Medical Questions > Womens Health > Sexual Health - Women Forum

Painful intercourse - vaginismus ?

Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....
User Profile
Hello,

So I have been doing a lot of internet searching about this topic and most answers regarding this question are personal anecdotes or posts leading to this cure or that cure, now only $59.99!

So I thought the "ask a doctor" feature might be able to have some more professional answers.

The problem:
My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for nearly three years now and really love each other and want to have a physical relationship. While our emotional relationship is fantastic, our sexual relationship is...umm, well, we don't really have one. The problem isn't a lack of desire, but that it is very painful for her.
Perhaps some quick background may help. Both of us have had sex before meeting each other (we are in our 20's), and have had long-term relationships. In her previous relationship she was able to have sex, it never was painful for her, although she never particularly enjoyed it either, but she attributes this more to her ex's behavior (he was a kind of "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" kinda guy). Anyway, I am significantly more endowed than he is ( he was under 5 in. I am just above 7 in. and am also much thicker than he was...compare a cigar to a cigarette is what my girlfriend told me). My girlfriend is under the impression that my size is what is causing her pain.
I don't know if this is of any factual importance, but perhaps I should note that she is Chinese and I am German/American. Certainly I have noticed ( in bath houses, spas, etc.) that I am much larger than the average Chinese man, but are Chinese women also naturally "smaller" than their Western counterparts?

We have foreplay, although she says that she even finds this painful if there is any form of insertion. I have noticed that even with one finger she is extremely tight, and well, my penis is almost three-finger's width. So even if I insert my tongue or my finger she usually recoils in pain, and of course the same can be said for when I do so with my penis.
Interestingly enough, if just my glans penis is inserted the pain seems to be tolerable, however if I go any deeper she is in great pain and we have to stop intercourse. The other problem is that it is difficult to just keep the glans inserted as it tends to 'pop' out quite often.
We have managed to successfully copulate three times since we have met, but all times involved me abstaining from masturbation until right before penetration in order to expedite love making to short sessions where her pain would be tolerable.
But recently this has stopped working, and wasn't a very realistic expectation for the future as we have been discussing a possible marriage.
I have read of an involuntary condition called Vaginismus, but I should note that her OB/GYN did not see anything abnormal, nor does she have trouble enduring such an exam.

So, in a nutshell, could it actually be that her vagina is too small and my penis too big? I have read that there are some fingering techniques that could help stretch her a little, but it causes me great discomfort to put her through a painful experience. We both feel confident that there must be an answer, although she is not excited about the potential pain involved for her.

So any advice, could it really be vaginismus? Could it just be that she needs some stretching? If she just needs some stretching are there some non-painful methods? Are there some sexual positions which might make her feel more relaxed and comfortable?

Any advice would be greatly helpful

Thank you! tiphat
Did you find this post helpful?
|

replied October 25th, 2009
Especially eHealthy
There are medical vaginal dilation kits available where she can slowly stretch her vagina. Some times this will even be covered under medical insurance.

A big honkin baby can come out through the vagina so it is a very stretchable part. Because of the pain, she probably clamps up before you even get close and that will only make matters worse. She will also need to learn to relax her muscles.

She should definitely see a doctor for a pelvic exam so that she can be sure there are no other problems.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 26th, 2009
Thanks Susan,

Although I should clarify that not only is she Chinese but we are living IN China. There are still a lot of taboos regarding sexuality, particularly for women here. I have looked online for the dilation kits you mentioned but they seem to only be available overseas, and too expensive for our budget (unless I have been looking in the wrong places). I will suggest a pelvic exam to her, is this a routine/common procedure?
Are there any self-help remedies that you might be aware of as far as helping her relax/dilate?
She has never masturbated before in her life (one of those sexual taboos) and I thought perhaps if she were to start, it could help her feel more relaxed about penetration as well as helping her dilate...could this help, or am I just grasping at straws?

Thanks again
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 26th, 2009
yes she should go to the doctor..maybe she isnt wet enough and it pulls and hurts her..also maybe she should get on top of you and play around, make out.. etc.. and let her try to go down on it.. that way she is in control of how far it goes in..she has to be completly relaxed and turned on (wet) for her to be able to get anything inside her.. if shes not turned on, it will sort of hurt you to...you'll feel it pull on your penis, and it causes discomfort for you to... you could also go by her a vibrator and play with her with it..that would help get her ready and be able to tease her to make her extremely turned on...try that for a lil while and see if you can get the vibrator inside of her, without it hurting..
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 26th, 2009
make sure she doesnt have a pelvic problem or missing organs. have you tried talking her through it?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 26th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
No, size doesn't matter that much. Your penis should be just fine for her.

vaginismus is associated with spastic contractions in the vaginal canal and usually anxiety associated with sex. It doesn't sound like you're experiencing either of those. However It think it's a good idea to encourage her to see an OBGYN about this to make sure there isn't a physiological problem at root here.

As far as what you can do, comfort arousal and gradual penetration are the keys to prepare a woman for sex. Take more time for foreplay. penetrate her first with your fingers or small toys to allow her time to adjust to the feeling of being entered. If possible give her an orgasm before attempting intercourse it will help both with her muscular contraction and lubrication.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 26th, 2009
I think using medical lubricants are best-suited for your case. Consulting to a Certified Ob-gyne will help all medical questions answered regarding sexual intercourse.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 27th, 2009
Thanks for all the replies guys, definitely going to try some of your suggestions.

@nattynightmare and WOLF: as far as we know she is alright in that department, she saw an OBGYN about a month ago and has been to that doctor before and she never had a problem with the exam. The OBGYN also did not see anything missing or unusual, I don't know if they specifically HAVE TO look for pelvic problems, but her routine appointments never seemed to raise any questions and her OBGYN said she was healthy. I told her the next time she schedules an appointment she should also ask about the pelvic issue.

RE foreplay: This is a real issue, and perhaps you guys can give me some more ideas regarding this because it has been this issue which led me to believe Vaginismus was at play.
Foreplay is taboo in China and she never had a boyfriend who performed these actions on her, I am the first. Her previous boyfriend used his fingers, but she said he was very rough about it and she hated it, this having been her only previous experience with foreplay she is really hesitant about it.
I have tried performing oral on her several times, which she enjoys for about 5 min, but then begins to feel uncomfortable, even painful. Same with my fingers, foreplay only lasts about 5-10 min because she starts getting uncomfortable and feels pain. I know if she is not adequately stimulated this can be a cause of pain, but if foreplay makes her feel bad, how can I get her aroused? Specifically, WOLF mentioned I should try to give her an orgasm before penetration...how can I do that if she begins to feel uncomfortable after such a short time?
I should add that the first time we had sex was one of the three times we were actually successful, and she did not allow me to perform any foreplay AT ALL, I desperately wanted to "warm her up", but she was too embarrassed and we just went straight to sex, which, for one reason or another worked and was even enjoyable for her. The reason why I think there might be something psychological at play is because she never saw the full size of my penis, only after she saw my penis fully erect did we start having these problems. Also, she does not want to get on top because she thinks it would be MORE painful...

I have tried talking her through it, I have tried giving her massages to let her feel more relaxed, I have kissed her in her favorite spots, and for all intents and purposes she is as serene and tranquil as a hibernating bear, but the moment her panties come off she tenses up.

I will try getting a vibrator and see how that works out, I will try to use my fingers more gently and keep an open dialogue with her about it. In my opinion, and I may be wrong, I think its a comfort/trust issue, I don't believe there are any physical problems, but mainly psychological ones. If she could just be relaxed and not be so tense, I think we would be alright, but I really don't know how to make her feel at ease about these things.

Its frustrating because all other fronts of our relationship are fantastic. We truly love each other and have endured a (very)long-distance relationship with love and trust, we laugh at the same things, and enjoy time with each other. We both feel as if we could be married in the future because we already have a relationship built on love, trust, and openness. We are able to share deep secrets with each other and feel the most comfortable in each-others arms, so its a real bother that we can't physically manifest those feelings. She wants to have sex, but something is stopping her, she thinks its about size, but after reading your comments and my other research on the internet, I think it might be something deeper and more psychological.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies, I hope you guys have some suggestions on how let her feel more receptive towards foreplay and such things.

Thanks again!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 27th, 2009
Hi,

Maybe your girlfriend has a tilted uterus. I was getting a Transvaginal ultrasound done quite a while ago, when the Technician muttered, "mmm you have a tilted uterus. I have a tilted uterus, my friend has one also. It makes sex very, very painful for us." Smile

I asked her a few questions about tilted uterus, and then researched it when I got home.

I have never experienced the kind of pain during intercourse that you have described, that is just such a bummer for both you and her. But I have experienced painful menstruation.

Taboos about sexuality where she is can also be a problem. If that is the case, tell her to masturbate so that she can know and become comfortable with her body and find out what is pleasurable for her. This will also make her more relaxed when you two are together and make her more comfortable with her body responses. She can then teach you her pleasure spots and you can both explore different touch or positions that would be most comfortable for her.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 27th, 2009
if shes had sex before i dont think she has Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome. i do it just means you have a abnormally tight vagina. but i dont think thats the case if shes done it before.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 27th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Agent00Funk
China isn't that square. They keep their sex lives very private but the use foreplay and they do engage in kinky sex.

The trick to helping her orgasm is going to be to let her set the pace, as the gets excited she becomes very sensitive. Learn to recognize the signs that she's feeling uncomfortable and reduce the pressure and speed. Spend a LOT more time with foreplay before you begin oral or digital sex. Kiss, caress, touch. Intimacy builds comfort and amplifies arousal in women. It sounds from what you've posted as if she's struggling with both.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 27th, 2009
@Wolf
You are right they aren't that square, but traditional families are still...well...traditional. She has always felt very embarrassed about her private areas, it took her nearly three years to even feel comfortable enough to have foreplay. China may not be as square as it once was regarding sexuality, but a woman's sexuality, particularly women's sexual satisfaction has not enjoyed such an opening as was a result of the women's lib. movement back in the West.
But I can agree it is impossible to make sweeping generalizations about this, but in regards to my girlfriend I can say that these topics were taboo in her family.
Without revealing too much of her family history, I can also say that I understand why she would be hesitant to trust men. So even though we can spend hours snuggling, the moment it takes a turn to anything remotely sexual she tenses up. I mean we have spent hours in bed together, just talking and caressing and kissing, but if it moves any further than that she tenses up. And that is where I run into my problem because she wants to have sex, she has even initiated it before, but for some reason unknown to us (especially me) she tenses up right before any type of attempt can be made.

You have given me some great suggestion as far as easing her into the experience is concerned, I greatly appreciate your advice on this topic. I will give it a shot, and let her read your posts as well. Hopefully with some luck we can get it working as we both want to have a sexual relationship, but she is still caught up on the pain involved with sex. She says it feels like her vagina is going to burst, being a man I can't relate to such pain, but I imagine it can't be comfortable and certainly not pleasurable and I really want to find a way for her to enjoy this...
Please keep posting ideas and comments, you guys are really helping me out here and I really appreciate it.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 27th, 2009
maybe she makes you stop because she doesnt want to have an orgasm... i know that sounds strange, but she might be embarrased of how she is when she does have one.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 27th, 2009
I believe that if she tries someway to masturbate herself (alone)it could help, I believe it's a lot of psychological influence on her trouble. So she needs to start feeling confident about her sexuality before she becomes able to share her sexuality with you...I used to consider myself as a non taboos girl til I noticed that I as thinking my erh awesome thing was ugly. i took me a lot of time to get confident, til I didn't had troubles to foreplay with my bf...But when he started looking at ''there'' I was so embarrased...It's a lot of self-acceptance here. I'm sure that with your love and lots of patience both of you will overcome it!
A hug and good luck!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 28th, 2009
Community Volunteer
nattynightmare wrote:
if shes had sex before i dont think she has Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome. i do it just means you have a abnormally tight vagina. but i dont think thats the case if shes done it before.
That is not at all what Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome is. The syndrome has nothing to do with tightness or size of the vagina. It has to do with the vaginal canal being INCOMPLETE or ABSENT. And having sex has nothing to do with the syndrome either, once corrective surgery is done, it is entirely possible to have sex.
|
Did you find this post helpful?