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Vaginismus - anyone had it/been treated for it?

(15 Posts)
Secrettoshare Tue 16-Jun-09 10:26:07

Have namechanged because I'm embarrassed but have been here three years - most of you would recognise my name.

I think I have this condition. Penetrative sex is impossible and inserting tampons is very uncomfortable. I can't even really put a finger in myself (cringe) without tensing up.

I need to get better for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is that I am way overdue for a smear test.

Can anyone tell me what the treatment involves? Frankly I'm nervous of googling!

Secrettoshare Tue 16-Jun-09 15:46:53

hopeful bump.

namechangers welcome ...

LaTrucha Tue 16-Jun-09 15:55:34

I don't know about this condition but I'm wondering when it started.

Sex and tampons were incredibly painful for me for nearly a year after being catheterised after an em-c section and having two urinary tract infection becasue of it. I did see a gynaecologist, but she could see nothing wrong but she did tell me that it is an area with very dense nerve ending - obviously - and they can 'remember' pain even if the actual cause of the pain has gone.

I didn't have any treatment - although I do think dome of the things she cleared up about my DDs birth helped psycologically. It did eventuall get better and now all is fine.

Just wondering if this rings any bells.

LaTrucha Tue 16-Jun-09 16:00:54

Oh. And please don't google health issues. I've done it and it really isn't a good idea.

Ask for a referral to a gynaecologist and tell the GP you don't want to be examined by them if you don't want to.

Secrettoshare Tue 16-Jun-09 16:02:09

Thanks LaT.

I've had two c-sections, so your experience is certainly something to ponder.

Tbh, I've always found sex with my dh a bit uncomfortable because I have a small vagina. It's never been stretched by childbirth. I think I am scared of being hurt and that is causing the problem.

Thanks for replying.

MadameCheese Tue 16-Jun-09 16:18:00

I think you are right Sts about the fear of potential pain making it worse. Have you got a good GP you could seek advice from?

Secrettoshare Tue 16-Jun-09 16:20:27

Yes, lovely female GP. But I'd really like some idea of what to expect in terms of treatment before I go. Or if there are any blindingly obvious things to try at home in the way of self help.

MadameCheese Tue 16-Jun-09 16:27:34

I think there are physical and psychological aspects to the treatment, I don't think it'd be problematic if you did not know all about it before you see her.

notmybirthday Tue 16-Jun-09 16:28:01

Regular but have namechanged for this too because some other regulars know me in RL.

I had it all my adult life. Couldn't do tampons as a teenager, but then didn't really try that hard. Got together with dh at uni (first real boyfriend), couldn't manage penetrative sex at all. Head in the sand for years. Dh got frustrated but was very understanding too. Was raped during this period by my boss (never told dh) which really put me off trying to deal with it.

I genuinely thought I was the only 'freak' who had this condition. Then got access to the internet and googled and came across the term vaginismus.

Shortly afterwards we moved house and I got a new GP who was lovely and felt like someone I could confide in, so I did. The best thing I ever did. She was so understanding and helpful and made me feel un-freaklike (don't think that's a word grin).

Anyway, she referred me to a gynaecologist who was an expert in treating this. I had a laparoscopy under GA just to check there was no physical problem, and he manually stretched the vagina (also under GA, thank goodness). There was no physical problem, it was just my body seizing up.

Then he did dilator treatment with me. He gave me one small glass dilator (about the thickness of a tampon), and inserted it into me, then got me to do it with him and a nurse watching. Took a few goes but I could do it. He sent me home to practice. Every few weeks I went back and did the same with a slightly bigger dilator each time. I think there were 6 in total (the largest bigger than a penis).

At the same time I saw a psychosexual counsellor every week for about 3 months to talk through things that might have casued this. Very, very tough, but well worth it.

It took about 6 months from referral to start the treatment, and about 6 months before I was able to have sex properly. But once I did it was absolutely fine and painless.

I got pg with dc1 about 3 months after this.

billysitch Tue 16-Jun-09 16:33:06

I have had it and it was excruiciatingly painful, I had private physio as the nhs didnt offer any at the time and I couldnt sit or run up the stairs it was so bad I thought my body had given up on me.

Tampons, sex anything was impossible and I was made to feel by the doctor I first saw that it was all in my mind IT IS NOT!

Go and see someone and get reffered the sooner the better and dont be embarrassed about it, just get it

Mine happened after I prolapsed bowel and bladder when I had my first son after 4 days of labour and cock ups from the hospital! I also had my cervix come down as was not properly dilated!

Good luck kiddo! xx

Thankfully two weeks ago I had my second son by section! All is well!

JonAndHate Tue 16-Jun-09 17:05:36

These ones are safe. Good luck smile




Secrettoshare Tue 16-Jun-09 19:24:03

Thank you everyone. Thank you for your stories and thanks for those links. I think I can cope with the therapy having read about it now and its kind of you all to take the time and trouble. I'm feeling a real sense of "I might not have to put up with this much longer" smile.

JonAndHate Tue 16-Jun-09 20:42:26

'tis ok smile

Just re-read your OP, don't know if you've ever heard of vulvodynia. It's possible to have a combination of both...

Getting the right diagnosis/treatment is the first step for recovery and with the help of the great MN you're well on your way into that! I hope you get better soon smile

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Jun-09 20:49:41

Secret, just wanted to add the HCP view smile: you are describing a problem that is NOT AT ALL UNCOMMON and for which THERE IS HELP out there.
Do see your Gp and get referred to the appropriate specialist clinic, this may be a gynaecologist or a psycho-sexual clinic. Yes, get physical causes ruled out but provided that is all well, the usual route to improvement is a combination of specialist counselling and the dilator treatment described above.
Well done for looking for help - you've done the virtual bit, now go for help in RL.

katsh Thu 18-Jun-09 22:39:46

It's great you're seeking help. I have vulvodynia which I've had treatment for, and things have been helped. Treatment is much less awful than the condition, and such a relief to feel like you are doing something to make it better. Get a referral to a good gynaecologist who has some specialism in this area as not all will have. If you are in London PRofessor McClean at the Royal Free is the man to see. is a good organisation and might be able to help you identify who might be good in the area you live in. As someone else has said, don't let anyone tell you it's all in your mind. I hope you get good treatment soon.

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