anxiety

  • “I’m sure I’ll be the one patient where this treatment will not work”
  • “I’ll never be able to use those dilators”
  • “I can’t bear another failure”
  • “I’m sure my husband will leave me. What then?”

Profound Fear and Anxiety for the
Vaginismus Sufferer

These, and many more thoughts, often overwhelm the vaginismus sufferer when the moment of treatment arrives. “Buckets of tears” are the manifestations of the profound fear and anxiety that are a part of vaginismus anyway, so when the time for treatment arrives, it is little wonder that many patients can’t handle it.

Some patients want to get back on the plane and go home, others may suddenly have their menses when not expected. Often, no amount of re-assurance seems to be helpful. It is for this reason I keep the first meeting short. The patient is there to be treated, anything of importance has been discussed. Most of my patients simply want to get “it over” as fast as possible.

Relieving the anxiety for our patients before the Botox Treatment for Vaginismus

After we take care of a few preliminaries (no examination is done at this time) the patient is ushered downstairs to my surgicenter. She and her partner change into scrubs, they are made comfortable in their bed, and an intravenous is started. At this moment we start having some control, and an anti-anxiety-sedative medication (Versed, which is the IV analog of Valium) can be administered. This does wonders in relieving anxiety and allows the patient to get back in control. My staff is well trained in anxiety control and from the first moment to the recovery, the patient is made to feel comfortable.

I asked one of my patients to write about this time, it is so important, and will help give definition to the feelings of women awaiting treatment. Here is what Heather wrote:

Anticipatory Anxiety. Pre-Procedure

“My Story: In the time between the date of booking and my actual procedure, I experienced so many different feelings. Mainly, I had a tremendous amount of anticipatory anxiety about almost every aspect of the procedure. Specifically, I’ll list everything that I was nervous about:

  1. I would be the only patient that the procedure wouldn’t work on
  2. I would never be able to learn how to do the dilating (i.e. the dilators would never go in without causing the same amount of excruciating pain that I had always experienced),
  3. The actual procedure under anesthesia, and
  4. Talking openly to the Doctor, clinical team, and other patients about something that my husband and I had kept hidden and private for so long.

Leading up to the procedure, I would be the only patient that the procedure wouldn’t work on

I had a tremendous amount of support from Dr. Pacik, his entire clinical team, and a wonderful sex therapist in my local area (Myra Durkin). Concerning my first fear, Dr. Pacik assured me that every single one of his patients feels that they will be the only one that the procedure won’t work on. He was incredibly kind, accepting, and so supportive regarding this fear and even provided me with statistics, which I loved.

Concerning my second fear, dreaded dilation

Dr. Pacik again informed me that close to every one of his patients is fearful that they will not be able to do the dilating. He and his clinical team explained the dilation process and assured me that they would work with me every step of the way, teach me how to do this, and I would be surprised to see just how easy it would be to insert and re-insert pain free. Also here, I had so much support from Myra in the form of learning self-hypnosis and hearing her simply say repeatedly that she knew I would do fine with dilating.

Concerning my third fear, being under anesthesia for the procedure

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the procedure itself only takes between 20-30 minutes and I was approved for anti-anxiety medication pre-procedure. I also remember Dr. Pacik and all of the clinical staff (even the anesthesiologist) being so supportive prior to the procedure. It made both my husband and I feel so much better and calmer.

Concerning my fourth fear, talking opening about my vaginismus

I was initially so fearful of talking openly about vaginismus and sex as it had been such a hidden problem for my husband and I for such a long period of time. I, again, learned this was solely anticipatory anxiety and actually had such a pleasant and comfortable experience. The roommate that I had in the recovery room was one of the nicest women I have ever met and for the first time, I did talk openly to another person who understood the condition and had similar experiences. It was also so nice to be able to openly talk to Dr. Pacik and his staff about this as well. They had a special way of presenting this clinically but also comfortably and inviting of conversation and questions.

In sum, I experienced a tremendous amount of anticipatory anxiety pre-procedure and got through this with the support of an amazing husband, excellent and knowledgeable Doctor and treatment team, and great sex therapist. It’s important to know, as it was so important for me to hear from Dr. Pacik, that every single one of his vaginismus patient’s does experience some form of anticipatory anxiety and this is a normal occurrence. A final excellent support through this is the help and guidance of patients who have already gone through the procedure.”

Dr. Pacik comments:

This patient, who struggled with the most severe form of vaginismus (Lamont level 5 primary vaginismus) for fifteen years had never been able to tolerate any form of penetration. She achieved pain free intercourse one week after her treatment, and continues to enjoy her new found of her husband. They are currently trying to conceive.

Heather has become a huge advocate for others suffering from vaginismus and recently wrote the following:

“I’ve also been e-mailing Clare lately and have provided a lot of support and helped to reduce her anticipatory anxiety about the procedure. Prior to my procedure, the one thing that helped me the most was when you told me that all of your vaginismus patients have a heightened sense of anxiety and believe that they will be the only one that won’t be able to do the dilating or that the procedure won’t work on. This helped me to feel less abnormal about all of my pre-procedure worry and just genuinely made me feel so much better. I try to do the same for all of the upcoming patients that I’ve e-mailed or spoken to. Clare seems really wonderful!!!”

VaginismusMD Forum

Considerable silence surrounds the condition of vaginismus and this is one of the reason that there is so much pre-treatment anxiety. The VaginismusMD Forum is a place to introduce yourself, share your personal story, ask questions, and discuss ALL aspects of vaginismus and the treatment program. Do not be afraid to join and become an active member. This is a very friendly, safe, and most importantly “private” forum. It has been our experience that our patients that join the VaginismusMD Forum BEFORE their treatment, have less anxiety during their treatment and post treatment.

From Heather, our moderator of the VaginismusMD Forum

Hi ladies! WELCOME all new members to the forum! You will love it. I remember the feeling that I had when I first joined a forum and saw women actually talking openly about the same issue that I had. It was awesome! Feel free to post whenever you have a question or concern and of course, when you have successes, which you WILL have! I know that you’ll find this forum very encouraging, both in seeing the progress of the other members and also in having your questions and concerns addressed. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Posts from one of our VaginismusMD Forum members

The following posts are from a couple from the Saudia Arabia who first inquired about the Botox treatment for vaginismus in June of 2012. Their treatment date was in February 2013. During this time, both the husband and wife were active on the VaginismusMD Forum which helped to reduce their anxiety about vaginismus and the treatment program.

Early July 2012: I am overly happy to meet people who share with me their same story .. I’ve been married for approx 15 months and I feel the Sex Seems Impossible! I live far away from Dr. Pacik clinic and have a very good impression on him that makes me feel ready to deal with him. Please share whatever you think is valuable to me as a new patient.

July 2012: Thank you very much for telling us your successful stories which made my wife feels more positive towards her vaginismus. We are looking forward to receiving Dr. Pacik treatment program as soon as possible.

Late July 2012 in response to another post: Your story gets my tears out! I am feeling your hardness as I am seeing my wife is suffering as well for the same reason. We experienced three doctors who did not give us the right diagnosis, thus their suggested advice and treatment were not right! We are in the second year experiencing vaginsimus and we recently knew that we are NOT alone. We’ve been reading some stories from suffering women around the world and we can’t imagine how strange the silence around this problem! After googling it, We were in touch with Dr. Pacik and we felt the real compassion of him as he quickly replied to our email and friendly broke the ice wall by talking to me as soon as I invited him in Skype. we can’t appreciate that enough. He showed a very good attitude towards us which made us hurry up to make the decision to travel to him for treatment. Today, we have decided to make the trip to Dr. Pacik whose clinic which is thousands miles away as we live in the Middle East. I wish you a very successful treatment, and good luck with your marriage life.

January 2013: We are coming from FAAAR-AWAY to Manchester NH next week to receive Botox treatment by Dr. Pacik. We are so excited with a bit nerve. It’s our first time the U.S, I hope this is the end of my wife’s tragedy… In terms of places to go, we’ve booked a room for a week at La Quinta Inn to make sure the procedure goes well and then we will be in Boston for few days. We like cafes, skying, skating, Asian food, cinemas, museums, and shopping centers. Looking forward to meet the friendly staff :)

February 2013: My wife and I have just arrived to Manchester, we had a very nice and quiet night.

Day 1 of their Botox Treatment: After making a very long trip from Saudi Arabia to Manchester NH ….. This morning my wife had her procedure which went absolutely very well. The dilation progress was unbelievable! The staff was very friendly, supportive, and generous! We can’t thank you enough guys.. My wife initially could not believe the result when she just woke up after the procedure. And when she just started realizing it, she got very emotional and gave some happy tears :) We are STRONGLY encouraging Dr. Pacik and his amazing team to every Vaginismus patient in the world! We are up to spreading a word of mouth among our folks about Dr. Pacik and his Botox treatment way.

Day 2 of their Botox Treatment: Today was the second day of procedure, my wife did actually very well, she could insert the BLUE 6/6 dilator and kept it in for about an hour! it was amazing!! There is always hope!

More information on our Botox Treatment for Vaginismus can be found on our many videos

Our video Discussion of the safety of anesthesia, Botox and dilation for treatment of vaginismus discusses how these “first moments” are handled. This video and many other videos can be found in our Resources category under Vaginismus Videos as well as on our YouTube channel.