If you’re having vaginal pain that prevents you from having a pap test or a vaginal ultrasound, sex or tampon insertion, you’re not alone. About 20% of women experience this and develop chronic pain, avoid intimacy, lose self-confidence, have decreased or no desire or feel depressed about it. Examinations can be severely painful. Which is why it’s important for you to understand the causes and proper steps to take when you have pain at the vaginal entrance and during deeper insertion. Doctors often don’t recognize the issue and you may feel or hear that “it is in your head”. It is not in your head. This is real pain!
What NOT to do:
Don’t think it is in your mind or due to poor sexual technique.
Don’t think that you have done anything wrong, it just happens.
Don’t blame your partner of let this get in the way of a healthy relationship, get help to fix it.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you to have more sex or that there is nothing wrong. Pain is pain!
What’s causing it?
More often than not, the pain during sex can be narrowed down to two common diagnoses:
a narrow entrance or a tender, painful vaginal entrance caused by inflammation called Vestibulodynia (some call this spectrum of symptoms Vulvodynia or Vestibulitis and/or Vaginismus).
Pain at the vaginal opening and in the vagina can also often be associated with tender muscle spasm, commonly called vaginismus. Although there are other alternative diagnoses, they are rare.
What’s the difference between pain from a narrow vagina vs inflammation?
Putting it simply, if you have pain only when inserting something larger, but none when you insert a small tampon or finger, then your vaginal entrance/Vestibule may be too small.
If however, any touching of the area, especially the back part of the entrance towards the anus side, you likely have Vestibulodynia. Try this simple 3 step self test:
Performing a Self-Examination:
Begin by gently putting a finger (with lubrication) into your vagina only as far as your second knuckle.
Push on the back part of the entrance just before the hymen.
(Don’t be afraid, no harm will come to you if you are gentle.)
If you feel tender or pain especially on the back part on the vaginal entrance, you likely have vestibulodynia.
See a Gynecologist or your Family Doctor because you need local treatment at the entrance area (vestibule) and possibly pelvic physiotherapy. It can take many months to feel better so it’s best to start treatment soon.
Treatment can be simple and at Meridia Medical, we’ve developed a combination ointment that has proven to be very helpful for those who suffer from Vestibulodynia. We’ll make sure to help you through every step and get you the treatment you need. If the entrance is too small, there are treatments to fix that.
Again, do not believe others who tell you to have more sex or that there is nothing wrong. The pain is not in your head but real at the vaginal entrance. Repeated attempts at sexual vaginal penetration will not make it better. In fact, you may feel increasing pain, you may have anticipation anxiety, you may resent your partner, you may feel down, lose confidence and lose your sexual drive/libido and eventually avoid sex.