Does this sound like vaginismus? *long/my life story/sorry
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March 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm #20682PammiSueParticipant
Just wondering if this sounds like vaginismus to you all, or just normal tension/pain for a virgin. Fair warning, it’s pretty detailed. Like, I-hope-I’m-not-breaking-any-rules-posting-this-much-detail detailed. : /
When I was about 13, I tried to insert a tampon, but it just felt like burning and seemed impossible. It was like there was no opening for it to go into. I almost cried because I felt so freaked out, thinking there must be something completely wrong with me. Most of my friends used them, so why couldn’t I? I kind of assumed my body was just “wrong” and nothing would ever go in there and, obviously, that put a damper on ever wanting to date. I’m single now and have never had anything resembling a serious relationship, and never even got to the point of kissing. The fear of not being able to take a partner if we ever tried is just too upsetting. I’m 31 now.
Over the years, I’ve mostly shed that belief that I’m defective, and figured I was just too dry, anxious, and rushing things. I was just a kid and didn’t know what I was doing. But, every couple years, I’ll randomly decide to try with my finger in the shower, and it’s the same deal. No go. It stings really badly and just feels like I’m going to damage something. And, yes, there was lubrication at the time.
I got really determined the other day and took a nice relaxing bath. I was thinking “This is it. You have a vagina. There is an opening there (I get my period just fine, after all), and you’re going to find it.” Nope. Enough poking around and the whole area just became a brick wall. There wasn’t even much pain anymore, it was just locked down. Gah, I hope this isn’t inappropriate! Just hoping some details here might ring true for someone who’s been diagnosed and help me figure out if I’m on the right track.
Anyway, that was when I finally started considering vaginismus. I’d heard of it years ago, but figured that wasn’t me. I figured I’m just tense like lots of virgins are, and the pain I’m feeling is probably the normal amount of pain that comes from initial penetration and I’m just being a baby by avoiding it. I don’t know, maybe that’s true?
*Graphic details warning*
So, considering that it could be seriously clenched muscles, I decided to take a different tack. Instead of thinking I needed to “get in there”, I just wanted to get comfortable with contact in the area and give myself lots of time to relax. No expectations. I told myself it was just a massage to relax muscles. Just like a back massage. That’s it. I literally read a book (no, not a saucy book, just a pleasant distraction so I didn’t get tense or hung up on what I was doing), while I massaged myself and experimented with how far – if at all – my finger could go. I used a technique I read somewhere (maybe a bad idea, so feel free to advise) where I would bear down like I was trying to push something out, because the muscles can’t be closed off at the same time as they’re pushing out, and it was in those moments (I just did it for a second every couple minutes) I was able to press a little further without pain. Eventually, I was amazed to I realized I was actually in there, if only just barely my fingertip. I mean barely. But, it was more than ever before and – here is the coolest part – it didn’t hurt! It was still soooooo tight. If anything, it almost hurt my finger! Hahaha But not my vagina. So, that was something.
I think I’ve answered my own question in writing my story for you all. This can’t be the norm, right? Then again, it also seems impossible to me that things could just slide right in there without resistance, so maybe this is normal? I don’t know! I guess I still would love your feedback. What are your thoughts? Do these sound like vaginismus experiences? Am I on the right track with just trying to relax and insert a finger, even if the tension is still really extreme? Is the pushing/bearing down thing a good/safe idea? Part off me feels like maybe it’s rushing the process. But, hey, I really don’t know what I’m doing! I’ve pretty much ignored my vagina for 20 years and now I’m just trying to get a handle on this thing!March 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm #20684PammiSueParticipant
I tried again yesterday and got almost half a finger in! It hurt at the deepest point, the same burning/sharp pain. I backed out a little and theN there was no pain, and I was still in about an inch.
Is that too much/rapid progress for this to be vaginismus? Today I still feel a stinging pain inside, in the same spot it hurt yesterday. Not really bad at all, but I’m aware of it. I think I pushed too hard and held it there too long once I felt the pain. I have no regrets, not scared to try again! But I will be more patient next time.March 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm #20687mazemelissaModerator
Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the great detailed post. I think the more open we can all be about these issues and problems the better!
After reading your story, I do think it is possible that you have vaginismus. Without examining you myself, I can’t conclude that diagnosis for sure, as vestibulovodynia is another possibility. But I think you are on the right track with exploring vaginismus treatment first.
When the vaginal muscles are extremely tight, there is usually intense burning pain with vaginal penetration. That might be what you are experiencing when you attempt to insert your finger.
The sensation of those tight muscles stretching can be very uncomfortable and painful. But the more you continue to stretch the muscles, and release the tension, the discomfort can dissipate. I do think taking a bath, and relaxing, and trying to insert your finger is a good practice.
You can try a dilation kit on your own, and slowly insert the dilators daily to help relieve the tension. We use the pure romance dilation kit in our center.
Another option, which I always recommend if a patient is willing to try, is finding a pelvic floor physical therapist in their area to work with who will help you learn to control and relax the pelvic floor, and work with you to progress through vaginal dilators.
And of course, you can consider the Botox procedure with vaginal dilation at our center. Feel free to call our center for a free 10 minute phone consultation to learn more about the procedure.
Hope this helps,
MelissaMay 11, 2017 at 10:21 am #20926Sks823Participant
Your post is great and I related to it a lot (unable to put in tampons, figuring something must be wrong with me, thinking it was just because I was a virgin and too tense). I am very impressed and happy that you are able to try and examine/experiment a bit with yourself – it seems like it’s helping your confidence to know that you’re making a bit of progress by yourself.
Personally, I was unsuccessful when examining myself and trying to put in fingers/etc., so I finally seeked help last year and went through treatment – dilators at Maze women’s health – for vaginismus. For you, I’d say it’s worth it to get checked out – at the least, so that you’re less stressed about it and more relaxed/confident about future sexual experiences. If you find out you have vaginismus … that’s *not* a bad thing (at first I thought it meant something was super wrong with me and I wasn’t ever going to be normal)! Vaginismus is completely treatable! Just go through all the success stories on this forum!
Of course, it’s also possible that you don’t have vaginismus, but that the use of dilators to get you/your muscles used to the feeling of something inside you could be incredibly beneficial. Melissa suggested buying dilators on your own, and I think it’s a great idea.
If you bought dilators on your own, you may find that getting in the smallest sized dilator (with lube) doesn’t give you much discomfort. You may find that some of the larger ones give you pain or discomfort. This makes sense – you and your muscles aren’t used to something that size inside you! Just like I, after never picking up free weights in my life, probably can’t pick up 50- or 60-lb weights 🙂
But using dilators, whether by yourself or if are able to go to Maze or a similar clinic, could stretch your muscles to get them used to larger and larger dilators which could then help lessen your fear of future sexual experiences. Or give you the confidence or relief that you do NOT have to worry about having vaginismus or pain during sex.
I hope this makes sense – definitely let me know if you have any questions or concerns 🙂 good luck and we are all here for you!
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