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  • What's wrong with me?

    Hi. I'm 21 years old, female. I have a boyfriend, we've been dating for about 6 months.
    Our sexual life used to be amazing.. I was so excited every time, and could get aroused very easily. Then one time, when we tried to have sex, I felt a sting of pain when he tried to enter. It felt like he was ripping me apart. We tried a few more times, carefully, lubricating the genitals as much as we could, but the pain was so bad that eventually I asked him to stop. I thought there was a trauma of some sort, maybe he ripped my skin a little, that's why it was hurting. We gave it a week and nothing has changed.
    I went to see a doctor. Everything was fine in terms of health, however, I was diagnosed with vaginismus. Basically, it's a condition when your vagina closes up whenever penetration is attempted, and you have no control over it. I asked the doctor what to do, and she just told me to "drink some wine, light up the candles. You need to relax." And so I did. And it didn't work.
    I have had this problem for about 2 months now. We regularly attempt to have sex and have tried basically everything. Massages, lubes, wine and candles. Even if my vagina does open up a bit, the sexual act causes me nothing but pain, I only endure it for my boyfriend. Sometimes everything just ends with me crying. He's being mostly understanding about it, but sometimes he gets upset and I get it. I get terribly upset, too. It's like my body is betraying me.
    I want to feel those emotions again. Those sensations. I want to be intimate with him, but after all this pain, I don't even get aroused anymore. Even when he's performing oral on me, and I used to like it. Now it takes me about half an hour to come, if not more. I don't understand why my body suddenly started to see him as a threat. He could be rough at times, but I didn't mind it. I used to love having sex with him, and now I try to avoid it as much as I can.
    Anyone had a similar problem? How do I solve it?

  • I am so very sorry you are experiencing this. I haven’t been through it myself, but I have known many women my age (40’s) who have simply stopped having sex due to untreated pain.

    what I have learned from them is that many doctors will dismiss or minimize it, as yours seemed to, but the right doctor will treat it as the important medical issue that it is. I suggest seeking another opinion, then another and another if need be, until you find a doctor who recommends a treatment that can help you return to pain-free and enjoyable sex.

    I know there are physical therapists who specialize in sexual pain, which your doctor may be able to refer you to. There may also be medications or other treatments I don’t know about. What I do know is that your sexual well bring is an incredibly important aspect of your life and you deserve to experience the joy you previously did with sex. Don’t give up!

    Comment


    • There are a couple of things to unpack here.

      The first: Find a new doctor. Vaginismus is not “cured” with wine and relaxation. Yes, relaxation IS a part of it — but that flippant suggestion (to me) was a little too dismissive of what is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

      The second: Because you had previously had comfortable and enjoyable sex, secondary vaginismus is generally triggered by something. This can relate to injury (like post-surgical healing), recovery from infection, or even hormones (although usually after menopause), but it can also be triggered by sexual trauma or emotional factors.

      You mentioned that “he could be rough at times.” Although you say that you didn’t mind it, I’m wondering if, on some level (even an unconscious one), you did.

      Think back to when sex changed for you, if you can. Can you recall the last time you had comfortable sex with your boyfriend? Consider the circumstances surrounding that experience — what happened before, during, or even right after.

      Was it painful at all? Did it involve something you didn’t want to do? Did it create negative feelings in some way?

      In the absence of physical causes for vaginismus, our minds can be pretty powerful things and sometimes, the treatment starts there. But again, it’s important to see another doctor (and even another, as Mariebelle suggested), to find someone who can help you address this.

      Treatment for vaginismus can include physical therapy (the use of dilators or even pelvic floor exercises) to work through relaxing the vagina to enable penetration, but it also often involves counseling and therapeutic measures as well.

      That aspect of treatment with a counselor or therapist can help you find the root of the cause, and why your body is responding in this way, along with how to work through it.

      Vaginismus is reflexive — it’s something that happens out of your control — but it’s important to understand why it is, and whether the reason behind it is physical or emotional (or both).

      Additionally, as you’ve been dealing with this for a couple of months now, there is likely an aspect of fear or anxiety around penetration every time you have sex, which continues the cycle of vaginismus. In that way, I wonder if that’s possibly why you struggle to reach orgasm with oral sex now… on some level, in your mind, is it a precursor to vaginal sex and therefore causing that block. Sort of like your body bracing itself for something, if that makes sense.

      Again, a therapist or counselor who deals with sexual issues can help you to work through all of this.

      I still can’t believe your doctor told you to have some wine and relax. Honestly, it just makes me so mad to know you were dismissed so easily.

      Comment


      • I agree with what's already been said. One thing I would add, in terms of finding pleasure in sex (and maybe reducing the fear, anxiety, and missing the intimacy) is to reimagine what sex can be. Yes, penetration is absolutely a part of it for many people, but that's not all you can do.

        IF you're feeling up for it (and I agree with Alison about looking into what's triggering the anxiety and getting to the root of your feelings), consider other things that maybe have been treated like "foreplay" in the past -- oral sex (giving and receiving), handjobs, using vibrators. Fingering is likely out for you right now, but if it feels good to have your partner stroke your clit or for you to grind against his hand or thigh, that could be an option. Sex is all of this and more and can be as just intimate as penetration.

        And one thing a good doctor may (eventually) mention as an option for your vaginismus are dilators -- these are extremely small, narrow, thin dildos (often without texture or a curve to them) to help you ease into penetration at some point in the future. Once you start working on what may be the cause and how to proceed from there, you may also have to slowly teach your body to accept penetration again. I've known several people with vaginismus and while everyone's experience was different, this was a common treatment offered to them by doctors who took them seriously (unlike the wine and relax BS you were given).

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ChloeRwin View Post
          Hi. I'm 21 years old, female. I have a boyfriend, we've been dating for about 6 months.
          Our sexual life used to be amazing.. I was so excited every time, and could get aroused very easily. Then one time, when we tried to have sex, I felt a sting of pain when he tried to enter. It felt like he was ripping me apart. We tried a few more times, carefully, lubricating the genitals as much as we could, but the pain was so bad that eventually I asked him to stop. I thought there was a trauma of some sort, maybe he ripped my skin a little, that's why it was hurting. We gave it a week and nothing has changed.
          I went to see a doctor. Everything was fine in terms of health, however, I was diagnosed with vaginismus. Basically, it's a condition when your vagina closes up whenever penetration is attempted, and you have no control over it. I asked the doctor what to do, and she just told me to "drink some wine, light up the candles. You need to relax." And so I did. And it didn't work.
          I have had this problem for about 2 months now. We regularly attempt to have sex and have tried basically everything. Massages, lubes, wine and candles. Even if my vagina does open up a bit, the sexual act causes me nothing but pain, I only endure it for my boyfriend. Sometimes everything just ends with me crying. He's being mostly understanding about it, but sometimes he gets upset and I get it. I get terribly upset, too. It's like my body is betraying me.
          I want to feel those emotions again. Those sensations. I want to be intimate with him, but after all this pain, I don't even get aroused anymore. Even when he's performing oral on me, and I used to like it. Now it takes me about half an hour to come, if not more. I don't understand why my body suddenly started to see him as a threat. He could be rough at times, but I didn't mind it. I used to love having sex with him, and now I try to avoid it as much as I can.
          Anyone had a similar problem? How do I solve it?
          I'm so sorry that you had to go through this.

          I think you can solve this by changing your doctor (FOR SURE), because "drink some wine, light up the candles. You need to relax." is clearly not the medical solution to such a serious issue.
          Moreover, keep your boyfriend in the loop regarding all of this because if he truly cares for you, then he won't have any problems understanding this.

          We'll wait for your update!

          Comment


          • Thank you! I appreciate everyone's replies. Unfortunately, lately I've been dealing with another health issue that has suddenly come up, so the treatment for my vaginismus might have to be postponed. I'll do my best to find a good specialist. I was just really hoping that I could solve this myself somehow..

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ChloeRwin View Post
              Hi. I'm 21 years old, female. I have a boyfriend, we've been dating for about 6 months.
              Our sexual life used to be amazing.. I was so excited every time, and could get aroused very easily. Then one time, when we tried to have sex, I felt a sting of pain when he tried to enter. It felt like he was ripping me apart. We tried a few more times, carefully, lubricating the genitals as much as we could, but the pain was so bad that eventually I asked him to stop. I thought there was a trauma of some sort, maybe he ripped my skin a little, that's why it was hurting. We gave it a week and nothing has changed.
              I went to see a doctor. Everything was fine in terms of health, however, I was diagnosed with vaginismus. Basically, it's a condition when your vagina closes up whenever penetration is attempted, and you have no control over it. I asked the doctor what to do, and she just told me to "drink some wine, light up the candles. You need to relax." And so I did. And it didn't work.
              I have had this problem for about 2 months now. We regularly attempt to have sex and have tried basically everything. Massages, lubes, wine and candles. Even if my vagina does open up a bit, the sexual act causes me nothing but pain, I only endure it for my boyfriend. Sometimes everything just ends with me crying. He's being mostly understanding about it, but sometimes he gets upset and I get it. I get terribly upset, too. It's like my body is betraying me.
              I want to feel those emotions again. Those sensations. I want to be intimate with him, but after all this pain, I don't even get aroused anymore. Even when he's performing oral on me, and I used to like it. Now it takes me about half an hour to come, if not more. I don't understand why my body suddenly started to see him as a threat. He could be rough at times, but I didn't mind it. I used to love having sex with him, and now I try to avoid it as much as I can.
              Anyone had a similar problem? How do I solve it?
              You must stop having sex now. rough sex is very bad. You need to talk to him and explain that your rough sex has damaged me psychologically. that's the truth. vaginismus is worse that dyspareunia.

              Only slow very very careful and patient sex from now on. You need hours of foreplay. Not seconds or minutes. that's the truth.

              Once you get to this stage its bad. it means a long and slow process to get you back to normal again.

              it could take weeks, months or years to get you back to normal.

              spends hours now on foreplay kissing, cuddling, hugging, just playing with your hair. caressing your body. wait till your vagina is dripping wet and do not enter until its wet.
              thats the best advice i can give to you.

              patience, slow, very very careful, gentle. If your vagina is not wet do not enter. that will just make the situation worse.

              get a book called human sexual dysfunction or inadequacy because it has many case studies that talk about sexual issues and how to solve them.

              Its a old book but its still relevant even today.

              Comment

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