In a truly bizarre incident, a women recently revealed that she got pregnant at the age of 20, without ever having penetrative sex. In fact, it was out of the question because she exhibited classic vaginismus symptoms, which prevented her from using a tampon or even getting a pap smear.
So how did this happen?
Woman Gets Pregnant Without Having Penetrative Sex
Image courtesy: iStock
Sharing her story with 7news, UK-based Nicole Moore, revealed that one day while at work, she experienced extreme heartburn and sore breasts. Her boss insisted that she get a pregnancy test. But she laughed at the idea.
“My boss at the time, who was a close friend and knew about my situation, said she thought I could be pregnant. I laughed and said there was no way, as I was still a virgin and never had penetrative sex. But she said it was possible if there had been any fluids near my vagina, despite not actually having intercourse. I did a pregnancy test on my lunch break that day at work and it was positive,” Moore told 7news.
“All I kept thinking was how on earth am I going to deliver this baby if I couldn’t even have intercourse. I was worried my partner would think I’d cheated on him, as it seemed so impossible.But thankfully he knew me and my body, and he didn’t doubt me for a second,” she added.
Moore decided to go in for medical consultation, and was told that while it is rare, she exhibited vaginismus symptoms. Which is why she could get pregnant without ever having sex if fluids were introduced around her vaginal area during sexual activity.
Upon this medical consultation, Moore was assigned to a therapist who helped her overcome vaginismus. She was finally able to have penetrative sex when she was 5-months pregnant.
Not surprisingly though, her case has become a topic of discussion among those curious to know more about this condition. So let us take you through all the details and how exactly this can happen to a woman.
What Is Vaginismus?
There are no exact reasons why vaginismus may occur. It can result from emotional factors, medical factors, or both. (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)
Vaginismus is a condition that causes the vaginal wall muscles to involuntarily constrict when something like a tampon or a penis, is entering it. It can range from mildly uncomfortable to quite painful. Generally, there are two types of Vaginismus-primary and secondary.
Primary vaginismus: Here, a woman experiences pain whenever something enters her vagina, including during penetrative sex. There may be pain, generalised muscle spasms, and the woman may temporarily stop breathing.
Secondary vaginismus: This is when a woman has had sex before, but it later gets difficult. This usually stems from a specific event, such as an infection, menopause, a traumatic event, development of a medical condition, relationship issues, surgery, or childbirth.
Global vaginismus: In this case, vaginismus is always present and anything can trigger it.
Situational vaginismus: It occurs only during a certain situation and not always.
What Causes Vaginismus?
There are different types of vaginismus, and it can affect women at any stage. There is no exact reason as so why vaginismus may occur. It can result from emotional factors, medical factors, or even both. But some other reasons could be the following:
Fearing that your vagina is too small
Unpleasant medical examination
Painful medical condition, like thrush
Bad first sexual encounter
Vaginismus Symptoms: All You Need To Know
Generally speaking, one of the first signs of vaginismus is painful sex. In most cases, the pain goes away after withdrawal, but this may not be the case always. Some common vaginismus symptoms include:
Loss of sexual desire
Fear of sex
Fear of inserting a tampon
Pain can get extreme to moderate during penetrative sexual intercourse
Pain during a gynaecological examination
What Is The Treatment For Vaginismus
Image courtesy: iStock
If you have vaginismus, the good news is that there is treatment. Without treatment, it can lead to frustration and distress, and it may get worse.
Its treatment usually focusses on two things- managing your feelings around penetration and exercises to help you gradually get you used to penetration. It is initially done under the guidance of specialised therapists and then you’ll be expected to practise these exercises at home.
Kegel exercises: You need to squeeze the same muscles you use to stop the flow when you’re peeing. Then hold it for 2-10 seconds and then relax. Repeat it several times throughout the day.
Breathing exercises: Practice some breathing exercises to help you learn to relax the vaginal muscle. There are some exercises to help you relax during sex and increase your libido.
Senate focus: There can be some exercises involving gentle touching exercises to help you learn to relax the vaginal muscles.
Vaginal trainers: After a few days, insert one finger up to about the first knuckle joint, inside your vagina. Start with one finger and work your way up to three. After a while, you’ll be able to put cone-shaped inserts into your vagina for 10 or 15 minutes to help your muscles get used to pressure. Don’t exert yourself. If at any point, you are not comfortable, stop this immediately and consult with your doctor.
Here’s How Your Partner Can Help?
You may need your partner’s help to overcome this issue. And the first step towards it would be open communication. Make him understand your medical condition and why you may need help. Once you’ve had the conversation, you should ideally involve your partner through the treatment process and ask them to assist as well.
Here are some things your partner can do to help you:
Explore other options to have a satisfying experience in bed
Openly tell your partner how you feel about your partner going through this condition and what it does to your mental health. Sex is not just about satisfying the physical needs, but also emotional.
Tell your partner how much you love them
Accompany your partner when she goes to visit the doctor
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Vaginismus?
Women can get pregnant even if they have Vaginismus. (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)
Often women wonder if they can become pregnant if they have vaginismus. The answer is yes.
In Moore’s case, even though she didn’t have penetrative sex, yet she was pregnant. Doctors confirmed that even though the chances are rare, but it is possible to get pregnant without having penetrative intercourse if the sexual activity introduced fluids to the vaginal area.
In fact in 2019, when Revati Bordawekar, from Ahmednagar, India, suffered from vaginismus, and couldn’t have penetrative sex, she decided to have her baby through the IVF method. She struggled for several years to overcome vaginismus.
Her friends suggested practising foreplay, using numbing cream around the labia, drinking wine before having sex. The doctors even surgically cut her hymen and dilated her, hoping it would help her overcome her condition. But nothing helped. So she decided to have her baby via IVF.
After successfully giving birth, she said, “Vaginismus is real, it’s not in your head and it won’t go away if you relax, drink wine or lube up. It will happen whenever it has to happen and until then, celebrate being you. Because you are so much more than a condition to label yourself with.”
Dear women, if you have vaginismus, it is nothing to hide or feel bad about it. Talk to your partner and seek medical help. In most cases, if the cause of vaginismus is linked to fear or anxiety, then counselling and therapy should suffice.