I am a (very young looking... ahem...) thirty year old woman, living with the condition vaginismus and feeling a bit annoyed about the whole thing.
Vaginismus is a seldom discussed, but actually very common, condition affecting woman. www.vaginismus.com describes it, in a very small nutshell, as
What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have
Meanwhile, while all of these things are happening you know it's crazy. Half the population have vaginas, and things are supposed to go in there! What the hell is wrong with you?!
It is worth pointing out here that vaginismus is a psychological condition. Not physical. There's nothing ACTUALLY wrong with the shape, size etc of my vag. It's all in the brain. Brilliant.
Dont worry though! This is not going to be one of those ranty, feel sorry for me and tell me it's going to be OK, sort of blogs.
I have two main aims:
1. Raise awareness and get people TALKING ABOUT this condition that has blighted my entire adult life. I am pretty sure most people don't even know it exists and those that do know about it (because they have it) are too embarrassed to say so.
2. Actually sit down face to face with another woman who has vaginismus, and have a coffee (or something stronger) and TALK ABOUT IT. Apparently this condition is common... where are all the women?!
I have been annoyed of late, as I have been trying very hard to overcome this condition through a range of delightful exercises, all aimed at me getting to know and love my vagina. These exercises are emotionally draining, uncomfortable and sometimes hilarious. If I had any other condition that commonly affects women, I would easily be able to find support groups, and other real live women to talk to, share stories with and support one another. Vaginismus is a very lonely condition. You know there are others out there, but you feel like you're the only one. Even on the very few online forums I've found, women use false names for fear of being found out.
Now the massive irony here is that I am hoping to raise awareness, and break down the stigma, but I am also currently using a false name and hiding my identity, for fear of being found out. At this stage, I'm not ready to be 'outed' (in fact, the only people that know I have vaginismus are my husband and my therapist, so dont feel offended. My mum doesnt even know.)
But hopefully over the weeks, months etc, as I continue to progress with treatment, this will change and I'll be able to be OPEN (vaginally and otherwise...!)
If you read this, and you want to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org