Living With Vaginismus: Will Every Pap Smear End in Tears?

Pop Culture Crime
5 min readJul 17, 2022
Photo via Deposit Photos

My first pap smear ended in tears, just like I knew it would. It was bad enough that my body had built brick wall blocking its entrance, but the doctor’s attempts to get past it were excruciating.

My body has felt cursed for as long as I can remember. The day I got my first pap smear, I felt especially detached from it. It’s hard to feel dignified and connected when your feet are placed in those offensive stirrups and your ass is uncomfortably close to hanging off the end of the table.

How many times had I mentioned my condition to the doctor? Three, maybe four or more. And yet, I’d waited in the waiting room and then the exam room for nearly two hours before my exam actually took place, my nerves and anxiety growing the entire time. In spite of my request to take things slowly for my first pap smear, the doctor expressed a need to work quickly because the office was about to close. She ignored my tears and my uncontrolled impulse to close my knees. While she told me exactly what she was doing, I could barely hear anything.

Since I was young, I’ve lived with a condition called primary vaginismus. Essentially, I have a very tense pelvic floor that causes my body to tighten uncontrollably. This can make things like sexual intercourse and using tampons incredibly painful and difficult.