Dr. Samatha was busy. She had a lot of patients coming in to consult with her that day, so much that it was almost time for lunch. Just as she was preparing to wrap up, there was a soft knock on her door. It was Reena, after weeks of her treatment getting over. Unlike the first time that she had walked into Dr. Samatha’s chamber, worry lines on her face blurring her real self, this time, Dr. Samatha could tell, something was very different.
“Hello, Dr. Samatha,” Reena said as she walked in. “Hi, Reena, how are you? It’s good to see you after so long,” exclaimed Dr. Samatha. “I’m doing good. Doctor. Actually, there is a reason why I came in today. I wanted to share something with you. My husband and I are expecting our first baby -- my home pregnancy test came positive!” The twinkle in her eyes said what words can fail to express. “Had it not been for you, Dr. Samatha, this would not have been possible. Not just did your treatment help me restore the happiness in my relationship with my husband, it has also given us the best gift of our lives. I cannot thank you enough,” she added, the glow on her face being so tell-tale.
Reena’s story had a happy ending, but what about so many other women who suffer in silence?
Sex education in India is a tricky subject. While many countries are much forward in this regard, this topic is brushed under the carpet, becoming almost taboo-like. How then, does the society expect young men and women to be ready to get married? Well, that’s the very foundation for disaster. When people, women in particular, do not know what to expect from their first time, it not just leads to expectation mismatch, but leaves a whole lot of question marks dangling around.
Given the fact that sexual abuse is a highly common occurrence and even in the most educated section of the society, that experience, coupled with very little knowledge of sex, can leave several women not knowing why they are not able to perform in bed. The implications of a condition like vaginismus breach the physical boundaries and cause much more damage than one can possibly imagine. That added to the fact that many women don’t know that there’s something wrong, joining hands with embarrassment and not knowing what to do can be a very lethal combination.
Upon failing to consummate their relationships, most women go through some of the following questions and emotions.
Confusion: When women have vaginismus, their vaginal muscles tighten, restricting penetration. When that happens, it leaves them confused, wondering what is wrong with their bodies. They also question themselves as to why this is so hard for them, when most other women in their circle, especially friends and younger relatives claim that it’s a great feeling.
These emotions can render anyone weak, especially someone who is already going through a rough patch. This makes women with undetected and untreated vaginismus prone to depression, something that needs to be addressed soon.
We live in a society where women strive to reach life milestones in the stipulated times defined by the same society. While many think that getting married in time will shift the scrutiny off them for sometime, they are highly mistaken. This just paves the way for yet another milestone - good news.
Unfortunately for women who have vaginismus, it’s heartbreaking when someone asks them when they’d been delivering this ‘good news’. This can add another layer to the already existent depression, pushing many women to the edge.
Therefore, unlike treating vaginismus as just a physical problem, it’s important to address it holistically, as the ramifications this condition has are many. In fact, there needs to be more awareness created in the first place so that any woman having the condition needn’t suffer alone. The need to speak up and seek help lies only in the hands of the women who have vaginismus, which is why there needs to be an emphasis on talking more about it. Just like one would seek the expert help of a cardiologist when someone has a heart attack, similarly, one needs to seek the help of a gynecologist if they think they have vaginismus. The idea of normalizing this condition is critical.
What we also need to understand is the fact that vaginismus is treatable and women can come out of it easily, if they have the support of the right doctor. Dr. Samatha has been a champion of this cause, trying to spread this message as much as possible.
If you think you have vaginismus, please do visit Dr. Samatha, who has been pioneering the treatment of this condition and free yourself from the burden of unnecessary emotional trauma.