Seeking Guidance From Specialists
Where to Start
It's important to rule out any other medical or physical conditions that could be preventing pain-free intercourse. With the possibility of an underlying physical cause to vaginismus, it’s in your best interest to have a proper diagnosis. After all, you deserve the correct treatment plan
Medical diagnosis is typically determined by gynecological exam to rule out other possible conditions and to review patient history, but there are several specialists who may help during the treatment process.
A medical doctor who has specialized training in diagnosing and treating female pelvic health issues.
Many physical therapists will work with patients to set up home treatments, allowing women to work at their own pace, in privacy, and at a lower cost.
There are many other specialists who have experience with sexual pain and vaginismus, including sex therapists, psychologists, and counselors.
A Time For Boldness
To help women obtain a reliable diagnosis for penetration issues, the following sample script includes helpful tips to prepare for an examination.
The following guide provides examples related to vaginismus, but, it can be easily modified to help communicate the details of any sexual or pelvic pain problem.
Self-Guided History Through Sexual Pain
Introduce the problem
“I have been having problems with pain during sex and hope you will be able to help me.”
Provide a description of the pain
It happens when… “my husband tries insert his penis in my vagina” or “once he is inside and starts to move, I feel burning and tighten up,” etc.
The pain is located… “at the entrance to my vagina. My vagina is like a wall; he just cannot get it in” or “after he is inside I feel burning around the penis just inside the entrance,’ etc.
The pain lasts… “as long as he keeps trying, especially if we try forcing it in. Once he stops, there is no pain.”
This has been happening since… “our honeymoon two years ago and it‘s continued to happen every time we try to have sex” (primary vaginismus) or “my hysterectomy eight months ago” (secondary vaginismus), etc.
It feels like… “burning” … “stinging” … “like he’s hitting a wall” … “tightness during/on entry,” etc.
I have tried to reduce or eliminate the pain by… “using lubricant, changing sexual positions and relaxing more.”
I am able/unable to… “insert a tampon or complete a gynecological exam.”
Mention any past problems
Have you previously had any sexually transmitted diseases, yeast infections, bladder problems, or any pelvic pain outside of penetration?
Mention any past sexual abuse
You may find this hard to talk about, but remember that the abuse was not your fault.
State what you think the problem is
“I think it may be vaginismus. My symptoms are similar to those outlined in an article I read. But, I have read there are other things that can cause pain during sex and would like to have them ruled out.”