Possibly TMI: I have vaginismus, I'm terrified of my prenatal appointment — The Bump
1st Trimester

Possibly TMI: I have vaginismus, I'm terrified of my prenatal appointment

I have a condition called vaginismus.  Bascially, I'm scared of penetration, and my vagina clenches itself shut whenever someone tries to get in there.  It took a lot of time and trust-building with my husband before I was even able to be intimate at all. Obviously, I have worked through it somewhat or I wouldn't be pregnant!

However, I have been to the OB/GYN three times before becoming pregnant (including the time I was diagnosed with this condition), and they were never able to get anything done with me.  A Q-tip alone made me whimper in pain because I was so tight and so scared.

I was reading about what to expect from a prenatal appointment here on the Bump, and it said they'll probably want to get a sample of cervical cells.  I don't know if I can do this!  I'm terrified!  Is this sample necessary?

I've been told that vaginismus doesn't affect childbirth because the baby is going out, not in, but I am prepared to accept the fact that I might need a C-Section (nothing wrong with this, just not what I'd prefer).  I absolutely want what's best for my baby, but I am so, so scared to go to the doctor :(

Re: Possibly TMI: I have vaginismus, I'm terrified of my prenatal appointment

  • I don't have any experience with this, but this is a medical condition, so your doctor should know what to do- don't be scared, thats why s/he is there!  A good doctor will help you through this.

    Good luck!
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  • At my first app I peed in a cup, they took some blood, did blood pressure, and went over health history. She did a quick and I mean quick check or look at my cervix to make sure it was closed and looking good. No swabs or anything. I assume you will tell them about it and maybe that will have an impact in the examine, but who knows. I do wish you the best.
    vercatosso
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  • Thai527Thai527 member
    edited July 2013
    So you have never had a pap smear? Yes, it is necessary to check for cervical cells that may lead to cancer. They also do an STD swab for obvious reasons. Can you find an OB that specializes in this or at least very familiar?
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  • Thai527 said:
    So you have never had a pap smear? Can you find an OB that specializes in this or at least very familiar?
    That's correct.  I've tried three times :(

    I hadn't considered looking for a specialist.  I live in a tiny town and have an insurance company that mainly covers local places.  I might consider looking for one, though!  That's a great idea.
  • Have you considered seeing a mental health therapist. Or a physical therapist. I had a couple of bladder infections last year so it caused my bladder to continue to feel like I had to go even though it was empty. I went to a PT to do some pelvic floor exercises to relax the area and it helped. Talk to your doc about getting a referral to help.
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    vercatosso
  • Thai527 said:
    So you have never had a pap smear? Can you find an OB that specializes in this or at least very familiar?
    That's correct.  I've tried three times :(

    I hadn't considered looking for a specialist.  I live in a tiny town and have an insurance company that mainly covers local places.  I might consider looking for one, though!  That's a great idea.
    Check again. Most insurance companies are not solely based out of small towns- they are from larger companies. They likely only gave you a list for your immediate area since those are the doctors you are most likely to see. Most companies you can pull up a doctor in any state that will accept your insurance, but they don't hand out a list because it's just too much info.

    Definitely check into it, for now and for the future. Fortunately they have changed the recommendation from getting a pap done annually to every 3 years, so that part wouldn't need to be done all the time. And beyond that test, there's really no reason for them to go in your vagina again while you are pregnant. You can decline cervical checks at the end.

    I didn't know that about the insurance!  Thank you!

    I also didn't know that they wouldn't need to get in there much except for the one test.  I feel a lot less freaked out than I did before!  Extra thank you!
  • I have only had my cervix checked twice this pregnancy, at 13 weeks and 24 weeks, both times for pain I was having and my doc making sure my cervix was closed. I had just had a pap 12 mos before so I did not have to get a new one now that the guidelines are 2 or 3 years.

    Just sharing my experience. Also all of my ultrasounds were abdominal, even at 9 weeks


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    vercatosso
  • Have you sought therapy? Maybe a good hypnosis therapist could work with you on meditation or therapy to get you over the hump? They do need to do the Pap smear, STD swab and One other swab in 3rd trimester.

    There is also the early transvaginal ultrasound if you want it, but you can refuse if this seems like too much. You just have to wait until an abdominal one becomes available/clear.

    Cervical checks happen during active labor (to see if you are ready to push). However you can decline them before then.

    Good luck!


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    vercatosso
  • Also, since you have built a level of trust with your husband--- do you think your H would mind helping with the Pap if your doctor verbally instructs him on the swab? I have no idea if this is even an option but it might be an idea to entertain?


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  • I understand but mine seems minor compared to yours. I never refused a pap smear or other necessary OB checks while pregnant but it was definitely uncomfortable. I went through physical therapy and it seemed to help. My OBGYN had to refer me to a specialist for the PT. Luckily after I had my son I've had absolutely no pain! Sex is actually enjoyable now! Yay!
    vercatosso
  • I think if your OB diagnosed you with this, they should have some help out there for you.
    @PrimRoseMama .. I like this idea if its possible of your husband helping some at the OB appt since you do have that level of trust with him. I don't know to what extent he would be able to assist, but every little bit should help.
    Therapy also sounds like a good option at this point.
    Wishing you the best of luck!
    vercatosso
  • It has to be partly mental, being that she herself even said she was scared, which causes her to clench up....I don't think this is the same as a broken leg!
    vercatosso
  • I have vaginusmus too and pregnant with my second. I found a doctor that is knowledgeable about this. If you can't I suggest to take some medical articles to the doctor. I have had biofeedback therapy to overcome this. Check if your hospital does that. My first was a c section because of the anxiety issues I was having. Insurance covered it. My doctor uses a lidocaine gel for Pap smears and they are doable. She also uses a baby speculum and let's me insert it myself. I did all of my swabs myself. The doctor instructed me how to do it. The was no internal testing during my pregnancy, only before and after. I inserted the vaginal ultrasound thing myself. Once inside the doctor was able to direct it. There are pelvic pain clinics in most big hospitals that can help you with this. Talk to your doctor if she is not familiar with the condition.
    vercatosso
  • vercatossovercatosso member
    edited July 2013
    I have vaginusmus too and pregnant with my second. I found a doctor that is knowledgeable about this. If you can't I suggest to take some medical articles to the doctor. I have had biofeedback therapy to overcome this. Check if your hospital does that. My first was a c section because of the anxiety issues I was having. Insurance covered it. My doctor uses a lidocaine gel for Pap smears and they are doable. She also uses a baby speculum and let's me insert it myself. I did all of my swabs myself. The doctor instructed me how to do it. The was no internal testing during my pregnancy, only before and after. I inserted the vaginal ultrasound thing myself. Once inside the doctor was able to direct it. There are pelvic pain clinics in most big hospitals that can help you with this. Talk to your doctor if she is not familiar with the condition.
    I'm glad to hear you successfully delivered your baby!  That gives me hope :)  Do you know if you'll need a C-Section again this time around?
  • Yes, actually I will. But one can successfully deliver vaginally too
    vercatosso
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