Vaginismus and colposcopy

Hi everyone


Im new here. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.

So Ive been having abnormal vaginal bleeding since Dec along with a whole bunch of other symptoms. I also suffer from vagismus. Sex has always hurt or been down right impossible for me. 

I went in for my first pap smear a month ago because Id been having all these symptoms and it came back as hgsil. It took alot for me to mentally prepare for this pap and I was able to do it because the doctor was very very patient with me.


Last week I had shooting pains in my pelvis and was bleeding alot and went to the er. The doctor tried to examine me and was able to insert the speculum but when she opened it it felt like I was being stabbed and I begged her to stop.

I had an appointment this morning for colposcopy and she was unable to even insert the speculum. I tried to tell her before the exam that I have difficulty with exams and penetration and she dismissed my concerms saying it has to be done. 

During the exam I couldnt do it and begged her to stop. I was crying and shaking. She said that this is the only way. That she cant put me to sleep. She kept saying that over and over. Even though I never asked to be put to sleep. She wanted me to try again but I couldnt. She said if Ive had a penis inside me I can do this. That I wasnt motivated enough. She then told me to make an appointment and come back when I was ready.

I dont plan on returning. Im so confused and so scared.

If Im not able to have the colposcopy done. Im supposed to walk around with these peecancerous cells until they turn to cancer. 


I dont know what to do or who to turn to. This is a gynocologist and she didnt understand so who will.

1 Like

If you have severe  cervical changes you have to have them treated. If you were unlucky enough to have them progress to cancer any treatment you have would be far, far worse that what you are enduring now. I don't know how shy you are but could you take a female friend or relative in with you? You could perhaps ask for something to relax you first or consider an alternative therapy such as hypnotherapy to help relax you.

There are ways to resolve this, it's a shame that your gynecologist wasn't more sympathetic.

Good luck.





Hi Confused.

It seems obvious that you need to relax. U have proved to yourself that you can do it as you have had a smear test once and a coloscopy is only a look, using the same method of speculum - you can do this, you have done it once


In order to make yourself relax, I think Petesdragons advise is great, ask them for something to help calm you. Or could try a over the counter thing like CALMS or failing that, a double vodka

Either way my love, you have to bite the bullet 

Any chance you could find a gyno who understand vaginismus? Clearly this one doesn't have a clue, and is seriously lacking empathy about the condition. 

Hi Confused90

That sounds like you had such a distressing experience! I'm so sorry to hear that you were not shown understanding at a time when you needed it.

I'm really keen for you to get the support you need in this situation. Have you put a question through to our confidential Ask The Expert service? Our medical experts will be happy to answer your questions and would certainly give some helpful suggestions as to what to do next. You just need to go to where you will need to just enter in some medical history. 

Also, we would always recommend going back to your GP to discuss the difficulties you've experienced. Again, they should be able to advise you of the best course of action.

Best wishes




Hi confused, 

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too have vaginismus and have had it my entire adult life (going on 20 yrs). I find gynecological exams extremely difficult and humiliating. My last one ended in shaking and tears, yet I’m a fully grown woman in control of my life otherwise. I can reassure you that I fully understand that as much as you would like to relax, your tension and fear is an unconscious reflex which is beyond your control. 

Having said that, you absolutely need to get this exam done for your health. I have been in this situation and was lucky enough (after trial and error) to find a good gynecological surgeon. I needed operating, and fortunately for me, I was put to sleep. The operation went well, all the pre-cancerous cells were removed and I recovered very quickly. I have no bad memories of this time at all. You cannot let your fear stop you from getting treated because the alternative is far worse.

On a more positive note, I found that because I was having very regular pelvic exams during this period, it started to get easier. Once I had a doctor I could trust, it helped me to “relax”. (He was a male doctor  BTW. I find that they can sometimes be gentler and more patient). 

As for the vaginismus, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and get a combination of physical therapy and psychotherapy to help try and cure this horrible problem.

I wish you well.





I only came across this whilst searching for a vaginismus forum- I am one Year off being old enough to have a smear but suffer from vaginismus. It’s all good and well people telling you to suck it up and come back when you’re ‘ready’ but this is not easy. 

Have you ever addressed your vaginismus problem? Without ‘fixing’ this first you physically won’t be able to have a smear- it’s not a commonly spoken about issue but speaking about it definitely helps! 

Ive never written on a forum before but hoping to somehow help!




I know that this is an old post but I have recently read it. There is loads of info at if that is of any help. They also provide a solution. Hope it helps