Feeling Lost and Hopeless

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    Hello everyone,
    I have been trying hard to find a current forum to discuss vaginismus and this site feels like a safe haven. I mentioned to my partner about the forum and the amazing reviews on Dr. Pacik’s practice but sadly we live a long way away. She has struggled her whole life with vaginismus as well as vulvar vestibulitis and we have been working together for over three years on developing a recovery path. When she was younger, like may of you, she couldn’t even manage a tampon. With help from a few different specialists and the use of dilators (from vaginismus.com, little different from Dr. Pacik) we had begun to have regular, reduced pain sex about 2 years ago.

    Once we got comfortable, we started exploring more long term birth control practices from the NuvaRing (very uncomfortable) to the pill but we finally settled on a more permanent solution, an IUD. For those who don’t know, it’s a bit of an invasive procedure and for weeks afterwards, she felt like we had undone all her hard work. After months of bladder infections, discomfort, uterine cysts and extremely painful sex, we decided that the IUD had to go. As you can probably imagine, the removal did even more damage and the dilator process had to be mostly restarted.

    Even now, almost a year and a half after the IUD removal, we are still unable to have successful sex. I believe the biggest trouble now is the contrast between therapy and pleasure. We are both working full time jobs and at the end of the day she has little motivation or energy to dilate and I can often be a little pushy when she goes weeks without trying. I never realized how closely related decrease in sex drive to vaginismus was until reading through some posts on this site. The difficulty is, she feels like I have a “higher than normal” sex drive and the “lack of sex” argument often ruins perfectly good nights.

    I guess what I’m ultimately asking for is advice on keeping our intimate life stable. She was never one for self exploration and has never really tried masturbation either alone or with a partner. I understand that couples need to work finding other ways to please each other and we are not having difficulty there. I think she needs to fins a way to become more comfortable with her own body before we can start making forward progress again. After falling back into the rut we both worked so hard to get out of, the last year and a half has been disheartening and it’s causing an obvious strain on the most amazing relationship.
    Any and all suggestions are much appreciated.


    Dr. Pacik

    Thank you for your heartfelt inquiry and the support and concern of your wife. Vaginismus goes hand in hand with diminished libido. Women who are treated often make more progress physically with dilators and even intercourse than they do psychologically repairing broken libidos.
    I would suggest getting back into a dilation program and at the same time getting a sex counselor who understands vaginismus so you can make progress.
    You might check with AASECT who have geographic finders.
    You can expect this to be a lengthy process of about one year depending on the effort the two of you make. It is still worth it for the two of you to overcome this problem. I would love the others to weigh in on this, it is not a simple easy fix.


    Hi Alex. Thank you so much for your post and it is wonderful to talk to you. I am so sorry for what you and your wife are currently going through. I think it is wonderful that you were able in the past with the use of dilators and specialists to have regular, reduced pain sex. Now, after everything that has occurred, my thoughts are, as Dr. Pacik suggested, finding a way to re-gain the motivation to work with the dilators again. I would definitely try making it new and different and trying to use either the Pure Romance dilators or Pacik Glass dilators.

    Pure Romance Dilators: http://www.vaginismusmd.com/aidsproducts/dilators/pure-romance-vaginal-dilators-set-of-6-dilators/

    “The Pure Romance Vaginal Dilators are soft, smooth and flexible. They are available as six tapered, graduated sizes made out of 100% silicone and are used to slowly stretch the vaginal walls, making penetration and transition to intercourse more comfortable. Plastic vaginal dilators are available on the Internet but many of my patients have indicated that they are stiff and uncomfortable. I find these dilators are not user-friendly and I prefer to use the Pure Romance Vaginal Dilators made from medical grade silicone because they are soft, smooth and flexible. The larger #5 and #6 dilators are made too long and it is for this reason I introduced shorter glass dilators. When using silicone dilators one must use a water or oil based lube and avoid silicone based lubes because “like dissolves like” which alters the structure of silicone dilators.

    The Pure Romance Vaginal Dilators come as 6 dilators to a set with the following circumferences:
     # 1 Dilator = 2 inches or 50.8 mm (length = 2.5 inches)
     # 2 Dilator = 2.5 inches or 63.5 mm (length = 3 inches)
     # 3 Dilator = 2.75 inches or 69.85 mm (length = 3.5 inches)
     # 4 Dilator = 3.25 inches or 82.55 mm (length = 4 inches)
     # 5 Dilator = 4 inches or 101.6 mm (length = 5 inches)
     # 6 Dilator = 5 inches or 127 mm (length = 6 inches)

    Set of 6 dilators = $89.00 plus shipping

    Because the Pure Romance Vaginal Dilators are 100% medical-grade silicone and non-porous, they are easy to clean and disinfect.”

    Glass Dilators: http://crystaldelights.com/shop/dilators/#sthash.Uuhr4cf4.dpuf

    “Shellie of Crystal Delights and Dr. Pacik came up with some concepts, and she later attended one of his discussions where he would also perform surgery. In Shellie’s own words, this was a life changing event. One of Dr. Pacik’s patients flew in all the way from the U.K., and before her treatment for Vaginismus, she was in tears and completely distraught. After treatment, the transformation Shellie witnessed was incredible. The woman was all smiles, a changed person. This was the moment Shellie fully realized how much good they were doing. They were truly changing people’s lives. For years, women living with this condition have felt that they’ve had nowhere to turn, and that there was nothing out there that could help them. Many women have come to Dr. Pacik at their whit’s end. They have seen other doctors and undergone treatment after treatment with no success, and only after being treated by Dr. Pacik are they finally able to achieve the results they want. These dilators truly are revolutionary; they have changed the way this condition is treated, and they have helped so many women live the lives they’ve always wanted to.
    Our dilators are designed to never exceed a length of 3 1/2 inches, which is the average length of a woman’s vagina. This makes dilation much more comfortable, especially for longer periods of time. We’ve also given the base an ergonomic design with a folded lip rim which makes contact with the vulva more comfortable, and allows it to sit closer to the body. This allows the user to dilate for long periods of time, and during normal activity. You can wear one to work, while you’re shopping, or while you watch TV. Dilation can be done virtually any time, any place. This is an important part of treating Vaginismus, and one of the reasons why our design has been successful in such an unprecedented way.”

    I have tried both and there are so many things that I like about each. Concerning the Pure Romance ones, they are of a soft silicone material and all different colors and they have handles which makes insertion, removal, and reinsertion more doable. The glass ones may sound intimidating and initially did to me as well, but they are excellent and are shorter in length so your wife could do other things while dilating. One member here even posted about shopping while dilating. http://www.vaginismusmd.com/support/vaginismus-md-forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=104 Another thing that may really, really help is for you or her to post regarding your progress with the use of the dilators. Then, we can all provide ideas, suggestions, and tips along the way.

    A further idea would be to talk to Maze Women’s Sexual Health in NY. They have continued on the work of Dr. Pacik and offer the Botox treatment program along with progressive dilation. They offer an out-of-town option and also work with a specialist to obtain insurance coverage. They further do complimentary initial intakes as Dr. Pacik did and working with them in any way could be an excellent option.

    I would love to talk back and forth with your wife as I have gone through vaginismus as well. Perhaps if she will not post, we could email back and forth together and I could support her in this way and support you through the Forum. Sending hugs to you both.

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