Unheard, Unimportant, and Untreated: Why We Need to Talk About Vaginismus

Okay, let me set the scene. It’s the middle of the day, busy street, bright sunshine, cold air. There’s me: I’m in ripped jeans and a green shirt. I’m gripping hold of the railing surrounding a communal public garden and I am crying so hard I can’t see. Fifteen minutes ago, I got my first smear test, the nurse putting a thin swab inside my vagina to check on my pelvic health, and it hurt so much she had to put her elbows on my knees to keep my legs from snapping together on instinct. I wish this is the first time that something like this has happened, but it isn’t. And that’s why I’m crying.

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