This year, Sh! marks Vaginismus Awareness Day with an online event providing support and advice to those living with painful sex and will give out dialator sets, donated to women on limited income, through our Pay it Forward scheme. To raise awareness about the impact of this condition, Sh! is gathering real-life stories to publish on the vaginismusawareness.com blog. The story below has been shared with us and the author has given us permission to share it with you.
I was diagnosed with Vaginismus two years ago. I had an idea that sex would be painful because of various reasons. I once tried to insert a tampon and it really hurt. I never tried again after that. Additionally, the stories that you hear about your first time didn't help.
It wasn't until I had my first boyfriend that I really realised that something wasn't right. It felt so humiliating because I knew the pain wasn't just normal discomfort that people would talk about.
The most painful process was the first steps... going to the doctor to explain the problem. The first doctor I saw asked if I had been abused which I hadn't. The first thing she offered me was anti depressants. I was shocked and even more so because I was speaking to a female doctor who I thought might have been more understanding.
Fast forward a few months and I finally got to see a gynaecologist who diagnosed me with Vaginismus and sent me to see a physiotherapist who gave me exercises and dilators. The last two years have been hard. Sometimes it was hard to find time to dilate and perform the recommended exercises when balancing other things in life. When I did find time, it felt like I was starting from square one again and I would get frustrated at myself for not being consistent. To make matters worse, my partner broke up with me and then the whole world fell into a pandemic. The irony of the world feeling like it's going to end....
I could sit here and talk about the details of the pain, how much it takes a toll on your mental health, relationships and general health check ups. But I won't. I'd recommend you watch this video instead. https://www.tightlywoundfilm.com
For all of those with Vaginismus , I know you'll be able to relate to it in some way. For those who don't have the condition, I hope it can shed some light and give you more understanding.
This period of time has been challenging but for some reason, it's given me even more hope and time to give to myself. Because of this I have been more consistent with treatment, learnt more about the condition, connected with other sufferers and I am overall more positive about it. There is hope. For all of us. You are not alone.