5 yrs ago, a painful lump starting rising on my inner labia after sex. It was rather hard and it hurt to sit. We realized it happened after intercourse and went away within a day or so. None of my docs could figure it out. Then it just went away for good but sex started hurting and within one year, four years ago this summer, intercourse went from being a wonderful thing to a torture treatment. First, penetration was still possible but very painful but it eventually became impossible. Now, I can't even wear tampons anymore. Even if I am able to insert one, removing it feels like knives are ripping me from the inside. My husband has been so patient but we have just hit the four year mark of our sexless existence. Now it is causing marital strife. I feel so confused. I have always loved sex and we really wanted to try for another child as we only have one but those dreams have slowly died. My ob/gyn says there is nothing wrong with me and it's in my head. Well, no it's not in my head...it's very real and it is ruining my marriage. I can't expect my spouse to stay in a sexless marriage and frankly I am just as sexually frustrated as he is. I bought a program to treat vaginismus since it sounded like that may be the issue but we did the whole thing, every page, and yet I could only get the smallest dilator in without excruciating pain. Now, we don't even try because the last three times we did I actually started bleeding...now how could that be in my head? Is there anyone out there who may have some insight? I am desperate, depressed, and feeling like such a failure as a wife!
What you describe sounds very similar to conditions called vulvar vestibulitis or vulvodynia. Exquisite sensitivity of the vulva and vaginal opening can make penile insertion and even tampoon insertion extremely painful. Even the most delicate touch can cause intolerable pain. Vulvodynia, dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and interstitial cystitis are all closely related conditions that affect many women.
My favorite resource, program and book for such pelvic pain disorders is through www.pelvicpainhelp.com. Finding and participating in a pelvic pain program where you can get professional guidance might be the best way to save your marriage.
Do not let guilt or blame make matters worse. You are not at fault and there is more to being a "good wife" than penile penetration.
Dr. Christina Lasich, MD
Thank you so much! I am heading to that website right now!