Up to 20% of women will experience vaginismus (Genito-Pelvic Pain Penetration Disorder). This is something very very close to our hearts as we help women each day in overcoming this.
Today we wanted to share the despair, the hope and the joy through the personal account of ‘X’ on her Vaginismus journey with Embrace in the hope it will lead to others to reach out for help. Thank you ‘X’ for sharing your story….
My husband and I had decided to wait until we got married to have sex. We had been together since high school so you can imagine the anticipation leading up to the wedding night. It never occurred to me that we wouldn’t be able to consummate our marriage that night, but that’s exactly what happened. It was painful and penetration was impossible. Disappointed but still optimistic, we decided to take the wait-and-see approach and kept trying.
A year and a half went by with no improvement. I finally decided to seek help and went to an OBGYN. After countless ultrasounds, a D&C procedure, and a laparoscopic surgery, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I always suffered from painful periods and heavy bleeding which sometimes forced me to miss school or work. I thought that was completely normal but apparently it wasn’t. I felt relieved knowing that there was, in fact, a problem and was hopeful that my husband and I would be able to move forward after finding this out.
Unfortunately, we had no such luck. The Endometriosis diagnosis and treatment took three years and even though I felt much better after, we were still at square one with regard to our sex life. Although my husband was extremely supportive throughout this process, I felt my biological clock was ticking and really wanted to start a family soon. My doctor suggested seeing a sex therapist or a fertility therapist as Endometriosis was no longer the problem.
Feeling completely hopeless and out of options, I decided to do my own research. I came across the term Vaginismus and it seemed to accurately describe that feeling of hitting a brick wall which we experienced every time we had intercourse. I then found some online forums for its treatment and some people suggested pelvic floor physiotherapy. I had heard of physiotherapy for a bad back or a broken limb but never for a woman’s pelvic floor. Intrigued and pretty much open to trying anything, I searched for a pelvic floor physiotherapist in Singapore and came across Preet Singh at Embrace Physiotherapy.
I booked an appointment and was asked to fill out a questionnaire. The first thing that struck me was how comprehensive the questionnaire was. It covered everything from my medical history to my thoughts and feelings regarding pain as well as my sleeping habits. Some of the questions definitely made me wonder: What does this have to do with my problem? But in my very first session with Preet, I got my answer.
She explained how our pelvic floor muscles work and the importance of the mind-body connection. I also learnt how my years of dealing with Endometriosis made my pelvic floor muscles clench as a way of protecting myself against perceived pain. She was very knowledgeable and so easy to talk to. Together, we worked on my treatment plan which focused on a combination of relaxation and breathing techniques, pelvic floor examinations and exercises, dilator work as well as ways to involve my partner in my journey.
It took a lot of perseverance and commitment to routine, but my husband and I were finally able to achieve penetration within a span of 3 months. The experience was still not completely pain-free so I kept going to Preet. She encouraged me to continue my exercises and adjusted my exercise programme and treatment plan based on my feedback. I still consider myself a work in progress but I’m happy to share that I’m currently 6 months pregnant and it’s all thanks to the work I did with Preet and her constant support and encouragement.
Around this time last year I was frantically searching for solutions to my problem on the Internet and I can’t believe that I’m here now. I hope any other woman reading this knows that there is help out there and it starts with taking that leap and asking for it. While it was crucial for me to get medical treatment for my Endometriosis, the problem I first sought help for wasn’t solved until I met Preet. A holistic approach is vital when looking for help and that’s exactly what Embrace Physiotherapy offered me.
If you are experiencing symptoms of difficult penetration, please call/WhatsApp on 9780 7274 or get in touch over email to make an appointment. It’s common, not normal and help is available.
You can also visit our website to learn about other women’s conditions we treat through physiotherapy and how we can help you.