Monica used to be fine and have a perfectly normal sex life until she suffered from several urinary tract infections (UTIs) that caused her to shut down physically and emotionally. Here is her story:
Prior to January 2010, I had the sexual health and sexual life of any normal woman in her mid 20’s. What I hadn’t realized was that the stress and anxiety I had carried for years were about to take over everything in my life, including my sex life.
I moved from Baltimore, MD to NYC in April 2010 and everything took a turn for the worse. I began battling yeast infections, month after month, followed by what doctors thought were UTI’s, and I entered a cycle of being sick or becoming alarmed at any sign of something suspicious, using medication to treat whatever I had going on at the moment, followed by painful intercourse, just to do it all over again each time.
This went on for months. I visited 5 different OBGYNs and a urologist not knowing what the cause of my problems was. After a whole year of possible diagnoses, medications, painful intercourse, painful urination, and one awful Christmas vacation (where I had to wear sweatpants and nothing else because it was unbearable to sit in a car) I was finally referred to Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross.
I had an idea of what I was dealing with because I had done some research and had accidentally caught a Dr. Oz show about vulvodynia; in which he said, “your sex life might never be the same.” I thought to myself if I have yet another syndrome with no specific cause I will lose my mind because up until now I have suffered from anything an anxiety-filled person could suffer from. I was so hopeless and depressed that I thought well, I might as well try this to see if it even works. My boyfriend with whom I have been with for 4 years was nothing but encouraging, but I just felt that I was never going to be normal again, and that I would live in pain for the rest of my life, and who can be happy like this? Or make others happy?
Meeting Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross has changed my life. They have shown me that knowledge is power, and once I was educated about secondary vaginismus and all its different components, I was able to start battling it body-and-mind.
The physical part was the easiest to overcome; I knew that I had been able to have sex before this happened, with absolutely no pain so I had to trust that my body could go back to what it used to be and it did. However, the emotional distress I gained, and all of the thoughts I was allowing my mind to have been hard to undo, and I still work very hard on not falling into my “loop”. Thanks to the amazing work that they do, their dedication, patience, knowledge, and confidence in me, I am a better person, a different person, I have faith, I believe, I am not scared (or if I am I try to be brave) and I confront life as opposed to hiding from it. I am enjoying sex again, and my relationship has gotten even better than it already was.
Like Dr. Ditza said to me, I was wearing 10 raincoats on a perfectly sunny day. Well, now I’d like to say to her that I am taking all those raincoats off one by one.