My Pelvic Pain Experience

I knew something was wrong when my doctor gave me my first internal exam. I was considering having sex for the first time, and I’d experienced some pain using tampons, so I wanted her to check everything out for me. The minute she started the exam I was in excruciating pain. She pulled her fingers out and said, “You should probably use a lubricant during sex”. I left the doctor’s office in tears and bawled in the car as my mom drove home.


I had never experienced that kind of pain before. It felt like she was tearing my flesh apart from the inside. My skin burned and I was sore for hours after the appointment. There was no way that that was caused by vaginal dryness.


I made an appointment with a women’s clinic, and saw a gynaecologist. She asked me questions about my pain before proceeding with the exam. She walked me through the process, and while it was still incredibly painful, it was overall a better experience. She then diagnosed me with vaginismus and vulvodynia, and gave me a referral for a pelvic floor physiotherapist.


I went home, and obviously the first thing I did was sit down with my laptop and google. I found out that vaginismus means that my muscles spasm when something’s inserted into my vagina. Vulvodynia means that I have chronic pain around my vulva.


I won’t lie, I avoided making an appointment with the physiotherapist for months. When I finally did make the appointment, I found myself becoming anxious of the whole situation. In two different clinical settings I had been put through a painful exam, and I wasn’t ready to have another one.


The first time I met with my physiotherapist she sat me down and had me fill out a patient intake form related to my pelvic pain. There were questions that asked about my mental health, my diet, almost every aspect of my life seemed to be related to my pelvic floor. She educated me about the muscles of my pelvic floor and then she began her physical exam. I asked her not to do an internal exam because I found they hurt too much. She was incredibly understanding and said that she would only do an internal when I was comfortable, and that she would stop if I was in pain. We did an internal exam during my fourth session and she confirmed the diagnoses of the gynaecologist.


My physiotherapy sessions usually consist of external massage of muscles going from my diaphragm to my knees. After that my physiotherapist will put on a pair of gloves and use some lubricant to start working on my pelvic floor muscles internally. She always stops if my pain is above a three on the classic 1-10 scale. I have at home exercises that I’m supposed to do, but I’ll admit that I almost never do them.


I’ve been doing this physiotherapy for about eight months now, and I can honestly say it has helped so much. I can easily insert a tampon now and it’s completely painless. I’m no where near ready to have sex but I know that with continued treatment it will happen eventually.


TLDR; if you think somethings wrong you’re probably right, please make an appointment with a healthcare specialist and get it all checked out. 


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