Will it hurt? How will I do? Will they stop if I ask them to?
This anticipatory anxiety is typical of our patients about to undergo an exam or face their first physical treatment for vaginismus, incontinence, vaginal restoration after cancer treatment, painful sex, or other urogenital problems. Actually, with the genitals being intimately connected to, and influenced by, our stress response system, this anticipatory anxiety is quite powerful and scary.
Fast forward to the typical statement they all voice once done: “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!”
The reality is that no amount of reassurance pre-treatment can do what going through the experience does.
The art of treating these disorders is that of physical and emotional management, as they are inseparable.