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6 Ways to Tackle the Gynecologist when You Have Vaginismus

The gynecologist’s office – for those of use with vaginismus, this can be a place often associated with fear, pain, and dread. We’ve all heard the horror stories, and for some, we’ve even experienced it. Between the infamous stirrups, the crisp paper gown, and the ominous cold metal speculum, it seems more like a scene […]

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Slow Progress doesn’t Mean You’re Stuck

Living with vaginismus often means becoming intimately acquainted with dilators. There’s a bit of a love-hate relationship there (well, truly a hate-hate relationship until you finally heal). Many of us spend countless hours, perhaps even months, on a single size, feeling the frustration of what seems like no progress at all. I’ve been there, stuck

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The Biggest Mistake You Can Make with Dilators

Dilators and vaginismus – two words that often evoke frustration and discomfort. If you’re on the journey of overcoming vaginismus, you’re likely familiar with the mixed emotions that come with using dilators. They come in a set, each size hinting at progress, yet the comparison can trigger anxiety about how “small” your current dilator is

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Vaginismus, your Great Aunt Ruth, and the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and togetherness, but for those managing vaginismus, it can also present unique challenges. The decision-making process around whether to continue dilating during the holidays when your Great Aunt Ruth is around doesn’t have to be stressful. But maintaining a stress-free mindset is going to be key

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An Ultimate Guide to Dilating During Your Menstrual Cycle

Vaginismus, a condition characterized by involuntary muscle contractions of the vaginal wall muscles, can be quite frustrating to manage. While the path to overcoming this condition is often characterized by determination and patience, something like a menstrual cycle can get in the way of this. One of the more frequent questions I get asked is

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8 Common Myths Surrounding Vaginismus

Vaginismus, a condition characterized by involuntary muscle contractions of the pelvic floor, is often shrouded in misconceptions and misunderstanding. These myths can perpetuate stigma and hinder those affected from seeking proper help and support. Let’s dismantle these misconceptions and shed light on the nuanced and multifaceted reality of vaginismus. Myth 1: Vaginismus is rare. Reality:

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The Unseen and Unacknowledged World of Vaginismus 

For many women who face vaginismus, the challenges they encounter go far beyond their pelvic floor response. There is an unseen and often unacknowledged impact of vaginismus on the body, mind, and soul that can leave a woman feeling defeated beyond her understanding.  The problem with our ‘typical’ approach Many women who experience vaginismus are

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How To Restore Intimacy When You’re Okay with Never Having Sex Again

I’ve said it myself and I hear my clients say it all the time “I’d be perfectly content to go the rest of my life without ever having sex again.” For those who’ve faced vaginismus or painful sex, this statement is all too relatable and understandable. Why would we want to participate in something that

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The Striking Correlation Between Vaginismus and the High-Functioning Woman

I have found that vaginismus, a condition characterized by involuntary vaginal muscle contractions, often follows a typical pattern for presentation. I’ve noticed a striking correlation between vaginismus and high-functioning women. They’re often goal-oriented, and achievement-driven. They like a good habit tracker and are often people-pleasers. They love a challenge, but also might experience some anxiety.

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God designed you to be a sensual, sexual woman. And He said that it “was good”

One of the hardest truths for me to believe about myself was that I am a sensual, sexual woman, and God sees this as good. But healing from this distorted view of my sexual design allowed me to progress in healing from vaginismus. Unfortunately ideas like purity culture have perpetuated the idea that sensuality is

God designed you to be a sensual, sexual woman. And He said that it “was good” Read More »

How Feeling Your Feelings can Fuel Your Vaginismus Recovery

Living in a world dominated by individual progression, accomplishments, daily routines and demands, distracts us from the basic art of feeling our feelings. But what if unlocking this basic emotional skill could hold the key to alleviating whole body tension and even triumphing over conditions like vaginismus? There is an intricate interplay between the nervous

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The Amazing Link Between Your Body’s Signaling System, Your Emotions, & Vaginismus

There is an amazing and profound interplay between our body’s physical sensations, emotional responses, and vaginismus. Visceral afferents, often overlooked but crucial, serve as the messengers of this intricate relationship. By discreetly transmitting signals from our internal organs to our brain, they offer insight into a deeper understanding of emotions and the means to regulate

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3 Ways to Handle a Set-Back in your Vaginismus Recovery

Vaginismus, a condition characterized by involuntary pelvic floor muscle contractions, can be a challenging journey towards recovery. For those who’ve battled it for any length of time, we know there are periods of great and encouraging progress, but we’re also painfully aware of those inevitable regression periods. When setbacks arise, they create vulnerable moments of

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8 Unique Ways a Nervous System-Informed Biopsychosocial Approach will Create Lasting Results with your Vaginismus Journey

In the pursuit of effective and comprehensive healing from vaginismus, a nervous system based biopsychosocial approach provides the holistic and lasting healing that can often be missing from traditional vaginismus treatment plans. This approach recognizes the intricate interplay between the nervous system, the brain, the environment, and pain perception, leading to sustainable relief and long-term

8 Unique Ways a Nervous System-Informed Biopsychosocial Approach will Create Lasting Results with your Vaginismus Journey Read More »

6 Practical Tips to Better Support Your Partner on Her Vaginismus Journey

As a loving partner or husband, your role in supporting your wife’s healing journey from vaginismus is invaluable. You are a valuable support system that can come beside her in her recovery and offer her the support, love, and encouragement she needs to keep persevering in this. One crucial aspect of the vaginismus journey is

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3 Ways to Foster Psychological Safety to Enhance your Vaginismus Recovery

Psychological safety has a profound impact on your vaginismus recovery, influencing your dilator routine, your relationship with your partner, and, most importantly, your relationship with yourself. Understanding and fostering psychological safety can create an environment of acceptance, respect, and emotional security, supporting your healing process in profound ways. Psychological safety entails experiencing a sense of

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Don’t Heal Your Vaginismus for Him, Heal it for Yourself.

In the realm of vaginismus, a condition that affects many women worldwide, it is natural to be drawn to the idea of healing solely for the sake of penetrative sex for your partner. The desire to engage in penetrative intercourse and experience a deeper connection with your loved ones is undoubtedly noble and compassionate. However,

Don’t Heal Your Vaginismus for Him, Heal it for Yourself. Read More »

Is my Sexual Pain from Vaginismus or a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor?

When it comes to sexual pain, there’s more than meets the eye. Many women come to me uncertain of whether they’re facing Pelvic Floor Hypertonicity or Vaginismus. Understanding these distinct yet connected conditions can help us navigate potential challenges and empower us to seek the right care. Now of course, getting professionally examined for sexual

Is my Sexual Pain from Vaginismus or a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor? Read More »

3 Reasons Why Your Vagina is Reluctant to Heal from Vaginismus

Vaginismus can be a deeply distressing and often misunderstood condition affecting many women. Despite the strong desire to heal and overcome vaginismus, some women may find their progress hindered. There are three main reasons why your vagina may be reluctant to heal from vaginismus and understanding these obstacles can shed light on the complexities of

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6 Practical Ways to Stay Motivated on Your Vaginismus Journey

Dealing with vaginismus can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating journey. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and lacking motivation along the way. Factors such as a fear of failure, the repetitive nature of the work involved, and the lack of external accountability due to the private nature of the condition can all contribute

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Exploring Alternative Paths to Pleasure for Those with Vaginismus

When you have vaginismus, intimacy can be a drag. If you’re like I was, you may constantly feel like you’re lacking or doing “consolation prize” sex. However, it’s essential to remember that sexual intimacy encompasses a wide range of experiences beyond penetrative intercourse, all are equally validating and enjoyable (some are much more enjoyable than

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Discovering Your Pleasure: A Practical Guide to Mindful Exploration of 30+ Erogenous Zones

If you have a history of painful sex or vaginismus, finding pleasure and arousal can be a challenge. But a fun way to help your nervous system switch into arousal mode is to spend some time engaging with your body’s specific erogenous zones. When it comes to pleasure, our bodies are a treasure trove of

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Breaking free from purity culture: Embracing the gospel-centered View

Purity culture, prevalent in Christian communities, places an excessive emphasis on sexual abstinence and the significance of virginity before marriage. However, this movement often distorted the true essence of Christian ethics and identity. There are many myths perpetuated by purity culture, more than we can cover in a blog post. But here are some of

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Leveraging neuroplasticity for your vaginismus journey

Neuroplasticity, the remarkable ability of our brains to rewire and reshape themselves, holds the key to your vaginismus healing and transformation. It shatters the belief that we are bound by limitations or past experiences, offering us the possibility to create new pathways, forge positive connections, and redefine our relationship with vaginismus. Neuroplasticity has a profound

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The Inner Workings of Sexual Arousal: How our Nervous System Reacts

Have you ever wondered what happens in our bodies during sexual activity? A fascinating study conducted by Cindy M. Meston and published in The American Journal of Cardiology offers valuable insights into the role of our nervous system in sexual arousal. In this article, we’ll explore the complex dance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous

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Understanding & Recognizing Vaginal Dissociation

Empowering women to embrace a fulfilling intimate life and reclaim their sexual well-being is a cause that resonates deeply with me. As someone familiar with the challenges presented by vaginismus, I am acutely aware of a significant hurdle that often accompanies this condition: vaginal dissociation. The very notion of disconnecting from a part of ourselves

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Unleash Your Pelvic Power: The Art of Breath for a Vibrant Pelvic Floor

Unlocking the secret to a strong and resilient pelvic floor is like embarking on an exhilarating adventure. As a pelvic floor & vaginismus enthusiast, I’m frequently asked, “What’s the ultimate exercise for the pelvic floor?” Prepare to be amazed because the answer lies in something as natural as breathing. Forget the usual suspects like yoga

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Why your vagus nerve is the key to your vaginismus recovery

The vagus nerve has been gaining attention in recent years as researchers continue to uncover its importance in regulating bodily functions and maintaining overall health. This nerve, also known as the wandering nerve, is the longest nerve in the body and is responsible for a wide range of functions, including communication between the brain and

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Using pelvic wands to manage pelvic pain and dysfunction.

Pelvic wands have become increasingly popular as a tool for managing pelvic pain and dysfunction. A pelvic wand is a medical tool used for self-care or by healthcare professionals to alleviate pain or discomfort in the pelvic region. It is designed to be inserted into the vagina and has different end points that can be

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The surprising effectiveness of online vaginismus programs

If you’re struggling with vaginismus, it’s essential to know that you’re not alone, and help is available, even if you’ve found getting help to be laborious, elusive, or impossible. Vaginismus is a common condition that affects many women, making it difficult or painful to have sexual intercourse or undergo gynecological examinations. However, one of the

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Why you should add a holistic mind-body approach to your vaginismus recovery

Vaginismus is a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily contract, making penetration during sexual activity, gynecological exams, and even tampon insertion painful or impossible. It can have a significant impact on a woman’s physical, emotional, and sexual well-being. While dilating is a common treatment for vaginismus, it may not be enough to help women recover

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The common link between GI distress and vaginismus

The nervous system plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s stress response and maintaining overall health. A dysregulated nervous system can lead to increased stress levels and a variety of physical symptoms, including gastrointestinal (GI) distress and vaginismus. In this article, we will explore the connection between a dysregulated nervous system, low-lying stress, and

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God’s design for sexuality and how we’ve messed it up

Sexuality within marriage is a topic that has been overlooked or miscommunicated by the church for a long time, leading to stigmatization of sex and a lack of education and understanding of sexuality as a whole. However, the Bible speaks incredibly positive about sex in the context of marriage and views it as a gift

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Positive psychology, mindfulness-to-meaning, & vaginismus

Positive psychology is a rapidly growing field that focuses on developing positive psychological states such as happiness, fulfillment, and well-being. One way to achieve these states is through mindfulness, which involves being fully present and engaged in the current moment. The Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory suggests that mindfulness can lead to greater meaning and purpose in life,

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Keeping a positive attitude while dilating

Dilators are often used to treat vaginismus. It’s the “gold standard” intervention to get your vagina to cooperate, but the process can be challenging, frustrating, and well, boring for most. It is essential to have a positive and engaging attitude towards using dilators, as it can significantly impact the healing process. For many women with

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Why breathing is more than just air in your lungs

Breathing. I’m sure you’re a little tired of everyone always telling you to focus on breathing to help your body relax.I used to get so annoyed by this. “I know how to breathe! I breathe everyday and I’m pretty good at it! Heck I’m even a running so I probably have better breathing than most!”

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Negative perceptions and their effect on the body

The human body is a complex and fascinating entity. It has the ability to store and stash away negative perceptions and experiences at a cellular level. When we experience a negative event or emotion, our body reacts and adapts to it in a physiological manner. This can include changes in muscle tension, heart rate, and

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Vaginismus can impair your ability to sense arousal.

As a woman, it can be challenging to understand our body’s unique sexual response. For those with vaginismus, this difficulty is even more pronounced. Vaginismus is a condition where the muscles around the vagina involuntarily contract, making it painful or impossible to engage in sexual activity. One aspect of this condition is the impaired ability

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3 Interoceptive strategies to help in your vaginismus recovery

Vaginismus is a complicated beast to treat and recover from. It involves so many of our body’s systems- our biomechanical, neurological, psychological, and emotional systems. Being able to recognize and listen to the subtle signals these systems are using to communicate with each other and ourself is key to overcoming vaginismus. Interoception is a major

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