Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Broken Record

Although I have vaginismus,  and therefore cannot have intercourse, I have been taking the contraceptive pill for years.  Paradoxical, right?

Without going in to too much gory, bloody detail- I take the contraceptive pill to regulate my periods. Because without it, my period is a total beast and hangs around for, like, 10 days.  I need that pill!

I'm now going to run you through my medical history...

I first spoke to my doctor about my suspicions that I have a dodgy vagina when I was 21.  I was told I had vaginismus by a psychosexual therapist a few months later.  Hooray.  Diagnosis!

When I turned 25, I started receiving letters from the doctor, telling it me was time to come for my smear test.  Obviously, my vaginismus head did the only thing it knew how to, and scrunched each of those letters up and threw them in the the bin. WHERE THEY BELONG. No speculum in my vagina, thanks!

When I was 23, I registered with a new doctor, and at my initial appointment, the nurse said she would do my smear test.  You know... seeing as you're here...  I went beetroot red and mumbled that I had never had sex.  'SPEAK UP? EXCUSE ME?'  I have never had sex.  I have vaginismus.  It says so in my records... doesn't it?

It did not.

When I was around 25ish, I broke my toe.  I went to see my doctor, who confirmed that it was indeed broken, and there was nothing he could do.  I just had to ride it out.  I thanked him, and was about to hobble out the door, when he stopped me.  He said, seeing as I was here, we might as well have a wee look at my records and just make sure everything's up to date.  He asked my how I was getting on with my smoking... I looked at him, baffled.   I have never smoked.  He insisted that I must have once been a smoker, because it said on the record to ask me how I was getting on with quitting.  After a lot of backwards and forwards 'YES YOU DID'... 'No I didn't!' he dropped the issue and moved on to smear tests.

Again, I went bright red and looked at my hands...  SorryIhaventhadsexsoIdontthinkIneedasmeartest. 'PARDON? SORRY I DIDNT CATCH THAT? SAY IT AGAIN- LOUDER AND SLOWER PLEASE!' I have never had sex.  I have vaginismus.  It should be in my record...  Oh never mind...

You can see this pattern emerging, right?

Every time I have gone to the doctor with a minor, non-vaginismus related ailment, I have been asked to drop my pants and let them stick a speculum in my vagina.  And every time, I look at the floor, turn red and have to explain AGAIN that I have not had sex.  I cannot have sex.  I have vaginismus.

Why is it not in my records?

Is it not a genuine enough condition?  Does it not deserve to go in my notes?  Do I not deserve a break from having to tell that same story, over and over.  Sometimes to the same doctor?

This morning, I went to the doctor to get a new prescription of contraceptive pills. This time I was prepared and I was NOT going to look at the floor.

We had a bit of chit-chat... ANY SIDE EFFECTS?... No everything is fine...


That's incorrect. I've actually never had a smear test.  Ever.


I was diagnosed with vaginismus nearly 10 years ago. I've seen lots of doctors about it.  That's weird that you don't have a note of it on my record.


No. I have vaginismus.  I'm having treatment at the moment. I'll come back once I've had sex.  Which will be quite soon, hopefully!

And then I left.  Head held high.  Not ashamed.

I hope next time I go to the doctors, I don't need to explain the vaginismus story.

Maybe because they have actually written it down this time.

Or maybe because I'll no longer have it.

Tell me your doctor stories from hell...  and let's start some kinda vaginismus revolution or whatever!  heyvaginismus@gmail.com


  1. That is amazing! Weirdly enough I just had a similar conversation with my counsellor on Monday, where I talked about how frustrating it is to have to constantly tell GPs/nurses that I have vaginismus, even though I've told so many of them. I ended up in a vaginismus related situation where I ended up writing in a letter of complaint to my surgery. I swear half the time they don't even have a clue what it is. I have to book in for a smear test soon, I can have them but they are very painful. I'm taking my boyfriend with me for backup this time because I don't think medical professionals take me seriously, and I hope having him there will give what I tell them some clout. I'll no doubt have to have a colposcopy too as I have every year and they're horrendous x x

    1. Hope they take you seriously this time! Though it's so annoying that it takes such a long time for it to sink in with doctors!! Let me know how it goes x

  2. Just want to say I found this blog four years later and I feel it is still SUPER relevant to my situation. I remember getting the smear test invitations during uni that just *assumed* you had had sex... and made me feel very broken and inadequate!
    So thank you for writing all of this!
    (Also I too am on the pill, have vaginismus and I'm learning to drive... too many freaky coincidences XD )