Woman with vaginismus explains why first sexual experience was ‘heartbreaking’

Having sex for the first time is a painful experience for many women but for those with a condition called vaginismus, it’s much more complicated.

The NHS describes it as "when the vagina suddenly tightens up just as you try to insert something into it".

It’s an automatic reaction that can be distressing and makes sex painful or sometimes impossible.

Isley Lynn, 30, knew something was "seriously wrong" after her first boyfriend, but had had problems from an early age.

She told to the BBC : "I tried my first tampon when I was 10 years old. It was excruciating, it felt like there was no hole, like there was a wall in front of where a hole should be."

When it came to her first sexual experience she said she found it "heartbreaking".

"I felt at fault for something that wasn’t my fault," she added.

Isley describes vaginismus as being "not always in control of your body" – which can be frustrating for people with the condition and can impact how they feel in relationships.

She said she felt "afraid" her partners thought she didn’t love them or wasn’t attracted to them.

Isley was diagnosed with vaginismus in her late teens and underwent treatment to try to resolve the issue.

She was treated with vaginal trainers which slowly increase in size to try to relax the muscles as well as physiotherapy.

The NHS website also suggest psychosexual therapy, pelvic floor exercises and sensate focus – exercises that help to relax and increase sex drive – as possible treatments for vaginismus.

Isley realised the treatments she was getting weren’t working and came to the conclusion that "being fixed" wasn’t the solution to her long-term happiness.

Read More

Women’s health

  • The cost of having a vagina
  • Why our fear of ‘down there’ is harmful
  • Should you leave a tampon in overnight?
  • What your period says about your health
  • Odd signs your period is about to start
  • How to check your bra fits properly
  • Dr reveals what’s normal ‘down there’
  • What breast cancer looks and feels like

She says she was asked by a therapist how much she wants to be "normalised" and that caused her to change her mentality.

Isley has since written a play about her experiences, called Skin a Cat.

In the final scene of the play, the main character realises "she doesn’t have to have a sex life like everyone else’s to enjoy it.

It’s difficult to estimate how many women in UK have vaginismus although a 2017 study suggests one in 10 British women find sex painful .

However, this could be down to a number of different reasons – with vaginismus being just one of them.

Source: Read Full Article