Vaginismus: A Client’s Story
Women should not suffer in silence. Here is a summary of a client’s personal experience with vaginismus, now known as genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder.
‘After years of disappointment with trying to find a solution for my condition and just before starting pelvic floor physiotherapy, I had already given up seeking out the care of various other health care providers. I had had a hymenectomy with no positive results, gone through periods of confusion and years of frustration. From my own research I suspected that I had vaginismus and asked my family physician to refer me to pelvic physiotherapy. I did not know that such a thing as pelvic floor physiotherapy existed and was excited to find out about it especially after most of my internet-based research seemed to suggest treatment such as botox and other ways which did not seem realistic to me.
When I was asked during my first physiotherapy session, to describe my experience, I felt such overwhelming relief at the understanding that the physiotherapist had that I could not help but cry. This was the beginning of my 11 month journey of pelvic physiotherapy.
I followed a treatment plan pf breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and practiced dilation at home as well as during my sessions and learned that I could re-wire my brain and thereby my body’s response. I saw gradual but definite improvement that I would have never imagined before. I had given up, and with every bit of progress I regained my self-esteem and hope that I too could lead a ‘normal’ adult life.
I also learned that I was not alone in this. Vaginismus is unfortunately a condition that many women suffer in silence but with the right care you can overcome it!’
Angelique Montano-Bresolin is a graduate of the University of Toronto Physical Therapy program and has been practicing as a Registered Physiotherapist for over 20 years with a specialty practice in pelvic health. Her extensive post-graduate training has included courses to assess and treat all genders and ages with concerns such as: incontinence, abdomino-pelvic pain and sexual pain in many populations including: pre and postnatal, post-surgical, post-menopausal and post-cancer. In 2012, she founded Proactive Pelvic Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario.