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Vaginismus - conception and childbirth(5 Posts)
I've found a few threads on Mumsnet from over the years with women asking about experiences of others with vaginismus, particularly regarding conception and childbirth. Having personally suffered with the condition since as long as I can remember - I always found sources of help challenging - it's an embarrassing condition and so really hard to be open about it to get the right support. I've recently given birth naturally to a baby girl - something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do - which me and DH are so happy about.
I wanted to start this thread to share my experience, and as a place other women with the condition can share and support each other.
So my experience of the condition is as follows.
I always had issues with having a relationship with that part of my body. Too embarrassing and too much anxiety - couldn't look down there and couldn't insert a tampon. However, I didn't actually realise I had the condition, until I got engaged and we tried to have intercourse - it wasn't happening (that was five years ago and my fiancé has become my husband since). I have been seeing a psycho-sexual therapist for 4 years - I had a very severe form of the condition (touching was a no go). I must admit progress has been slow and I wasn't very good at the homework (the dilators) - again too much anxiety, which made it difficult to muster up the mental energy to do the homework. But got to a level where could insert the thinnest dilator (I didn't get any further than that)...
But we really wanted a baby and couldn't wait another 4 years to get to the final dilator size (biological clock is ticking). So we used the syringes from those conception friendly lube gels to do home artificial insemination. I got pregnant on the second go - yay! (BTW - it really helped to have such a supportive husband all this time.)
After getting pregnant - the next set of anxieties begun regarding childbirth. I found the overall experience really good and the care I received was amazing. I told my midwife about it and she ensured I was consultant lead. The met a doctor three times before childbirth to discuss the condition and options. I wanted to give birth naturally if possible so we did our best to make that happen.
I wrote a birthplan which explained the condition and what was and wasn't possible with me (i.e. examinations would be difficult etc) and sent that to the midwives and doctors in advance. I also met the head midwife at the hospital to ensure that my condition would be known before I went into hospital. This was really helpful as the midwives and doctors on the day has read the plan before seeing me and were very sensitive to the condition. This was an NHS hospital btw.
In short, because of how my labour progressed, I needed examinations, sintosin, an epidural and forceps - but a natural delivery. But it was ok, I managed and coped through all of it and have come out thinking childbirth was ok (if you can believe it). For each examination, I used gas and air and the midwife and I worked together. Same with the forceps - though I had epidural at this point, so that helped. So it is possible - you just have to be open to it.
Baby is now four months old. I have booked in for a smear test in two weeks time - wish me luck!
Happy to answer any questions. And would love to hear of your experiences with the condition and give each other support.
Had the experience of childbirth helped or hindered your vaginismus?
Thank you @alessandra27!! I think it has helped in that it’s reassured me that it’s both possible for forceps to go in and for a baby to come out....but I haven’t tried pushing myself since childbirth (haven’t tried to be intimate again with DH since giving birth) - so I think the test will be then smear...
I am at the early stage of this probably being diagnosed. I cant use tampons without pain, but do force sex. It is very painful at times, and I find myself clamping up. The GP has referred me to a gyno but is pretty sure this is the issue. I'm quite nervous about having lots more sex given the pain, but mine is absolutely not as extreme as yours @Sydney88
Hopefully with some CBT, use of the dialators it might improve....
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