Here's My Story

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  • #21004
    hfitz092689
    hfitz092689
    Participant

    I’m really not even sure where to begin – I guess with what caused my vaginismus. When I was 3 or 4, I was having a lot of kidney and bladder infections and was back and forth to the doctor and on daily antibiotics. They soon found that I was having reflux from my bladder to my kidneys via catheterization.. and as a 4 year old, given no sedation, I was TRAUMATIZED. I had to be catheterized once a year (sometimes more if necessary) to check on the reflux. There are several times I remember coming home from the hospital with bruises from where nurses had to hold me down. These went on until I finally grew out of the problem around 8 or 9. Life went on as normal.. when I got my period at 12, I wasn’t really concerned with using tampons at the time, I stuck to pads.. however, the first time I did go to use one, I panicked. I vowed from that moment that nothing would ever touch me there again. (Bad move on my part in hindsight) Fast forward to 20. I got married! I was so excited … until we got to our hotel room for the honeymoon. Then I became anxious, scared, and sad. I knew sex would probably be an issue… little did I know or he know just how much. Needless to say, we came home from the honeymoon, and failed to consummate our marriage. This was 7 years ago — still very happily married, but still have not fully been able to have sex. {We have just found our ways around sex and still both are satisfied}

    I’ve been stuck in this rut for too long now.. we want babies (or a baby at least) and I’m tired of vaginismus ruling over my sex life! I’m also tired of going in to the GYN only to hear them say “Don’t feel bad – you are not alone in this” {Wellllll…when I passed all those pregnant bellies in the lobby, I’ve never felt more alone in my life!} It’s time for me to take this into my own hands… I am doing research into this and feel ready to dilate (maybe).. I am open to any ideas on how to even begin… my main concern is getting past the anxiety / stress (the brain part). Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

    #21007
    mm
    mazemelissa
    Moderator

    Your story is not uncommon. I often see women who have vaginismus with a similar childhood history of frequent bladder issues and traumatic caths and exams.

    You are not alone, and we are here for you.

    You sound ready to start a dilation program and start treating this issue. For many women the desire to start a family really gets them motivated.

    You also sound like a perfect candidate for our Botox procedure under sedation with vaginal dilation. This program is designed to help women with severe anxiety and fear surrounding vaginal penetration, and can jump start a dilation program.

    The anxiety about first penetration is so overwhelming, that many women can’t do a home dilation program. What the botox procedure does, is take away that first initial anxiety moment. We insert the dilators for you under anesthesia, and you wake up from the anesthesia with a dilator already in your vagina. I know that sounds scary, but believe me, it is usually a sense of relief that my patients express when they open their eyes and know that it is all done for them. I am amazed at how my patients, who have never inserted anything into their vagina before, can dilate just minutes after they wake up from the procedure. It is empowering.

    If you are interested in learning more about the procedure, please don’t hesitate to give our center a call.

    Keep us updated!

    Melissa

    #21068
    Sks823
    Sks823
    Participant

    hfitz,

    I’m so so sorry to hear about your past issues with your bladder and attempts at sex. I am VERY happy to read about your happy marriage and your determination to go through this vaginismus journey and get over this once and for all. 🙂

    I really relate to your story, and I think that you might feel comfort in reading my success story, as I was in an extremely similar boat and got through dilation therapy a much more confident and strong person – and it was obviously the hugest weight off my shoulders to not feel so anxious and worried about sex – I honestly can’t even describe the relief!

    I think I was a difficult case seeing as I also couldn’t wear tampons and had extreme anxiety my first few appointments. Here are a couple quick excerpts from my post:

    “This comes from me being a very difficult case – I couldn’t wear tampons from the pain/fear, and the thought of dilating with even the smallest dilator gave me immense fear. The physical portion of the first couple appointments were incredibly nerve-wracking; I was prescribed Xanax to take before each following appointment.

    When I was able to move up in dilator sizes every appointment, I felt accomplished and motivated.

    Just wanted to reach out and share a bit of my story. While there were times of frustration and times I wanted to give up, I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to make the first appointment and persevere …”

    My post and another success story from someone who had the procedure that Melissa mentioned can be found here:

    //congtythamtu.info/forums/topic/reflections-in-the-new-year/

    You have the determination, I can tell from your post… I think the next step would be buying dilators or making an appointment with a women’s health center that specializes in vaginismus, then NOT GIVING UP. It might not be easy but with time and determination you can do it!

    I can tell you that I had a turning point that made the difference for me. It’s silly but I remember it really well: after a couple sessions, the nurse practitioner was able to put the smallest dilator in me (some pain going in, but not much after) but when trying to do it myself at home I just couldn’t do it – the fear, pain, anxiety, etc.. But on this day when I decided to try, I was not in a rush and was in a relaxed setting (watching Orange is the New Black on my kindle in bed hehe), trying to do the breathing exercises I was taught. I think I may have tried unsuccessfully for 40+ minutes and was about to give up. I cried and was so stressed that I convinced myself I was just incurable. I couldn’t even figure out the right angle to put it in. BUT after the cry break (haha) I kept trying, I pushed through a little pain, and VOILA – the dilator was in, I had done it all by myself! I tried again and – I think it might have taken me a while again – did it again! With almost no pain. This tiny breakthrough really got me the confidence I needed to get through the appointments and increasing sizes of dilators – I COULD dilate by myself!

    I hope this helps a bit, feel free to message with any questions or concerns – YOU CAN DO THIS!

    #21070

    The mention of tampons is an important reminder that vaginismus is so much more than an issue with sex. I’ve had so many patients that have said that they long for feeling “normal” and being able to wear tampons.

    #21072

    Hfitz-You absolutely can be cured of vaginismus. With time, patience and fortitude you will see positive results.
    The first step is acknowledging that you need and deserve to be treated. I recommend seeking treatment in a place that fully understands everything about vaginismus. A place that will support you every step of the way. Never give up and stay as optimistic as you can during treatment.
    Sending you lots of good thoughts as you embark on this journey toward wellness.

    #21079
    recessivegenequeen
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    hfitz092689, I just want to pile on with the support everyone else is dishing out here! And they’re right – you’ll know it’s time to get started because you know you want to deal with your problem. I think a lot of us with vaginismus have a period of time after we figured out what was wrong with us but before we were ready to do the work of fixing it. For me this was several years of “I don’t have the time and the money” and “I’m happy with the sex life I DO have, even if I can’t have intercourse” and “I’ll deal with this next year. Or eventually. Maybe.” It was at my boyfriend’s insistence that I finally gave treatment a try, but whatever that impetus is, you should listen to it. So many women are afraid to ask for help, and you have a supportive and knowledgeable community here if you’re ever wondering what steps to take next. So whether you want to try at-home dilation or the botox method, you sound ready to take the first step! We’re here for you all the way.

    #22187
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi hfitz. I am so, so, so sorry for what you have gone through. I read this and re-read this and felt so similar to you while experiencing vaginismus. I wanted to overcome so badly to just move on and start our family. I had primary vaginismus all during my 20s and into my early 30s. I could not insert even the smallest tampon despite wanting to and trying so many times. Whenever my then boyfriend (now husband) tried to insert even a finger, it felt like a complete wall of resistance and I felt burning pain. This was also the case with any attempt at a gyn exam. I ended up learning of Dr. Pacik who offered a Botox treatment program. He was in NH and I live in MA and, though absolutely terrified, the desire to overcome and start our family pushed me to do the treatment. I did it on June 27th and my husband and I were able to make love on July 4th and we now have a 2 ½ year old little boy. What made the Botox treatment program work for us was a combination of so many things. Of significance, the great wall as the hubby called it of resistance completely went away after receiving the Botox and I was then able to insert the dilators right up and later my hubby and also the speculum for exams. I, again, was never able to even insert the smallest tampon prior. If you ever want to email back and forth, I would love to do this and, again, am here for you 100%. Also, I would highly recommend working with Congtythamtu in any way that you can. They, like Dr. P, offer the Botox treatment program and they understand vaginismus which is so important to me as so many doctors and providers don’t understand it.

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