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admin

Medications and Vaginismus

Sometimes women are put on anti-depressants (muscle-relaxants) to help fix their vaginismus. Does anyone want to share her experience with those medicines so that we can write a general pros and cons list to add to the website ?

So far the medications we are interested writing about are:

Valium
Xanax
Ativan
Lidocaine
Beta blockers
Hormonal creams

These are some of the questions we'd like you to reply either here or by sending an email to:

team @ vaginismus-awareness-network.or
________________

Drug:
Who convinced you to take the drug?
For how long were you put on it?
(If it's an anti-depressant) Were you depressed before taking it ?
Were you encouraged to attempt sexual intercourse while you were on it?Were you aware of the possible side-effects to a foetus if you got pregnant?
Did they work for you or did you experience side effects ?
Did vag. come back when you stopped taking the muscle-relaxants ?
Would you recommend them to other women or not ?

Please let us know..
Thanks..
lca

Not quite on topic, but related

A few years ago, when I first started working on my vaginismus, my gynocolygist prescribed lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, that I was to take (if I felt like it) only when I tried to dilate or was with my boyfriend (we were long-distance, so at every meeting the physical took some getting used to). It was very mild (she prescribed the lowest-dose-pill available), but I did notice I was relaxed more easily when I took it. I didn't refill the prescription (or even finish the bottle) because by that point I was usually able to relax to the same amount without the drug.
I appreciated the prescription because I was in control of it (taking it when needed, as opposed to constantly). Because it was such a low dose, I didn't experience any side-effects. I'd compare it to drinking a glass of wine: just a boost towards relaxation. However, I would never want to take anything stronger than that.
admin

Thank you Ica for sharing that (and welcome here).
I'm glad you never took anything stronger than that or for longer periods.
Annabanana

My gyno gave me a medication called Serepax to use before attempting intercourse or dilation. I did find that they helped me relax slightly, quite a pleasant sensation actually! But overall they didn't really do much to help. I had no side-effects.
eephemerid

I just found my miracle

Bupropion, or Wellbutrin as it is better known.  It was prescribed to me a week ago for mixed state depression, as I have had bad luck with Zoloft and other ssris.  It's a dopamine agonist, and is also prescribed off label to reduce the sexual side-effects of ssris.  

I've had vaginismus on and off since I lost my virginity some 20 years ago.  It's very unpredictable; sometimes it is only slightly uncomfortable, and other times,  intercourse is impossible.  In all cases, i couldn't consciously control it.

I noticed things feeling different "down there" within four days of taking bupropion.  I started reading up on it, and discovered that dopamine relaxes the tone in smooth muscles, including those in the vagina.  

Not to be vulgar, but a finger test proved what I suspected...the gates had opened.  I had very little discomfort, and was able to put in *four* as opposed to two.  Can't wait to try it w my boyfriend this weekend. Smile

While doing research, I also read about nitroglycerin (Glyceryl nitrate) ointment being prescribed. Nitroglycerin causes arterial smooth muscle relaxation, which is why it can prevent or slow a heart attack. It's also used to relax the uterus when a breech baby is having difficulty exiting the cervix.

In the case of the treatment for vaginismus, the cream was applied locally,  and relaxed the smooth muscles of the vagina enough to allow comfortable intercourse.
Mercy

medications thread

Interesting! If dopamine helps smooth muscles relax, then eating a piece of dark chocolate every day and taking fish oil would help vag, because both of those things increase dopamine.

Mercy
Gracie

Hi all, I was prescribed a low dose (25mg) of amitriptyline to help with my treatment today. Will post on how it goes.

From reading these posts, I feel encouraged that this might help.
YankyGirl06812

Medications

Hi, After 22 yrs in "therapy" I have been a cocktail of meds that my doctor feels will "cure me."  I am on Welbutrin (usually helps with spoking cessation and OCD), Lamictal (mood enhancer), Cymbalta (anti-depressant) as well as Deplin, a "B" vitamin used to boost seratonin.  At my visit yesterday, I asked her to start weaning me off them; I feel like a drug addict between the RX's and my regular vitamins.  Today is Day 1 and I'm already crashing and have to--reluctantly--up my doses.

I would stronlgly recommend to other's with Vag to NOT go on anything if they can help it.  My meds started with my opening my moth to her about "anxiety" and sex; now I'm trapped (or so it seems).

A good doctor will work diligently and not prescribe prescrib prescribe in order to meet their quota!  Confused
admin

Thank you for sharing this and best of luck for going off those drugs.
You can do it.  But I understand it must be  hard.  I hope there are support groups for women doing that so you can get someone who can give you good advice.

 Unfortunately I have heard of other women who ended up
having a bigger problem than vaginismus, once they were put on antidepressants.  

So it's important to keep sharing the dangers so others can be warned.

All the best Yankie..
Let us know how you're doing if you wish..
Gracie

Am now on my anti depressant 3 weeks. Dont feel very different and was doubting the difference it was going to make. Last week I went to see my physio and had been feeling a lot of discomfort in my past few treatments. HOWEVER, this treatment was great!! The physio was able to examine me very easily and I felt zero discomfort/pain. The medication is a low dose so I think I will stick them out until Im sorted, and Im determined that 2008 is the year that i sort out vag once and for all  Very Happy
Becky

I have been on an anti-depressant for 3 years now. It's called Oxactin, it's just a different name for Prozac. I have suffered with depression since I was 13 and I was taking Oxactin back then too for about a year until I came off of them because I no longer wanted to take them. Oxactin has suddenly stopped working for me lately and I have been suffering with more and more nightmares. I can't say that this has actually helped me with Vaginismus but I know that it has helped me over the past few years with my depression. I have been told to up my dose to two tablets a day so I'll have to see if that does anything.
nin.szot

moved from other forum

sorry I originally posted in the alcohol forum, this seems more appropriate:




I recently developed a sort of secondary vaginism after the gyn pinched my labia in the speculum.  Duing a second unsucseessful attempt my body seized down on the speculum causeing sprains to my back, abdomen, and pc muscles.  A gyn I saw after to examin my injuries (original gyn made no follow up) said maybe Ativan would help me relax.  
Spent the weekend experimenting (recreationally) with different doses - can't see how it would benifit in any way as my physical responses were still very intact after taking 10x what they suggessted . . .  how is a psych drug supposed to prevent a muscle spasm?

What do they do for other people who spasm?  (epilepsy, cerebral palsy, etc)
Are there drugs to make your muscles non responsive like at teh dentist?

Having tried out the valium and I am not convinced,
I am wondering if GHB would be the more effective route

would seem the natural assumption - if going to the gynocologist FEELS like rape, maybe the date rape drug is just what I need.

I live on the right side of the wrong street so that would be easy to get
nin.szot

there's gotta be a way

I am not shy about my body - I used to be a showgirl
I am sexually a bit of an animal - not a lot of forplay required
I am adventurous with my sex toys
- large 'n' lumpy with new vibrating action -OH Baby!
I can't see how dialators will help me . . .

I was injured by a gynocologist and now experience this spasm in response to pain only  -  So any somewhat painful gyn procedure will trigger this.

What do I do?

Valium will make me feel at ease but will not prevent a physical action (spasm)   They will not sedate me.

What then?
Chalchi

Sorry, I saw this only now. I replied in the alcohol-thread.

Quote:
Valium will make me feel at ease but will not prevent a physical action


No drug will do that for you.

Quote:
What then?


As I wrote in the other thread... pelvic floor training is a possibility.
nin.szot

so how will dialators change an involuntar pain reflex?

I just don't get it.
Chalchi

What?
nin.szot

This makes no sense and seems increadibly cruel

what I don't get is how to train an

involuntary muscle reflex

So you're saying I essentially need to learn to take a punch?

Alright how do I learn to do that when the only time it happens is when a gynocologist is hurting me?  So I need to go in and train up?  Okay boys start jabbing and poking!  maybe I'll learn how to take it?

This makes no sense.

What do they do with other people who spasm? - epileptics, cerebral palsy . . . people who we already accept have no control of the spasms they experience
Chalchi

I already explained it: by training your pelvic floor muscle you will be able to consciously relax it. You are not able to do that now. You are having muscle spasms because of an unconscious psychological reaction of your brain, not because of physical problems like epilieptics do.

I have taken anti-epileptic drugs once as well as anti-depressants (out of other reasons than vaginismus), and I've been stuffed with magnesium and sedatives during trials of gynaecological exams, and all of this didn't help AT ALL. Not one tiny little bit.

What you need to do is to gain control over something that is out of your control at the moment. There is no drug that will take your muscle spasms away. But consciously relaxing it will. It makes perfect sense. If you have a trained pelvic floor muscle it will do what you want - like your legs or arms.

Or maybe breathing is a better example. You are breathing unconsciously most of the time, but you are able to control your breathing if you want to. It is a very similar reflex to the one that causes your vagina to close down. Breathing can be surpressed by anaesthesia, like your pelvic floor muscle. They will not give you any muscle relaxants, because there is no need to relax the muscle by force. You will sleep very deeply, and reflexes like breathing or your pelvic floor spasm will be disabled.

You can train your pelvic floor for example by doing Kegel exercises. It won't do any harm; every woman benefits from pelvic floor training.
nin.szot

So you're saying I need to learn how to take it?

I thought you might have been talking about keegle excrecises . . . I was hoping you ment something different by Pelvic Floor excercises.  

I can't see how this will help me.  I have been doing Keegles since I was 15.  (I had an uncle that advised me this would improve my sex life, help with child birth and would be good for long term urinary health . . . in hind sight he was a little creepy but I have kept it up because the advice was sound).

So 15 years of Keegle excercises later I discover I respond strongly to pain in my vagina (think biopsy type real pain not imagined pain).  Maybe I was injured so severley because I do keegles so my PC muscles are strong? How many more years of Keegle's before I will be ready to take on the gynocologist?  Maybe if I am not a good patient because my vagina is so sensitive (gyn suggested I am very sensitive) - if this is the case and gyn procedures are going to hurt - maybe I should get a hysterectomy and live a more pain free and conflict free life.

And general anasthetic is the only thing that works then?

(I am new to gynocologists and I don't see this working well)
Chalchi

Now I understand what you mean. If your muscle is well trained there is no need for training it any further. Your uncle was right; it really does a lot for a woman's body, so keep it up.

But why a hysterectomy? You wrote that you don't have problems other than the examinations, so your hymen is most probably long gone.

If you don't mind  me asking, why haven't you been to the gyn in all these years?

Of course anaesthesia is no long-term solution - it was done for me because I had problems which might be caused by cervical cancer.

There is a possibility to be treated with Botox (read more about it here: http://www.vaginismus-awareness-network.org/botox.html ). I am usually against this treatment and I don't like to recommend it, but I think in your case it might be a possible solution.
nin.szot

hysterectomy - not hyminectomy

hymin is long gone . . . hysterectomy would do away with the rest of the system, and the need to be further brutalized by the gynocologists.

Went in for fertility treatment, but if I can't do the procedures then I won't be able to get pregnant after all . . . if it's going to be this painfull I am thinking I may want to give up on having kids, save myself the agony of future gyn stuff and just have the system out all together.   It seems really unfair that I maybe don`t get to have kids because of this.  on the up side I wouldn`t have to worry about cancer.

What are the possibilities for sedation during fertility treatments if I were to travel to the US? (maybe they are just being cheap with the drugs because I am subject to Canada's  socialized medical system)

Why haven`t I seen the gyn more regularily? - I have moved alot in my life and generally have not had consistant medical care.  Untill I had trouble getting pregnant it wasn`t something I made a priority.  

Chalchi

I read "hymenectomy" instead of "hysterectomy", sorry!

Do you know why you are having trouble getting pregnant? A gynaecological examination is not a necessity for finding out.
You can see by yourself if everything's alright with you, without even seeing a gyno, for example by monitoring your cycle with the symptothermal method. A gyno will take about three blood samples to check your hormones, if you prefer that method.
An examination would only tell if everything in the right place, and it's very rare that it is not! Also, your gyno can see that with an ultrasound examination from outside.
And has your partner had a spermiogram made?

By the way, I read that Botox is inserted under anaesthesia, so it's not a way to avoid anaesthesia.

But if you are having a laparoscopy under anaesthesia anyway, you could ask if they could also test if you are infected human pappiloma virus. 99 % of all women with cervical cancer are infected with high risk forms of this virus. If you are not infected, and staying with the same partner, the likelihood of cervical cancer is very low for you.
nin.szot

about HPV

from what I am told, 90% of the human population is carrying several forms of HPV - what causes HPV symptoms actually has more to do with the person's imune system than the presence of the HPV itself.  Canada (except Ontario and Qeubec) does not do the testing for it ecause they basically assume everyone has some HPV living in them - like yeast or saff bacteria, these things live on most or all of us to some degree and can be contracted congenitally, sexually, and (some say) orrally or by the digestive tract.  So if we didn't get it from our mothers, doctors assume we have picked it up in some way at some point (sharing a drink even - once it gets in the system it finds a nice mucussy place to live - throat, cervix, lungs etc.) - they are doing some tests on my immune system to see why I seem to get sick with every bug out there.  I understand though that the American doctors have other approaches and different sets of information - I did a fair bit of reading in addition to what my doctors have given me and there seems to be a variety of thoeries and approaches - some intersting links to other cancers as well where they have been able to identify the genetic pathways by which the "pirate"DNA is "uploaded" to your cell - finding some form of HPV present in many different Carcenomas (not just cervical cancer but also head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and breast cancer).  They are also testing a drug which blocks this pathway, preventing (lung cancer) from replicating abnormal cells.  This is part of how these viruses replicate - by blocking this pathway they are able to starve out the cancer so to speak.  The Canadian government spent billions on anti-smoking information before they figured out the link between HPV and cancers, now they are only starting to fund information here about HPV (apparently smoking is not the villan but simply one more thing that wears your immune system)


My immune system may be weaker for a variety of reasons - they are doing some tests to find out what they can.  (We know it's not anything obvious - no smoking or AIDS)

As for why I can't get preggers they haven't given me a good answer yet, however they did unclog my right tube yesterday so maybe that will help.
Chalchi

Well, there are different kinds of HPV, low risk and high risk types. It's true, many people are infected with HPV, but the number of people carrying the high risk types is lower. People only infected with low risk types are not prone to cancer - they cause genital warts, for example (given a weak immune system). Not a nice thing to have either, but to be seen from the outside, and harmless compared with cancer.
admin

"what causes HPV symptoms actually has more to do with the person's imune system than the presence of the HPV itself."

Yes, bingo.
It has to do with how badly we eat and all the putrified and fermented
food we ingest and that our body can't break down properly and
it becomes toxic and then, bang,  our immune system can't defend ourselves.

Anyway, as for the stress about getting pregnant and considering giving up..

Have you ever considered that it may not be your path in life and
that there may be a child somewhere who's dying (literally)
to be adopted by you?

Just a thought..

all the best for your laparoscopy...

take care of your body, it sounds like you went through a lot
of stress already...
admin

Hi Chalchi,

thank you for being active while I was away.
you're doing a great and useful job for sure..

it's not like I'm back actually but I wanted to check
how things were going.

I still can't use the computer very often these days
so it'd  be good to know
that you're around to welcome newcomers etc.

it doesn't have to be a task though..

just do it when it pleases you to.

just please do me a favour, when you feel like
you need to move on, email me please so I can
arrange things differently here.

Thank you...
Chalchi

Thank you. It's nice to know that my presence is appreciated.

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