When I think about what events or situation in my childhood may have affected the beginning of my vaginismus in my subconscious, a few memories come to mind.
Since I was 12 years old, I often attended gynaecology appointments. I was treated for frequent gynaecological infections due to Synechia Vulvae. Infections were treated with antibiotic suppositories, which had to be inserted into the vagina daily.
I remember when I was already going through shame and unpleasant feelings with every insertion into the vagina.
Another situation that I can remember very precisely was a harrowing gynaecological visit when the doctor tore my hymen.
The gynaecologist disregarded my desperate cries during the check-up and did not stop until I started to bleed heavily. Until today, I see the surprised face that I can still be a virgin at 18. I think of it as the most significant violent injury to my body and soul.
Gynaecological examinations have been impossible for me since that experience. My body always contracted at the mere touch on my genitals, as if instinctively defending itself against danger.
I didn’t understand why the situation didn’t improve over time, even though I trusted my new gynaecologist.
I was confused about what was happening to me.
Soon there was a situation where it was necessary to perform an internal ultrasound check-up because I came to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. The doctors thought that the cause would be gynaecological, but the check-up was not possible at all.
However, after further attempts to insert anything into the vagina, I began to miss it all. Any penetration into the vagina by anything will be complicated or impossible…
Another part of the puzzle that probably led vaginismus was that sex was never discussed in my family.
My parents avoided this topic and ran away from it wherever possible. Switching television during romantic scenes, banning magazines’ purchase for teenagers, or evasive answers.
Maybe that’s why I got the impression that we should be ashamed of sex, it’s something that should not be done and that it’s better not to talk about sex.
When I was 21, I met a lovely man. For me, it was love at first sight.
After a few months, we got together. We understood each other very well, and only one thing still didn’t happen.
I knew it was the right one, and maybe that’s why I was so afraid of rejection from him. What happens if it doesn’t work? Will he leave me? Will he understand me? How do I explain all this to him, so he knows I want sex?
Of course, after about half a year, sex occurred. The tiger, as I say, woke up completely and attacked. It is hard to describe. I became an impenetrable, concrete wall. Absolutely nothing would get in, even though I wanted to. My worries have become a reality. What was going on inside me? Despair, helplessness, anxiety, fear and the feeling that I was disappointed as a woman.
I was also so angry that I had no control over my body and life.
I confided my problem with a few friends. They mostly responded with a surprised expression and said, “How do you think that’s not possible? So have two glasses of wine and you’ll see how it goes”, they waved.
Two glasses of wine didn’t help, so I tried the whole bottle. Then I don’t remember anything. The next day, thanks to my boyfriend’s support, I finally called a sexologist, hoping that he might tell me what was happening to me.
The sexologist explained to me that I suffered from primary vaginismus. I remember how great a relief it was to me to be a diagnosis.
I don’t suffer from this alone, because it seemed to me all the time. The sexologist prescribed me antidepressants, a local anaesthetic and recommended daily finger dilatations. I left the doctor with the naive idea that I now know how to heal.
After about a year, it was quite clear that therapy didn’t meet with success.
It occurred to me that I had to solve this mental block first at my head and heal my soul. Find my femininity, self-confidence, love for my body and myself and mainly find harmony and balance in my life. Focus more on good things than on the bad things, which of course belong to life.
My biggest win was my boyfriend, who helped me find my way to me.
He replaced my psychological therapy that would otherwise be necessary. I probably wouldn’t be able to do it alone. He taught me to love myself, to accept myself as I am.
He was and still is my great therapist who taught me to see myself in the way he sees me.
One of the crucial things that helped me immensely in the healing process was arranging with my boyfriend that we refrain from attempting sexual intercourse for a time. Repeated efforts have not seen improvement. I felt that this way didn’t lead to a solution; I was only more and more ashamed. We have agreed that we will be satisfied with other sexual practices in the meantime.
I continued to try to remove from my life everything that torments me, stresses me and to deal more with things and people that inspire me and make me happy.
Over time, I began to feel much better. Also, I stopped having headache problems, indigestion and severe acne.
For a long time, I was looking for the right sport that would suit me. Then I discovered yoga, and it met all my requirements. I noticed a significant effect of this movement on my mood. Yoga is the doctrine of body, mind, consciousness and soul. Its goal is to achieve peace of mind and balance between body and soul. That was right for me.
The arranging between my boyfriend and me lasted for about two and a half years, in the end. I began to think about what to do next as I started to think about a child. I remembered dilations.
After a few years, I tried to put my fingers in the vagina again and guess what? I inserted one finger without a problem.
My daily dilations lasted for another few months. They seemed successful, as I was already able to insert two fingers without any problems and broke the border.
The sexologist then explained that when I inserted two fingers without pain, intercourse should be possible. So I suggested to my boyfriend that we could try sex again. He agreed.
I would like to write that sexual intercourse was solved without any problems, and I overcame my vaginismus. It wasn’t like that, but I considered it a success because sexual intercourse was possible and painless.
I got pregnant after about half a year. I was anxious about how vaginismus would affect my birth. However, gynaecologists explained that birth is an entirely different process. Unlike vaginismus, childbirth is a physiological process for the body.
I don’t know if vaginismus affected my birth in any way. What is clear is that childbirth has fundamentally affected my vaginismus.
After 12 weeks after giving birth, I was determined to try sex again. As far as possible, I was healed, and I was aware that the longer I wait, the worse it would get.
The first few intercourses were painful. However, it was getting better after each new sex. After a few evenings, we were back in the pre-delivery phase, and I was shocked. I finally understood what I was missing, how incredible sex is. Finally, I was able to enjoy my life to the fullest and gain the desired control over it.
It seems that the last step towards full-fledged sex was childbirth.
I wondered for a long time why the birth was so crucial for me? The fact that a child passed through my vagina was essential to me. So why not go something far smaller?
But I don’t think this was the most important thing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a fundamental transformation for me. He returned my womanhood.
I fulfilled the role of a woman. A position where I felt I was failing because of vaginismus.
Childbirth completed the process of self-acceptance and self-love that I have been working on for so long.
I beg you to keep in mind that this is my story, my journey. This is not a guide to tackling or curing vaginismus. We all have to find our way by ourselves. Women have completely different causes of vaginismus, so each treatment can be different.
Please take my story as inspiration and motivation to look for ways to heal and live a full life. Please do not give up. Face your vaginismus. It’s worth it.
In conclusion, I would like to say that I’m still not sure if my vaginismus is resolved. If I were completely honest with myself, I must admit that probably not. What is certain, however, is that I was certainly able to put vaginismus into a corner.
It’s time to stay alert and not let him attack again. I’ll be always on the lookout.
– Your Veronika (28 years old, Czech Republic)