Tuesday, February 3, 2009

About time for a post!?

[Warning: this is a bit of a journal type entry.]

Well after getting a few comments in the last few months, I feel like I should post. I'm just not sure what about. Life after overcoming vaginismus has meant a different life in comparison to life before our experience in NY. I can't say that I still don't have my anxiety about things or that I don't have stress in my life, but its greatly improved. Honestly - more than I ever thought possible. So much insecurity, anxiety and stress was suffered because of the uncontrollable vagina.

Seriously, the Women's Therapy Center was amazing. It was so overwhelming and SO worth it. My favorite moment was using a tampon. Seriously... how could I have gone so long without!? Life during that time of the month is so much different now. But who wants to hear about that!? :o)

I started making progress last January when I was able to start separating the 'what's wrong with me?' and started saying 'What's wrong with that vagina down there?' I seriously had to separate it out to feel more in control. If you are struggling through the process to overcome vaginismus, just remember that you can control that %*#! vagina. (Sorry, but I know how frustrating it was when it won't cooperate!)

I have to say that sex has been absolutely amazing and when I had vaginismus I didn't think that I could enjoy it! I always thought it was just for the man... NO WAY - it can be enjoyable for the women as well and don't let anyone tell you differently! Keep trucking along in your progress and you'll get there, too.

Let me know if you have any questions about the process... or want any tips through the process of overcoming this crazy thing we call vaginismus!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My experience

My husband and I had made the decision to wait until we were married before having intercourse. I went in for my first ob-gyn exam two months before getting married. The appointment didn't go well, to say the least. The exam hurt and I had a panic attack during the process. However, my doctor told me that I should come back after the wedding night and that the exam would be easier after I had intercourse.

The wedding night and every day after that did not prove what she had told me to expect. We were unsuccessful in having intercourse. I went back to the same ob/gyn doctor and things went about the same in that second appointment. She proceeded to mention that 'This is probably something called vaginismus. I don't know anything more than that.' and 'There are doctors in New York that deal with this.' From there I started research online about this disorder. Everything that I read confirmed the 'vaginismus' diagnosis. If you were recently diagnosed with vaginismus or are in the process of overcoming this terrible issue, then you have probably read a lot on this topic. The post below tells a little more about this condition.

There were days where I had all the hope in the world and others where I was frustrated beyond words. I went through months and years of various therapy treatments. I tried sex therapy, hypnotherapy, physical therapy, various at-home physical therapy, dilators, and relaxation & anxiety reducing techniques. I had some success with a few of them but not the success I needed to fully overcome the condition. After getting over the fear of 'touching' myself I used dilators periodically. I was not as religious in this practice as I should have been. However, whenever I would make significant progress I would get terrified and feel that I couldn't go any further on my own. Hypnotherapy did not work at all for me, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work for others. Everyone has there own level and outlook on their vaginismus, and this has a great effect on their motivation and determination. There were days when I would have zero motivation and others where I didn't want anything more. All during these years of varied treatments I had inquired with the Women's Therapy Center - the 'Doctors in New York that deal with this.' My husband & I were both very hesitant because of the price and location. How could I fly to New York and pay thousands for treatment with doctors I had never met? Our skepticism got the better of us and we didn't pursue this route right away. After exhausting all other possible remedies we booked treatment in January 2008 with the Women's Therapy Center. This was the best thing I could have done and felt bad that I hadn't done it earlier. The treatment was intense, frustrating, stressful and an amazing, motivational, and life-changing experience.

After completing my undergraduate degree, turning 26 and following the intensive treatment program at the Women’s Therapy Center, I was finally able to use a vaginal applicator, tampon, have a successfully completed pelvic exam and have intercourse with my husband of six years.


I said the same thing when I first heard the word 'Vaginismus'. When I called to ask for therapists or doctors that deal with this condition I would have to spell out the word and explain what it was. I experienced extreme frustrations, highs and lows during my process of overcoming vaginismus.

Vaginismus is a condition which affects a woman's ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including insertion of tampons, the penetration involved in gynecological examination and sexual penetration. This is the result of a conditioned reflex of the PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. The reflex causes the muscles in the vagina to tense suddenly, which can make any kind of vaginal penetration either painful or impossible; in my case it was impossible. These spasms resulted in serious anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

There are two types of vaginismus. Primary vaginismus is the inability to have intercourse for the first time. The spouse or partner will feel like he is hitting a wall. Primary vaginismus can include the inability to use a tampon, have a gynecological exam and / or have intercourse. Secondary vaginismus typically occurs later in life. A woman could have had the ability to have intercourse pain-free, but due to medical issues, child-birth or surgeries the woman ends up suffering from vaginismus. There are a lot of great sources to learn more about vaginismus and I would recommend doing so if you haven't already.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you have on this topic. I have helped a good friend overcome vaginismus following my success and am open to helping you out if I can.

Best of luck to you! Just remember that you CAN overcome this.