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len

It's good to know why I have the trouble I have, but...

I'm super scared.

Hi. I'm Len. I'm 17 years old... Which may or may not be considered by some too young to even be worrying about this. At any rate, I turn 18 on June 9th ^_^

When I was born, I had skin where there shouldn't be. A skin tag, I was explained. A doctor told my mom that I would have to have it removed before having kids. I took this to mean, before sex. This "tag" made things difficult-- I couldn't use tampons at all, and was stuck using pads. In addition, I started having extremely heavy discharge, which I always thought meant there was something wrong with me. I spent so much time afraid, and ended up breaking down and telling my mom and asking her to take me to the gynocologist.

I was expecting to be told I needed some kind of sugury to correct things. I was expecting to be told I was severely messed up, since that's always what I assumed. I guess I didn't know my body that well since the gynocologist told me that there's absolutely nothing the matter with me-- and my skin tag? It doesn't exist. Furthermore, my discharge is all totally normal, not in any way an infection, and I spent all this time thinking that I was this disgusting deformed thing...

So she laid me back to do the exam, and she was really really nice about it and explained everything before she did it. The... Metal thing? Whatever its called... She warmed up several in various sizes, including one she explained she's used on girls as young as 9, so if it hurts we can go smaller.

She didn't even open it. Just the metal touching me was enough to send me into hysterics. She didn't try to force it and then tried to do the exam using her fingers. No luck. I couldn't take it. She then told me she was just going to use a swab to test me for clymydia, since I had given oral in the past, its standard procedure. Even the swab, tiny as it was, couldn't penetrate. I was sobbing uncontrolably and she ended up giving me a rectal exam... Which, although humiliating and awful, I would do in a heartbeat over the vaginal exam again.

She let me sit up and she went over to wash her hands and I was just sitting there sobbing in confusion. I asked her what was wrong with me and she told me nothing, I just tensed my muscles because I was afraid. She explained to me to try using tampons, to get myself used to the penetration, because if I don't learn to relax sex IS going to hurt. She told me she wasn't going to try to force an exam on me, but she'd really like to be able to do a full one within the next two years.

Since then I've been trying the tampons, but it hurts, so bad. There is nothing physically wrong with me, she said, its all mental.

Recently I started a... Semi relationship with a guy I've been close to for awhile. He's one of my best friends and I trust him completely. He's a few years older and is experienced. For the first time ever, I let a boy touch me... Him. I never allowed it before, but I felt like this was right. I was perfectly fine until he tried to finger me, at which point I practically screamed in pain. He was confused because, as he told me, I shouldn't hurt like that, I'm not that tight. He asked me if the other touching hurt... I told him no, just that. So he just didn't do that and started back up with the other stuff but I'm practically in tears wondering what the heck is wrong with me. He calmed me down, but we didn't get to talk more because he got a phone call and we were interupted.

I came home and googled the pain and ended up finding out about vaginismus. Finally, something that made sense. Everything associated with it fits me to a tee... I've already been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and although unrelated, I suffer from migraines-- all of which I'm on A LOT of medication for. I've never been sexually abused, but I'm the only female member of my family who hasn't, and spent my entire life taught to hate the men that did it. I have however been sexually harrassed... At work... By my boss. She, yes, a woman degraded me, ended up being fired. I'm not sure how big a role any of that plays but it seems signifigant.

When I went to my latest psychiatry appointment, they agreed that that is what the issue is. The psychiatrist told me she wasn't surpised that my anxiety was leaking over into other aspects of my life, especially since I already have severe panic attacks and I break out in a rash when I'm upset. Its an issue we decided that is going to be part of my treatment plan.

I told my... Boy...thing. I'm not sure quite how to describe our relationship. He thinks that with my health/mental/emotional issues, that I'm not ready for anything serious, and the same goes for him. We agreed to just try it, and see how it goes, while keeping it open, but also honest, and going slow, physically for me, and emotionally for him, since his last relationship really messed him up. Already he's completely exceeded my expectations... For example he held my hand in public, something I never would have expected from him. Not a big deal, really, but enough to prove that he really IS trying with me. Which is why I decided to tell him the truth about all this. His reaction? "Breathe deep. Calm down. I hear ya, but you're overthinking." I told him how freaked out I was that I was gonna scare him away with all this, and he told me that freaking out is going to scare him more than the actual problem.

He's understanding, and I know that, but there's this tiny little place in my mind that's SCREAMING I should get away from him for his sake because I'll never be able to make him or myself happy, we'll always just be frustrated and eventually it'll be too much and we'll end up with a completely screwed over relationship.

Thus, I am completely scared, and I don't even know what to think. What if I never can have penetrative sex? Does that mean I can't have kids? And if I never do have sex in the traditional way-- obviously, I have options-- at which point do I lose my virginity and my innocence, if I'm doing sexual activities to the fullest extent that I can without pain? I don't want to die a virgin. I don't want this to be my life. So in conclusion, I am quite scared. Thank you for reading, and sorry for being so wordy and (possibly) beyond crazy.
TigerLily

Hello and welcome len. Smile

I've read your entire post and I can totally understand why you feel so scared and worried over having vaginismus. It sounds so intimidating when you first read/hear about it... I remember crying for hours and asking myself the same things as you - will I ever have sex, will I ever be able to have kids, will I ever be "normal".

There's one thing you need to know though. Vaginismus is NOT a mental problem. It does sometimes have a psychological trigger (most commonly in primary vaginismus, sometimes the cause is purely physical), but it is an actual muscular problem. The pain is not "all in your head" and while people will say you just need to relax and everything will be fine, that's not really how it works when you have vag. Your other issues like depression and anxiety are probably part of the reason why this is happening to you, but sometimes it just happens for no reason at all. So it's not something that you can in any way control and it can't be your fault.

Now, have you thought about dilating? Tampons can be a good start but if that hurts try something smaller, like a q-tip. The idea is to start by inserting something that doesn't hurt at all and then progressing onto larger objects. But the most important thing for starting the treatment is becoming comfortable with yourself and not putting pressure on yourself to have penetration if it hurts. I know how hard it can be to stay optimistic, but it's really the key - making peace with your body and learning to understand the signals that it's sending.

There's so much more I'd like to say right now but I am kind of in a hurry... I'd advise you to read through the vaginismus awareness network website if you haven't already, it's full of good tips and it will help you understand vaginismus better. Also, try reading through the boards, you can find so many useful discussions on here. Smile

Good luck! It can be so scary at first but you'll come to realise, vaginismus is not the end of the world, and it's by no means a reason to hate yourself and your body. It can be overcome eventually.
Mercy

learning about Vag

Hi len and welcome!

I agree with all the things TigerLily said. And I want to add that vaginismus is perfectly solvable. It just takes some time and patience and love.

But I wonder if you might have vulvar vestibulitis. That is a condition where the nerve endings in the vulva and around the entrance to the vagina are inflamed. People who have that find that even being touched hurts a lot.

And people who have VV often develop vag as a natural response to the pain.

Well, anyway, read around and see what you think. You're going to be okay.

Love,
Mercy

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