Vaginismus

Painfull intercourse, pain with sexual activity, and pain that prevents sex or makes sex difficult.
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Lori B
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Vaginismus

Postby Lori B » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:01 pm

Hi,
I received an email from a gal who is dealing with Vaginismus. She would very much like to hear from women who have had Vaginismus and worked through the problem. What was your journey like? What was helpful to you? What worked? Didn't work? Etc.
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Re: Vaginismus

Postby Princess_Bear » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:45 pm

I'll be watching this thread for replies. My GYN just diagnosed me with vestibular adenitis (basically vulvodynia) and sent me to a physical therapist, who did some stretching of my pelvic floor muscles. We haven't actually attempted IC since Christmas, since it looks like I'm also dealing with bacterial vaginosis, which I'm on abx for.

I'm nervous about attempting IC again since it has been so long.
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Re: Vaginismus

Postby beekeeper » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:04 pm

Princess_Bear wrote:I'll be watching this thread for replies. My GYN just diagnosed me with vestibular adenitis (basically vulvodynia) and sent me to a physical therapist, who did some stretching of my pelvic floor muscles. We haven't actually attempted IC since Christmas, since it looks like I'm also dealing with bacterial vaginosis, which I'm on abx for.

I'm nervous about attempting IC again since it has been so long.


That is not very long really.

Keep up with your Rx and stretches.

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby sheila » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:25 pm

What worked for me was the woman-on-top position. That way I felt that I had control for when he should enter me.

My heart goes out to anyone who is experiencing this problem. It's very embarrassing. I initally told a couple of people (my mother and my doctor). I was checked out to see if there was a physical cause, and there wasn't. And then...I didn't tell anyone until after we were successful. For me, it just took one time to feel successful and we were able to have sex from that time on.

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby MapleSyrup » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:08 am

Woman on Top position also helped for me. I was able to control the angle/speed of penetration so I was in control of the level of pain/discomfort.

Honestly, though, the NUMBER ONE thing that helped my Vaginismus was GETTING OFF hormonal birth control (we've now been using "the pull out method" successfully for almost 2 years. We're going to TTC next month). The pill made it impossible for me to get aroused, which meant penetration was painful (the muscles didn't relax and there was no natural lubrication), which made me dread having sex, which started the whole horrid cycle that is Vaginismus. After I got off the pill I found my sex drive and was MUCH more easily aroused. It was to the point where I was actually able to have sex like "in the movies"--- hop on and have fun! It was EASY and FANTASTIC!

Before I came off BCP I also tried the dilators and found that they didn't really help me much as DH was "bigger" than the biggest dilator anyway, and that the silky smooth dilators ALWAYS went in easier than the fleshy "real thing". However, I did find that using a small vibe on my clitoris during penetration also helped. It helped for a couple reasons: 1) it triggered arousal and 2) it provided an alternate sensation to distract my body away from any discomfort I might feel from penetration.

I also have no doubt that prayer helped. I believe God worked a few miracles in my relationship, and this was one of them. ::al
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Re: Vaginismus

Postby tallmommy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:26 pm

I had vaginismus. It was not just pain. He really could not completely enter me. What helped was kegal exercises and being persistant with using the vaginal dialators on a daily basis. It was very hard. We conceived our daughter through really terrible sex. We finally no longer needed the dialators around my 2nd trimester. I considered myself fully recovered at that point, but its been over a year since then and sex is even easier than it was then.

For me, while the physical component was there, most of it was a mental componant. I had trouble being volunerable. Even when we began having sex, I started out being very much in the controling role. I had to lead. He could never start things. Sometimes I'd feel compelled to remind him that he was not allowed to hurt me. It brought up a lot of issues from my past that I had been blocking.

It was a very hard thing to go through, but I'd say getting over it changed me in more ways than merely my ability to engage in intercourse.

Advise on lubrication, foreplay and positions all did not help. Interestingly enough though, I had read an article about losing your virginity on your wedding night that advise that you just have the guy slowly and cautiously enter you and then to just hold still to get used to it. That was our approach from the beginning. I felt the thrusting as an advanced stage of intercourse. Even when we stopped using the dialators, it would take an entry and then just holding it till my body went through weird internal spasms to adjust to him being there. A few times we did this without lube. It hurt briefly but we just didn't want to bother with the lub. After I gave birth and healed a bit, however, my husband decided to try what we call "knocking on the door." It started seeming that there were layers of muscles. I sometimes picture it as all the doors the secret agent goes through in "get smart." You have to wait for each door to open and not push past it if its not ready to open. We've also found that lubricant makes it more difficult for either of us to tell if I'm ready to go further. It also allows for him to go too far (granted we were big on ky. Astroglid seemed useless to us). Now we never use lubricant and take the "knocking on the door" approach.

Sometimes I wonder if we were really just trying to have sex the wrong way and even my doctor didn't realize it. But the thing is I couldn't even get a tampon in before. I'm perfectly capable of using tampons now.

Anyway, that's my two cents

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby whoz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:57 pm

I had (sometimes still have) vaginismus.

Why I think I got it, since it is said to be due to psychological reasons:

1. Got my period and tried to put a tampon up me. Because I could not relax, it was very painful. I used to cry in the bathroom out of frustration.

2. Had my first internal exam and the doctor was not very gentle. It was sort of traumatizing. I describe is as the feeling of a knife going up my vagina. It was terribly painful.

When I knew I would get engaged I started researching my problem online and found out that it was called Vaginismus. I learned everything I could about it and how I could improve.

When I got engaged, I instantly bought graduated dilators and various lubes (I was a virgin and needed to learn what worked best) and made it a nightly practice to use them. I started with the smallest and would watch a show online and read while having it inserted. It trained my muscles to get used to something in my vagina, and that it was OK. Over the next 4-5 months, I gradually was able to get a larger and larger dilator in me. I never thought I could "overcome" my problem, but reading online testimonials of how women were slowly able to improve was really encouraging. I was encouraged to see slow improvements. It truly is a time-investment! I had to take 30-40 minutes out of my night each day. I eventually bought a realistic looking/sized dildo to practice with as the largest dilator was not as big as my FH.

When we got married, I only struggled with the vaginismus if we were doing a position that previously hurt, or if we went too long without intercourse. It helps that I am very open sexually, enjoy seeing my DH have fun and am comfortable with my body. It does NOT help that I have nearly zero sex drive or ability to O due to my anti-depressants that I really have to be on right now. But that’s another story. Good luck!

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby sharpie0044 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:36 pm

I had it. I did not expect it. It did not hurt at all the 1st time we had sex. It developed after 6 months. I had a sharp pain every time he entered for a few years. I would still have sex almost every day. I learned to relax when he entered and then have him be very still until all of my muscles stopped contracting and the pain would go away. Then there were no further problems while we were having sex. As the years went by it gradually got better. Really it didn't go away completely until after giving birth, but after just a few months I learned how to deal with it and it wasn't bad. I know my experience might be totally different than someone elses though.

I had a friend that also had the same thing and her struggle was how to orgasm. I had figured this out before my problem developed so that wasn't an issue with me, but she had not. For that I would suggest to either orgasm before entry or get as close as possible before he enters so she isn't far off so she can enjoy it as well. If not she will develop resentment towards sex with the pain on her side and intense pleasure for him. She had to learn how to enjoy.

hopefullyoneday

Re: Vaginismus

Postby hopefullyoneday » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:03 pm

Hi ladies! Thanks for all the posts... My husband and I are in the same situation. We were married this fall and immediately had difficulty with penetration. The pain wasn't too much to handle, but it just feels as if he hits a wall every time we try. A couple of months ago I visited my GYN where she gave me a thorough exam. She said everything looked perfectly normal, but did say I felt tight. She indicated that she did not believe that vaginismus was the cause and instead that my hymen just needed to be "stretched." She sent me home with a plastic speculum to use. I have since been using it almost on a daily basis, some days better than others. We have only tried once since beginning this, and when it wasn't successful, we became very discouraged that no progress was being made.

This has become such an issue, and so frustrating it just makes me want to cry. I don't understand what it takes. When I attempt to stretch on my own I feel completely relaxed. I do not fear the discomfort, but it just seems like nothing is happening. I just ordered a set of dilators and will hopefully have more success with that.

Any other advice? I am completely at my wits end.

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby Princess_Bear » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:14 pm

hopefullyoneday--I'm not sure I can offer much help or hope, to be honest. Other than... just keep working with the dilators, and hopefully it will get better. I stretched a LOT before our wedding, and our wedding night was great. After that, I definitely had some pain with intercourse, but it was "bearable, but not enjoyable".

Now. Here's the rest of my story.

Last April, DH lost his job, and right around that time, the itching/pain started up. I went to see a female naturopath, who tested me for yeast and bacterial vaginosis. Both tests came back negative. My insurance only covered three appointments with her, so after those were used up, I went to the female nurse practitioner who works with my family doctor. She tested for yeast and bacterial vaginosis again, and did go so far as to give me some Nystatin and antibiotics. Neither worked. So, she finally sent me to my male gynecologist, who tried steroid shots and steroid cream. Again. Didn't help. (Interestingly enough, it was only AFTER I started the steroid cream that I started to have bacterial vaginosis symptoms, even while I was on antibiotics for the same. So... my gynecologist sent me to a female physical therapist, who seemed to help a little bit. I'm still seeing her. In the meantime, because we still haven't been able to figure out the itching, my gynecologist is sending me to a specialist across the State, who is booking out to September. I'm on a waiting list in case someone cancels before then.
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Re: Vaginismus

Postby tallmommy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:49 am

Princess_Bear wrote:hopefullyoneday--I'm not sure I can offer much help or hope, to be honest. Other than... just keep working with the dilators, and hopefully it will get better. I stretched a LOT before our wedding, and our wedding night was great. After that, I definitely had some pain with intercourse, but it was "bearable, but not enjoyable".

Now. Here's the rest of my story.

Last April, DH lost his job, and right around that time, the itching/pain started up. I went to see a female naturopath, who tested me for yeast and bacterial vaginosis. Both tests came back negative. My insurance only covered three appointments with her, so after those were used up, I went to the female nurse practitioner who works with my family doctor. She tested for yeast and bacterial vaginosis again, and did go so far as to give me some Nystatin and antibiotics. Neither worked. So, she finally sent me to my male gynecologist, who tried steroid shots and steroid cream. Again. Didn't help. (Interestingly enough, it was only AFTER I started the steroid cream that I started to have bacterial vaginosis symptoms, even while I was on antibiotics for the same. So... my gynecologist sent me to a female physical therapist, who seemed to help a little bit. I'm still seeing her. In the meantime, because we still haven't been able to figure out the itching, my gynecologist is sending me to a specialist across the State, who is booking out to September. I'm on a waiting list in case someone cancels before then.



Weird. Have you tried taking probiotics? http://www.florajen.com/products-florajen.shtml
I came across these while I was pregnant. My midwive had all her pregnant patients take it while they were pregnant. There haven't been a lot of studies on it, but there is some indication that taking it can reduce a woman's chance of getting strep B (which requires you get heavy doses of anti-biotic shots while in labor so that the baby doesn't get infected and end up with a lung infection because of it).
Anyway, since finding it, I actually tried out treating a yeast infection with it. I wasn't sure how long to expect it to take. I was a little worried that delaying typical treatment for the yeast infection would make our period of abstainence longer. As is, because I was breastfeeding, my doctor wanted me to take 7 day treatments rather than the shorter ones. The yeast infection went away and now I take it to prevent yeast infections.

This stuff is also used for people who have irritable bowel syndrom. It builds your immune system as well. Colds don't tend to hit me as hard as they used to.

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby sharpie0044 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:07 pm

hopefullyoneday - I had a doctor tell me that it may be in my head, but that I might try dilators to see if it helped. I was relaxed when trying that, but had the pain with sex. Really it just took conditioning those muscles to relax instead of contract when he entered. I would have to lay there a solid minute or two for the pain to slowly go away before he could move any more, but there is hope. It does get better. Don't give up.

Heather123

Re: Vaginismus

Postby Heather123 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:58 pm

Hi all. My name is Heather. I have been happily married to an amazing man for 5 years. I have also had primary vaginismus for the past 15 years. With this, I had an excruciating pain/anxiety response with any and all attempts at insertion (even a q-tip). I prayed for so many years for a cure and tried countless treatments. Specifically, I tried pelvic floor physical therapy, using dilators on my own, and talk therapy. I was never successful with these as I couldn't move past my fear/anxiety to allow even the smallest penetration of dilators. Despite this, I had an incredibly supportive husband who also researched. This past year, I found my answer to 15 years of prayers - Dr. Peter Pacik. In June, I underwent a Botox treatment for vaginismus. With this, I had a 10-15 minute procedure in which the Botox was injected under anesthesia. Thereafter, I was trained on inserting and re-inserting dilators. I would have never ever believed that I would be able to insert a dilator but within hours of my procedure, I was inserting and re-inserting them pain-free for the first time in my life. The program also includes comprehensive sex counseling by the Doctor and his staff. Within 1 week of receiving this treatment, my husband and I had pain-free intercourse for the first time in our 5-year marriage. Now, it is my sincere hope to do whatever I can do to spread the word about vaginismus and this particular treatment program as it works. It truly is the miracle cure that we prayed for so many years for. Now, we are currently enjoying sex and trying to conceive. I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have about Dr. Pacik's treatment program or anything at all!!!! God Bless You!!!

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby facetoface » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:15 pm

I had this problem as well when I got married. I eventually went to my gyno and asked her about it. She told me that she had the same problem when she got married and that it went away after she had children. Boy, was that bad news to me as I had no plans to have children at that time! She did not mention using dildos (of increasing sizes - as others have mentioned) to me. Well, several years later, I did give birth and my doctor was correct. After giving birth, I no longer had pain during intercourse.

That said, I would definitely try the graduated dildos and I do wish I'd known about them back then. The botox treatment sounds very interesting to me.

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Re: Vaginismus

Postby Princess_Bear » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:25 pm

Princess_Bear wrote:So... my gynecologist sent me to a female physical therapist, who seemed to help a little bit. I'm still seeing her. In the meantime, because we still haven't been able to figure out the itching, my gynecologist is sending me to a specialist across the State, who is booking out to September. I'm on a waiting list in case someone cancels before then.
I have an appointment to see the specialist on July 3rd.
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