“I have been dealing with vaginismus for roughly two and a half years now. This is a condition that involves a painful contraction of the muscles of the vagina in response to penetration.
Many describe this pain as a tearing sensation or as though there is an impenetrable wall inside the vagina.
In my personal experience it feels as though I am sitting on a knife.
This can happen with any form of penetration: putting in a tampon, during a pelvic exam, while masturbating and, of course, during sex. In my case I experience my worst pain during sex and pelvic exams.
Unfortunately, it took me a whole year of pelvic exams and going to various doctors and gynaecologists before anything was done. That was a year wasted on being told to just use lube and come back if the pain persists, until, one doctor actually took the time to sit down with me and ask about my sexual history.
When someone stopped to really listen to me the diagnosis was so obvious.
However, it was not the relief I thought it would be. It confirmed that there was damage I needed to address from a previous relationship.
There is a kind of grief that comes from losing such a simple ability as not being in pain during sex. You feel broken. I still remember what it feels like to have sex with someone I love and not feel like I am tearing from the inside out.
Learning to deal with vaginismus to conquer it, bit by bit.
I have been able to deal with both the emotional and physical repercussions through a lot of therapy and self reflection. The first step for me was to stop fighting with my body and just pushing through the pain.
My body is not malfunctioning, it is not broken; from the beginning, it was trying to tell me that something was wrong and now I know to listen to it.
Learning to accept those signals with love and kindness and adjusting what I am doing accordingly has helped immensely, both with or without a partner.
Some days, my body will be able to do things that other days would be impossible, and that is okay.
I made a promise to love my body on the days it can have full penetrative sex just as much as I love it on the days where all I can do is cuddle.
Sex and sexuality is not limited to penetration, there is a wide realm of pleasurable experiences if you are willing to get creative, and as long as everyone is having fun there really is no “wrong” way to do it.”
Open communication is key to help yourself, and help others.
As you just read, reconciling with your body is the best advice you can ever receive.
Your body is not out there to get you, and once you manage to understand, listen to it and stop rationalizing everything, you will absolutely move foward.
Remember: there is nothing wrong with you.
So if you are dealing with intimate painful conditions like Vaginismus, UTIs or even, chronic yeast infections, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Speak up to help yourself, but also help others. Talk to your partner so he/she can help you. Talk to your friends so they can feel less alone. Talk to a stranger if you feel like she/he could use reassurance.
You CAN break the taboo and bring awareness to all of this so less and less women have to wait years to be diagnosed properly.
So they don’t have to hear at appointments after appointments that it’s no big deal and they need to just ‘get out of their heads’.