T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 28751
posted 05-29-2007 10:10 PM
1. It says in the instructions to leave the dilator in for 10 minutes.
Do I need to do that? It seems like it would be uncomfortable to have anything in your vagina for 10 minutes, except maybe a tampon. 2. When it says I am supposed to be "relaxed" while dilating, does that mean aroused? I could not fit even the smallest dilator in my vagina unaroused but it went in fine, albeit with some discomfort, when I was very aroused. I can't imagine fitting the second, third, or fourth dilator in me when I was unaroused. I didn't know a vagina was supposed to be able to do that. 3. I have been trying to see what is the biggest I can fit in my vagina when I masturbate, and I got the second dilator in but it was very uncomfortable and I pulled it out after about 10 seconds. Does the pain really get better? 4. Is it possible that, even with Kegels, my PC muscles are still tight? I thought vaginismus was about tight muscles but it would seem that if your hymen is broken, and your muscles are warm and unclenched, there would be no pain or discomfort. But if that is so, then women with vaginismus wouldn't be any different than women who don't have it. Are there muscles that remain clenched even when I am consciously relaxing them as best I can?
Member # 25983
posted 05-29-2007 10:30 PM
1.) Yes, you need to do this. Leaving the item in allows your PC muscles to stabilize and "grow used" to something being in the vagina. Over time, they will learn to remain relaxed.
2.) You do not need to aroused for dilator use, provided you use plenty of lubricant. As you progress through treatment, you will want to begin incorporating the dilators into arousal/masturbation so that your body is taught to react correctly to vaginal stimulus. Your doctor can tell you when they want you to begin that, and whether it makes a difference either way. 3.) You must progress at a rate that feels comfortable for you and does not cause discomfort or pain. The goal is to teach your body that penetration is not painful; causing pain takes you back a few steps and makes it harder to treat. Your approach there was counter to that. Once you've worked up to the first dilator fitting comfortably (a bit at a time, gradually increased according to comfort) you can incorporate a tiny bit of the second and increase accordingly. Patience is required for treatment to be successful, though I understand and sympathize with your desire for this to be over! 4.) The hymen does not cause pain or discomfort for the majority of women; I'm sure that was one of the first things your doctor looked for when you inquired about painful intercourse. Vaginimus is an involuntary muscle contraction; no matter how much you conciously try to control it, you can't, exactly like how your eye flinches to protect it from harm when an object flies towards it. Only once the muscles are retrained to stop anticipating pain will the problem be resolved. Has your physician talked to you about pelvic floor exercises/relaxation techniques prior to dilator use? Is he/she scheduling regular follow-ups to track your progress and given you clear instructions? If not, I'd encourage you to call in and ask; treatment for vaginismus is extremely successful if done correctly. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Vaginal pain is difficult to live with.
Member # 28751
posted 05-29-2007 10:58 PM
Yes I know about Kegel exercises but I don't know how much they will really help me. How is it that I can have tense muscles and not know that they are tense? And how will leaving a dilator in my vagina for ten minutes retrain my muscles? The first one would barely even stay in without me holding it in, otherwise it would kind of pop out. I was relaxing my muscles consciously and doing Kegels while it was in to try to get to know the difference and it still felt impossibly tight.
And I guess I'm also in a mood right now where I just feel hopeless. People can tell me not to worry about it as much as they like but I bet if my friends or my therapist suddenly woke up and found that intercourse was impossible, they would freak the heck out and feel just as inadequate as I do right now. No amount of reassurance that it is something I can get over will ease the emotional pain, especially since I'm not even sure why I have this condition in the first place. I know that intercourse isn't any more "real" than other kinds of sex but that doesn't change my feelings, you know? I know I shouldn't compare myself to others, but I can't help it. Vaginal intercourse is natural. Animals do it. To not be able to is an awful, awful feeling. And I'm trying to fight that but sometimes I just wonder if it will ever get better or if I will never get to experience something that I really want to experience.
Member # 25983
posted 05-29-2007 11:08 PM
Honey, you're preaching to the choir.
http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=001165 You can read about my experience there (and please feel free to add in what you're dealing with emotionally!). I know absolutely how you feel and what you're going through. Hell, the surgery I'm going in for in a month often CAUSES vaginismus, so I'll soon be dealing with what you are. I totally understand what a barrier lack of intercourse can be in a relationship -- it does suck to be told it "isn't everything" by people who can have it. Vaginismus is very, very treatable, my dear. As in, an almost 100% cure rate with proper treatment. I know it's easy to feel hopeless, but you will get well, and you will experience intercourse. It all depends on your motivation and patience; some women cure the condition within weeks, some within months, and some longer. Has your doctor talked about sending you to a counselor trained in psychosexual problems? Dispelling some of the negative feelings you may have about sex and your treatment may very well help you get well sooner. And you know, if you want to talk to somebody who's been there and knows how much it stings, feel free to drop a note in that thread above.
Member # 28751
posted 05-29-2007 11:28 PM
I'm glad there are people who understand. It still hurts, though. I just get so unbearably jealous at times and then I end up crying about it. God I can't even count how many times I've cried about it or how much pain it has caused me. I feel like, at this point, even if and when I do solve this problem, I will still have to bear the memory of all the shame and guilt and humiliation. My "losing my virginity" story will always be indelibly different from my friends'. This is supposed to be my choice but I don't get to make that choice because there's something wrong with me.
Member # 25983
posted 05-29-2007 11:50 PM
Hey, I totally get the various "why me"'s. I get being jealous of friends and family who can have intercourse without restraint, when you'd give everything to have a pain-free encounter once!
But part of getting well is getting rid of that negativity. Instead of "Our first time sucked", it's thinking "He stuck by me to help me through this while some other guy might have packed; THAT'S romantic!". Instead of this not being your choice, it IS, and you have the power to change it! Is your boyfriend supporting you during treatment? It's pretty crucial to have your partner's involvement and positivity, since the opposite can actually increase symptoms. I successfully treated my own vaginismus at home without medical intervention by shifting my attitude and doing the exercises. Unfortunately, the vaginismus was secondary to my primary pain problem, and still returns during a bad flare. But I can tell you that even when it does come back, treating it is a snap. (This may not apply to you, but to me? I learned to let my first time go. Great, romantic, beautiful sex can and does happen, and it's very rarely the first time (or with vaginal intercourse, for that matter), anyway. I don't believe in virginity for myself, but when I do "give it up", I like to think it will be uninhibited by pain and enjoyed.)