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    An_194551 posted:
    I'm 25 years old and recently diagnosed with "vaginismus".
    I can't insert tampons, go through OBGYN exams, or have vaginal intercourse because of extreme pain inside my vagina.
    I first attempted vaginal intercourse on my wedding night (at 17 years old). We used condoms and extra lubricant and did sexual activities we were familiar with (manual stimulation and oral sex), which we both enjoyed immensely. When it came time to attempt penetration, it hurt right away, even when he was just pressing the tip of his penis against my vaginal opening. I thought this was normal, so I allowed it to continue. I tried to relax, using breathing techniques and light meditation. The further he entered me, the worse the pain became. I had him stop because it got to the point of bringing tears to my eyes.
    We continued attempting intercourse with no success.
    I went to see my OBGYN, and since an exam was out of the question, they said nothing was wrong with me.
    The pattern of painful penetration attempts continued.
    We ended up divorcing over this (and other issues).
    It has been 8 years now and I still can't handle vaginal penetration. I have tried extra lubrication, different masturbation positions (masturbation is wonderful for me), and very small sex toys. Nothing seemed to work.
    I went to a different OBGYN and spoke about my issues, and she diagnosed me with vaginismus.
    The "cure" is to use vaginal dilators (basically what I've been doing with the small sex toys).
    I am seeing a counselor, psychiatrist and sex therapist as well as working solo on my issue.
    I enjoy other types of sexual activity (manual, oral, anal).
    Are there other women who choose, for whatever reason, to not have vaginal intercourse? Besides not being able to have children naturally, will this choice hinder me in life?
    I'm open to feedback and suggestions, but please try to be sensitive. This issue has haunted me for many years.
    georgiagail responded:
    If your concern is whether your inability to have vaginal intercourse will affect your health down the road, the answer is no.

    misskitteh responded:

    I just read your post...and I have the same issue. A little bit different how it happened though. I'm 28 years old, and I've been sexually active for 10 years....with no problems whatsoever, until last year. I have extreme pain during intercourse, so much so, that I just can't even do it. I find that sometimes if my boyfriend and I do it more frequently the pain is not quite as bad, but honestly, I don't want to ever have sex, because I now associate it with pain. I always end up crying because the pain is THAT bad, it feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife. My boyfriend is extremely patient and understanding, so for that I am very lucky. But it is so frustrating that after 10 years of being fine....I am all of a sudden experiencing such immense pain. I would like to have kids one day down the road...I worry that I won't be able to even try.

    I hope you can find some answers. My doctor(s) have told me the same as you..the diagnosis of vaginismus, seeking counseling, or a vaginal dilator. Actually, she has even prescribed Valium to try to relax me...I haven't tried it yet, because I'm just so turned off my the thought of the pain.

    The only thing that seems to help...and I hate to say this...but I don't feel much pain if I've had a few alcoholic beverages...I told my doctor that too. It's sad, but that's the only way that it's not completely unbearable.

    Good luck to you!!!
    haunted213 replied to misskitteh's response:
    Thank you to everyone who replied to my original posting. It's comforting to know that there are others out there who understand what I'm going through--although I am sorry that we have this issue!
    I have good news to report. I went to my OBGYN and was able to complete my first pap-smear! The results are normal.
    It wasn't easy. I had to take a muscle relaxer (which I use for an unrelated condition) which helped alleviate the anxiety, plus my doctor was extremely patient. I did some deep breathing during the exam, and it was over before I realized what happened.
    Afterwards, my doctor gave me a proud hug and my husband almost cried.
    I still can't tolerate sexual penetration, but it's a work in progress.
    An_194552 replied to haunted213's response:
    Hi. I too suffer from vaginismus, but that was not always the case. I had pain-free sex without any problems for about 4 years (including at least 6 months with my now husband). I started getting BV infections, which made sex painful. I would take meds and the BV cleared up, but there was still pain. It took me visiting 4 different ob/gyn's to get the correct diagnosis, as all the others told me there was nothing wrong and to "drink a glass of wine" (ugh). Once I got the correct diagnosis, my husband and I went to a sex therapist for a year, with some progress but I defintely was not able to have pain-free sex most of the time. I started seeing a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic pain disorders, and by working with her and the dilators within 2 months I was able to have pain-free sex. Soon after I got pregnant about 8 months later was when I started having vaginismus again, but I've started working with my dilators as the PT showed me and I'm able to have pain-free sex again. I would HIGHLY recommend finding a physical therapist (PT) who is qualified to work with vaginismus. A PT can teach you how to properly use the dilators in order to basically stretch out your pelvic floor muscles that are most likely high in muscle tone, therefore making them "dysfunctional." You can learn so much about them by going to one. You can find one on by looking for one in your area who specializes in women's health. Also, there is a support group on yahoo groups if you search "vaginismus." Some women who have vaginismus are able to conceive through other methods, such as the syringe method. I know how easy it is to get into that mindset of it being OK to not have sex and being intimate through other means. However, speaking as someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I would highly recommend doing what you can to overcome it and not get discouraged, because you CAN do it. Part of overcoming it is being motivated and determined to, and if you're thinking that you'd be OK for the rest of your life not having sex, then it's going to be that much harder to overcome it.
    relationshipcast responded:
    I'm a casting director in NYC and we are working with a major cable network on a new series about committed couples who have yet to consummate their relationships.

    [br>Each couple will have the opportunity to go on a weekend-long intimacy retreat with world renowned Christian relationship experts as they work together on their journeys. Whether you have chosen abstinence for spiritual, medical, or emotional reasons, we will work with two committed people who are interested in taking the next steps in their relationship. The goal of this retreat and the ultimate series is to build a strong foundation as each couple embarks on a new and exciting chapter. If you would like the chance to work with the best sexual therapists in the country to enhance your emotional and physical life with your partner, this opportunity is for you. [br>[br>For more information and to talk to a casting director, please email
    tlkittycat1968 responded:
    If you can find a caring partner, it shouldn't hinder you. There was a former sex therapist on these boards who had a patient who had the same problem. She got pregnant with twins by having her husband ejaculate on her vaginal opening and delivered them via c-section.

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