This is one of our reader's story on what it's like living with Vaginismus & Vulvodynia, she wishes to remain anonymous, but wants to share her story in order to help others who may be suffering too. Remember your body is not broken and if you are suffering, please do reach out.
My whole life for as long as I can remember, I have had pain in my vagina and a complicated relationship to my vulva. I didn’t want to touch something that felt broken; it hurt when I inserted a tampon, flirted with a boy, kissed a boy, and it was itchy and burning on random days. I remember telling my mother it felt like a wall was up and no matter how much lube or vaseline was on the tampon, I felt like I did not have a hole.
I have avoided dating and boys, but anytime I like someone it hurts and this is inevitable. The pain increased after a sexual assault because I now know I hold my tension in my vagina and dating got even harder. I was afraid I had something wrong with me like an STD. I couldn’t walk for days after flirting with a boy at my summer camp job.
My friends encouraged me to go to a gynecologist for the first time at 21 when the pain was at an all time high. The gynecologist couldn’t even put her finger at the entryway without me screaming in agony. I said she could continue and she said no and told me to get pelvic floor physical therapy. I went to get my check out papers in tears and my vaginismus was written as a diagnosis. She had never said the word in the room.
I went home and researched vaginismus. I read stories online and watched youtube videos of cured patients around the world and my whole world finally made sense. I made an appointment at Maze Women's Health in New York City and was soon diagnosed with vaginismus, vulvodynia, and pelvic floor congestion.
I am on the second to last dilator now and I feel more “normal” everyday. It is the best part of my day when I dilate. I see the healing and the improvement and am confident I will insert a tampon, finger, dildo, penis and get a pap smear one day pain-free.
Heating pads, estrogen cream, vaginal suppositories, yoga, and body powder help itching, burning, and pain for me. This has not been an easy journey, but to go from crying looking at a trash can full of tampons that wouldn't go to actively treating this has been so healing. I am not broken, I have a medical condition and I am more powerful from it.