Vaginal Pain from Penetration

December 14, 2010 2 min read

Nina asks:

Hey Amy,
I have a vibrator which I use regularly, and it does the job fine, but when I want to move it around inside myself, it is almost like there is a bone preventing easy insertion, as well as pulling it out. This 'bone' is at the entrance of my vagina and just above the perineum. I have no idea what it is, as it hurts to use the shaft part of the vibrator. I know it's not vaginismus or anything like that, as I can put things inside myself but it's quite painful to do so, as I mentioned. I have considerable pain inside after about 20 seconds of moving it in and out, almost like burning. This may be unrelated, but my vagina rarely gets any bigger or makes its own lubricant. Even using artificial water-based lubricant makes nothing any easier. What's happening?

Dear Nina:

First off, consider a few questions on your background with vaginal pain. Is this something you have experienced your entire life, or is it relatively new? Does this only occur when you use your vibrator for insertion, or do you also experience pain with things such as tampons, fingers and/or intercourse? If it is only from your vibrator, have you tried using other toys, perhaps smaller in size or made of different materials? Lastly, have you talked to your doctor about this?

If you are experiencing this pain from most or all forms of penetration, you may be one of the many women with Vestibulodynia (VBD) or another medical condition. VBD differs from vaginismus in that insertion is still possible, but it causes pain in the vestibule due to some sort of inflammation. The vestibule is between the inner lips, and runs from the bottom to the top of the vulva. Although it is not a bone, this may be the area you are referring to at the entrance of your vagina above the perineum.

Because this is something you will not be able to diagnose on your own, I highly recommend consulting your Gynecologist on this matter. Try to be as open and clear about what you are feeling, where it hurts, and what you are doing that leads to this pain. As suggested in "The V Book", ask your doctor to perform a Q-Tip test by touching all around the vestibule to better identify the source of your pain. If it hurts in one or some of these areas, than you may be experiencing VBD. Also keep in mind that you may be experiencing something other than VBD, and this is why it is really important to consult your Gynecologist.

For more information, check out "The V Book" by Elizabeth G. Stewart, M.D.

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