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My story of vaginismus

Fair warning: the following post is about sex and is somewhat explicit.

I can remember only one time in high school that I tried to wear a tampon. I grabbed one of my mom’s, sat on the toilet, and tried to put it in. It wouldn’t go. I remember it just felt tight and uncomfortable. Confused and slightly embarrassed (what girl doesn’t even know how to wear a tampon?), I gave up and went back to wearing pads.

That was the beginning of my story of vaginismus, although it would be a long time before I learned that word. The definition of vaginismus is “vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse.” It can cause extremely uncomfortable sex and can also interfere with pelvic exams or (as I learned) wearing tampons.

Vaginismus put an incredible burden on my romantic and sexual life. It left me feeling guilty that I couldn’t have sex with my partner even when I wanted to. I felt like my own body was sabotaging me. I want to tell you my story of trying to have a sexual relationship with vaginismus. If you’re going through what I did, I want you to know that you’re not alone, and it can get better.