How Does Vaginismus Impact Women's Lives? Listen To Our Latest Podcast

Lisa Mackenzie and Dr Wafaa Eltantawy join Am I Making You Uncomfortable? to discuss a condition that affects millions.

It’s featured in storylines on Netflix shows such as Unorthodox and Sex Education, but vaginismus is still rarely spoken about IRL. Why?

The condition – which causes the vaginal muscles to involuntarily tighten – affects millions of people around the world. Yet as with many topics relating to women’s bodies and sexual wellbeing, it’s shrouded in shame. The latest episode of Am I Making You Uncomfortable? aims to end the silence.

We hear from listeners about how vaginismus has affected their mental health, sex lives and access to healthcare, plus speak to Lisa Mackenzie, founder of the Vaginismus Network, about her personal experience.

We also learn more about the condition from Dr Wafaa Eltantawy, a qualified psychosexual therapist, relationship counsellor and gynaecologist, who tells us about the causes and treatment.

Join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #AIMYU – and go behind the scenes by subscribing to our podcast newsletter to hear what inspired us to tackle the topics you’re probably too squeamish to talk about.

Am I Making You Uncomfortable? co-hosts Brogan Driscoll and Rachel Moss
Am I Making You Uncomfortable? co-hosts Brogan Driscoll and Rachel Moss

Episode 7: Transcript

Brogan Driscoll

Hello, and welcome to HuffPost brand new weekly podcast, Am I Making You Uncomfortable? Presented by me, Brogan Driscoll.

Rachel Moss

And me Rachel Moss. This podcast is a frank, honest conversation about women’s bodies, health and private lives. This week, we’re discussing vaginismus. If you’ve not heard of it before, vaginismus is a condition that causes the vaginal muscles to suddenly tighten up on their own, just as you try to insert something, be that a tampon, a finger, a penis or even the equipment used during a smear test. It’s actually quite common. It’s thought to affect every two in a 1000 people, but because there’s such a taboo around talking about it, the prevalence may actually be much higher.

Brogan

We’ll be joined by Lisa Mackenzie, co-founder of The Vaginismus Network and Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy, qualified psychosexual therapist, relationship counselor, and gynecologist. You’re listening to, Am I Making You Uncomfortable? And the hashtag is A-I-M-Y-U.

Testimimonial 1:

Vaginismus is totally involuntary. When those muscles close up, it feels like there’s no opening to my vagina at all. When you push too hard, it’s like being stabbed with a huge knife, which was my first smear test experience. I grew up with some unbalanced views about sex, and I didn’t even try penetrative sex until my mid 30s.

Testimonial 2:

My marriage ended because of my vaginismus. I was 28 when I got married. I’d been waiting my whole life to have sex. I’d come from a cultural background where it was really important to be pure and to save yourself, and so I didn’t really know what was going to happen, I guess. We tried for four years. He wasn’t the most patient, and eventually he ended up falling in love with someone else, and I was left heartbroken and alone.

Brogan

It’s so interesting that vaginismus is, as you say, quite common because until recently I’d never really heard about it. And it was only recently, at the beginning of lockdown, that I’ve ever seen it referenced in popular culture. So, I don’t know about you but I think I was one of the many people who basically devoured Unorthodox, a Netflix series based on a true story by Deborah Feldman. It’s about a young Hasidic Jewish woman who flees her arranged marriage and community in Brooklyn to move to Berlin. Without giving too many spoilers away, because obviously there’ll be some people who didn’t devour it as quickly as I did, but one of the key elements in it (in her marriage and why her marriage was an unhappy one) was all of the pressures put on them as a couple to consummate the marriage. And basically it turned out later on in the series, you find that she has vaginismus. And there are some really, really awful but powerful scenes of them as a young couple in bed, trying to have sex and her being in so much pain that she is wailing in agony and crying. And the whole narrative around it, at least from his perspective, is that the reason they can’t consummate the marriage is because it’s her fault. And all her family know about it and the whole onus around it is placed on her. It’s such an awful thing to watch. Did you watch it?

Rachel

Yeah, yeah. I also did and those scenes that you are referencing: I almost feel my body tighten as I think about them now. Because the actress that plays the protagonist in that, she was so, so brilliant and just her face showed the pain that she was clearly in. But also, the dialogue they had around it, I think there was one point where she said to him, “Just do it” even though it was obviously really painful for her. And the emotional side of it as well was really, really traumatic to view, but super, super powerful - as you said, I think it’s important that we see these things. It’s interesting, as you said, I also haven’t really seen vaginismus in popular culture that much before, but funnily enough in the past 6 months I think I’ve seen it three times. So it’s gone from nothing to suddenly I’ve seen it quite frequently - which is a really good thing.

Before I watched Unorthodox, I actually saw vaginismus for the first time on screen in Sex Education. A character in Sex Education called Lily has vaginismus and she describes it by saying, “My vagina is like a venus fly trap.” The reason I loved the scene with Lily so much is because she’s talking to a girl that she has just started dating about her vaginismus, it completely gets away from that hetero idea that vaginismus is all about ‘P’ and ‘V’, when its not at all, its so much more than that. And Lily says, “You know, I struggle with having a finger inside me or a tampon inside me” and then the girl she’s dating says something along the lines of, “Well how do you masturbate?” and then she says, “Oh I just stick to the outside.” Which I absolutely love because one of the things, when we’ve written about vaginismus in the past that comes up as well, is this idea that people with vaginismus don’t want sex or aren’t sexual people, which isn’t true. It’s a complete myth. So having a character like Lily say, “I still masturbate. I’m still sexual. I just can’t do it internally” - such an important thing to have on screen and I thought that was absolutely brilliant for them to do that.

Brogan

Yeah. So true because also in Unorthodox there’s sexual tension between the main character and another man where there’s a lot of desire there between them, so that also goes against that. There were times when she couldn’t physically have sex, but then she was still attracted to and desired another person, which speaks to that, I guess, in Sex Education.

Rachel

And then the third time where I’ve seen vaginismus recently is in Holly Bourne’s new book which is called Pretending. I don’t want to give too much away about it because it’s only come out last month and people might not have picked it up yet, but the central character in that again has vaginismus. And the book really goes into the psychology behind the condition.

So she says very early on in the book that her vaginismus is caused by a sexual assault in the past, which we know for some women vaginismus is caused by trauma. For some women it might be caused by childbirth or a medical condition. Or other women: they don’t know what causes their vaginismus and actually that can be just as frustrating because then you have no answers. So Holly’s book was so great in exploring why you might have it in the first place, but then how it also impacts your life particularly if you are dating. So the protagonist in Pretending is, I think she’s in her late twenties or early thirties, and she’s going on all these dates and she’s going, “Oh my god, I want to sleep with this guy, but when do I tell him, when do I tell him, when do I tell him?” And, of course, that internal dialogue is making everything physically harder when she does eventually come to have sex. And you read it and it’s...there are parts of that book that are so relatable that I think even if you don’t have vaginismus you can then relate to what having that condition must be like. And it sounds really tough and definitely something we need to talk about more.

Brogan

I’m super excited to have the guests on the podcast today because there’s just so much to talk about in terms of vaginismus and so many different experiences and causes and just really excited to have the guests on.

Brogan

Today, we’re joined by Lisa Mackenzie, the co-founder of The Vaginismus Network, a community for people with vaginismus which aims to educate, connect, support and empower people who are living with this condition.

Rachel

So, Lisa, thank you so much for joining us today. I was hoping we could kick things off by talking about your experience, because I know you set up the network because you have had vaginismus yourself. Can you describe what it feels like and when you started experiencing it?

Lisa Mackenzie

Yeah, of course. So, I would say it’s been a big part of my life since the age of about 16 or 17 when I first got into a relationship, and it was apparent quite early on that penetrative sex was a difficult thing for us to achieve. It’s been a part of my life, I guess, in terms of not talking about it to anybody - so it dominated my life in a big way - up until about the age of 32. I’m 36 now, so when I first started to open up to people more about it. And it’s crazy to think that I didn’t ever talk about it, but I think because there’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to this condition, I just completely closed in and didn’t know how to communicate to others about it. I didn’t have a name for it for so long, so I couldn’t articulate what I was feeling.

Lisa Mackenzie

I was with my first serious boyfriend for eight years. And very early on, it became apparent that penetration was difficult. We didn’t really talk about it: I’d say we might have attempted to too early on, but communication shut down in that regard quite quickly. It was our first serious relationship. We didn’t have a template for what good looked like, and we didn’t know how to talk about it. And I think we both felt a lot of shame because our friends all around us were supposedly having fun and having sex as the standard way that’s put out there in the media. It did impact our relationship, in that we had a sex life in other ways. I’m always clear that sex is more than penis in vagina, but for a long time, I didn’t feel that or believe that.

I guess, because we couldn’t achieve this one gold standard way of having sex, it undermined everything else that we did, and I certainly over compensated in many ways. Because for a long time, I carried a lot of embarrassment, guilt and shame that I couldn’t give him this one thing. So I did all sorts of other things that maybe I didn’t want to at the time, but I felt that it had to because I had to be this woman and give him everything else that I possibly could. That relationship broke down, and then I didn’t know, still, what the issue was.

Over the years, I Googled some of the symptoms and I did come across the word vaginismus, but everything that I read, for me, as a young girl growing up with thinking I might have this condition, it felt quite scary and it made me feel quite helpless. I understand fully how this condition can control and dominate your life and make you feel like it is the end of the world, and make you feel heartbroken and all these things. I totally get that. I’m not undermining it, but all the information out there that I was reading, it was things like case studies around women saying how there’s just no future or they’re failures, or they don’t see a way out.

Brogan

How did you get the diagnosis then if this is taking you into what, late 20s?

Lisa Mackenzie

I didn’t deal with it when I thought, well, it could be vaginismus. The stuff that I found put me off, so I shut the laptop. I was like, “Nope, that’s not me.” And then it was actually by chance, it was a really good friend of mine whose auntie is a psychosexual therapist and she’s got a good psychosexual therapist network and it was through that that gradually I started to come to terms with the fact that, ok, it is vaginismus. I remember my therapist mentioned the word early on and I, again, shut down. I said, “I don’t want to be associated with that. Thank you very much.” But it was just through that process that I gradually came to terms with it.

Brogan

And I know that’s a big part of why you set up the network as well, wasn’t it? Because as you say, there’s so many negative portrayals about vaginismus out there rather than empowering portrayals. Was that one of the core reasons why you wanted to create the network?

Lisa Mackenzie

Yeah. The core reason we set it up was to connect other people with vaginismus, primarily. We said there should be more ways to connect people with this condition. We match people who joined the network based on age, if they’re happy to give it, and location and how they’d like to meet. But we also connect people through events and, as you say, we also wanted to put out information that was just a bit more human and empowering as well. I want people to know that I get how it feels. It is really shit and it’s overwhelming and it can feel like the end of the world, but shouldn’t define you and it should be something you control rather than the other way around.

Brogan

Are there any common misconceptions around sex and vaginismus that you would like to bust?

Lisa Mackenzie

The first one is that sex is so much more than penis in vagina, and I could bang on about that all day. But as a young girl, growing up with vaginismus and feeling like I can’t have penetrative sex or penetrative sex is a very difficult thing, like I say, it undermines anything else you do sexually.

Foreplay should be a word that’s banned. I think it’s all included. You can have sex in any way, shape or form that you want. The term virginity is not a useful one as well. I think it’s an unhelpful label. I think it’s a social construct, and I think it’s not something to lose. It’s not a thing. So I’d say reframing things like that are definitely useful when you’re going through something like vaginismus.

Brogan

And it doesn’t just affect sex as well.

Lisa Mackenzie

Yeah, it’s more than about sex and a penis. For some women, they can’t insert the tip of their finger, a tampon, a moon cup. It makes cervical smear tests incredibly difficult or traumatic. So it’s definitely penetration more broadly. I think that’s an important point to remember actually, because people often think it’s just about sex and that’s the only way it’s impacting. But it’s definitely more broader than that.

Brogan

There are many, many stories of women going for years without speaking about vaginismus or seeking help, or accessing any of those treatments. I know you mentioned earlier that you were in an eight year relationship and you didn’t really tackle it outside of that relationship for a long time. Why do you think so many people affected by vaginismus delay getting any help or speaking about it?

Lisa Mackenzie

I can touch upon my experience, but it might be slightly different now because I’m not 17 anymore. But back then, for me, it was definitely the shame that comes with it. So I think when you can’t have sex, for example, in the normal and inverted commas way, you feel like a bit of a failure. I know as a young woman with it, I felt like I was broken or the only person in the world dealing with it, and it’s incredibly confusing and heartbreak and still with. I think sex in general, especially back then it was a more difficult topics to broach as well. So I think the shame and the stigma definitely play a major part in it.

Lisa Mackenzie

I’d say that for some women who want to get diagnosed, they might visit their GP and either be misdiagnosed or treated quite flippantly, which can, again, prolong the time they take to get treated. I hear about women who ... and by the way, I’m not tarring all GPs with the same brush because there are some wonderful ones out there and I hear about some amazing ones, but there’s also some that I’ve heard about who tell you to go and relax and drink a glass of wine. Or I’ve heard of a girl who’s been told to go and have more sex or go and have less sex, or you’re young, you’ll grow out of it. It’s fine.

[crosstalk] No, and I feel really strongly about this because actually, when you go and speak to a GP about something like this, it can be scary. It can be such a personal thing, and you should go safe in the knowledge that you’re going to be met with understanding and compassion and be listened to. But it feels like it’s such a lucky dip and it shouldn’t be the case. But I guess I believe the main reason is just the shame that people feel when they’re living with something like this. It does make you feel like you’ve failed in some way, which it totally shouldn’t, but it does.

Brogan

What advice would you give to couples who are dealing with vaginismus right now and are in the position that you were?

Lisa Mackenzie

Well, I can’t advise based on my own experience because I was a mute for eight years, so we won’t go with that. From my experience of opening up to friends, I guess you could apply it to a partner as well, and thinking of vaginismus and dating. I decided to finally open up to one friend, and I sent her an email explaining exactly what I was feeling and saying, I think it’s vaginismus because I personally found it uncomfortable to communicate face to face. I’d say, when I’m dating and I feel comfortable with somebody and I think I want to open up to them about it, I would keep it simple.

I’ve dated in the past and I’ve been very apologetic, and almost feeling like a burden. So when I felt more confident and dated with vaginismus, I basically just explained to the person that penetrative sex has always been a more difficult thing for me. I can have a sex life in other ways whilst we work through that, but it’s not a big deal. And I think absolutely do not apologize. I think you just need to explain that in terms of penetration, you just need a bit more support and it just needs to take it a little bit slower. I think communication is absolutely key, so do the opposite of what I did when I was young. Communicate a lot.

It can be incredibly hard, but I think it’s the only way to work through this with a partner. If you take penetration off the table for a while, actually it takes the pressure off things and you can be sexual in other ways. And then maybe that part will become easier. For women who are undergoing treatment for vaginismus and are maybe dilating, they might want to introduce dilating into the bedroom with their partner as well. So get their partner to use the dilators on them or other sex toys just to make them feel more part of it. I speak to women who treat vaginismus and their sex life with their partner quite separately. And I think there’s something quite powerful about bringing it together and including them in it as well.

Brogan

Dilating is obviously one of the biggest ways this is treated, but can you tell us anything about the other forms of physical therapy that are available?

Lisa Mackenzie

For me, dilating and psychosexual therapy was a winning combination. So the physical exercises at home, and then talking therapies or talking with a psychosexual therapist about vaginismus, normalizing it. Figuring out the why’s and all of that was really, really beneficial. There’s a whole range of sex toys out there though that you can use if you don’t want to use dilators. The sex shop Shush, have got an amazing range and some of them are similar size to dilators, and maybe they vibrate or maybe they just look a bit nicer to you. There’s also-

Rachel

It makes the whole thing feel less medical as well, doesn’t it?

Lisa Mackenzie

[crosstalk] yeah.

Brogan

That’s so true.

Lisa Mackenzie

It was my therapist who put me in touch with Shush in the first place. I was really anti-dilating and I’d reached a stage where I needed to start considering it, but I was really anti it because my only idea of dilating was the hard plastic white…(gesturing here: I always do that)...The hard plastic white ones that you see. And I just thought, “Oh, that looks really cold and clinical, and I don’t want to put that anywhere near myself.” But it was my therapist who put me in touch with Shush, and it was so amazing.

Lisa Mackenzie

I booked a little meeting with them at their shop and the senior store manager, this wonderful lady called Renee, sat down with me and she gave me some Prosecco as well, which was great. She just taught me through the dilators, normalised them. And I left the shop, I still felt like, “Oh, I really don’t want to have to be doing this.” But I felt a lot more empowered than just being given a kit via the NHS or buying one online. It was such an important experience for me.

Brogan

Lisa, we ask all of our guests that come on the podcast the same question, what makes you uncomfortable?

Lisa Mackenzie

I’m probably going to sound like the worst human ever or slightly ungrateful, but I do genuinely cringe and feel uncomfortable when somebody gives me a present and I have to open it in front of them.

Brogan

Oh, my God, yeah.

Lisa Mackenzie

I close into myself, and I don’t know where it came from in my mind. I think maybe there’s this one second where your true reaction shows. And I think God, “Is someone going to give me a gift and I’ll think, ‘Do you really know me?’ Or, ‘What is this piece of crap?’” And it will show. And I hate offending people so I always just feel really, really uncomfortable with that. I’m the worst gift receiver. I’m a very good gift giver, but I hate it. I’m cringing now.

Rachel

You feel like you have to do a really over the top wow.

Lisa Mackenzie

Yes.

Rachel

Yeah, I like it. Even when you love the present, you seem fake. It’s impossible to get the tone right.

Lisa Mackenzie

I’m glad you get what I mean.

Brogan

Lisa, thank you so much.

Lisa Mackenzie

Thank you so much. That was really nice.

Rachel

Thank you so much.

Brogan

It was really nice to have you. We’ve heard such great stuff about all of your work, so we’re really, really grateful to have you on.

Testimonial 3

I am 44 years old and I’ve suffered from vaginismus for at least four years. And prior to that, in my 20s, I also suffered from it then. I have secondary vaginismus, which means it’s not a physical cause, but more of a psychological cause that makes it happen. And it feels like pain. It’s physical pain because literally if one is having intercourse, nothing can get in. It just hurts. It’s like smashing against a wall, but the wall is you. Or if a speculum is trying to get in, it’s horrible. It’s burning, it’s painful and it’s emotionally really sad.

Testimonial 4

In my 20s, I was in an abusive relationship. Sex didn’t really matter then because it was one of the ways that my partner controlled me. We didn’t have any. But what did matter to me was the fact that my physiological response was for my vagina to seize up. I couldn’t even get a tampon in.

Testimonial 5

I was in therapy for vaginismus for a few months before I was able to have penetrative sex. I even coped with IVF treatment several years later. But even now, I still can’t use tampons, I can’t insert vibrators, and I find smear tests incredibly stressful and often impossible. But what I’ve learned about vaginismus is that it’s a state of mind and that I am capable of overcoming it.

Rachel

So now, we’re joined by Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy, who is a qualified psychosexual therapist, relationship counsellor and gynecologists. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re really, really pleased to have you here and to get all of the knowledge from you. We’re just going to soak it up.

The first thing I wanted to ask was about the causes of vaginismus. We’ve heard a bit earlier on from Lisa Mackenzie who shared her personal experience of vaginismus. She’s the founder of The Vaginismus Network. But I was hoping you can speak more generally about some of the women that you see in your line of work, and what are some of the reasons behind their own experiences.

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

Thank you very much for having me in your podcast. I’m really pleased to be with you today. Vaginismus is a term used to reflect involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor muscles, which it stops people from having vaginal penetration or sexual intercourse. As you mentioned in your question, it has physical causes, it has psychological causes and it has cultural causes. It has also physiological causes, interpersonal causes and relational causes as well. So if we talk about each of this, it’s really many, many factors involved with vaginismus.

Brogan

Would you be able to talk to us about the different types of vaginismus? Because we understand that there’s primary and secondary.

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

Yeah, that’s right. We have primary vaginismus, where the woman can’t have any penetrative sex or other vaginal penetration. So we always ask, have you ever managed to insert tampons? And you will find that woman can’t even touch herself or insert tampons, can’t insert a finger inside her and can’t do any kind of vaginal penetration, either by a partner or by herself. This is what we call primary, and it’s always associated with pain. That’s one thing.

The secondary vaginismus is developed after the woman managed to have painless sexual experience before, and she was absolutely fine. And suddenly, she is not able to have penetrative sex again. And this, it could be a traumatic birth maybe, traumatic operations down there, some infection happened. Any trauma can cause that. I have to say the treatment for both of them are more or less the same, so we need to find the reason for that and treat it.

This brought me to remember a case I dealt with, a woman who was absolutely fine and she had sex for a number of years, and then she had a baby. And she had traumatic birth. She couldn’t have sex after for two years until we met and we worked through the condition. And actually, she managed to have sex. And the first time she had sex, she got pregnant. It’s amazing. Really, it’s amazing.

It’s a very rewarding work I have to say when you help a woman to overcome her difficulties. So please, please, women, please don’t keep silent. Please come forward and ask for help. Ask your doctor, come to a sexual health clinic, ask your gynaecologist. Anyone you see say, “I have this condition. I need help.”

Rachel

When someone’s in a heterosexual relationship and then the woman’s presenting with vaginismus, do you think it’s really important to get the guys in at the same time? Can you tell us a bit about those sessions? What do you tell men about vaginismus, and why is it so important for them to be there?

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

It’s a good point because you see, if you think about a relationship, what does it mean? Relationship means two people in a friendship relationship, sexual relationship, or partner relationship. I always tell them you don’t perform sex alone. You see, you are doing it together. And if you’re doing it together, this means both of you are ... not responsible, I don’t like the word responsible. But I would say both of you have to share or to work together to achieve a satisfactory sexual experience.

There are many studies done about the impact of vaginismus on men. We found that men can develop erectile dysfunction because they keep trying and they couldn’t, and they thought they are not good enough. So straightaway, they lose their erection. So erectile dysfunction, one of them, lack of ejaculation, one of them, and also, lack of desire. Because they can’t perform with a woman or they can’t penetrate, so they feel like it’s their problem as well. So they develop sexual dysfunctions.

So seeing them gives me more information about what’s going on when they try to have sex, because the woman will have her own perception about the problem, the man will have his own perception about the problem. And when you hear them together, it gives you a big perspective or a perspective about how the problem is, what’s going on there. And it’s interesting, every time you talk to the husband or the wife or the partner, you will find different perceptions.

Brogan

That’s so interesting. What, if any, are the possible cultural influences that leads to vaginismus?

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

In some of the Middle East culture, the woman is not having the freedom some men have, alright? So the woman will be: no sexual relationship before marriage and shouldn’t have in a relationship before marriage, and should keep her hymen. Also, one of the things I noticed, the lack of education. You see, we don’t have anything called sex education in the Middle East. Compared with here, even I have some reservation about sex education in UK, because sex education here is about saying no if you don’t want to have sex. Use condoms only. But actually, we don’t teach them what happens when they have sex.

I found that interesting because part of the session we do is explain the sexual response cycle and what happened to your body, what changes you need to have before you manage to have penetration. It’s exactly like a man can’t have sex without having a good erection or an erection, a woman can’t have sex without having a similar physiological changes down there. Get the vagina ready, get the uterus ready, get the clitoris ready, get every part of the genital system ready. And people don’t know that.

Rachel

You mentioned earlier that you’ve been working in this field for 20 years or even more, even longer than that. In that time, has awareness of vaginismus or attitudes towards it changed at all?

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

I have to say yes, there’s a bit of awareness. We need to raise awareness between women a lot more. Women should be aware that if they can’t have sex, they shouldn’t blame themselves because it’s interesting. And still to this time, I see women coming alone and they’ll say, “I have a problem.” Yes, you have a problem, but it’s not your problem alone. It’s again, as you’ll hear it here in UK, you say it takes two to tango.

Brogan

[crosstalk] That’s so true. It seems as well the solution or the treatment plan isn’t straightforward either. And from the discussions that we’ve had today and from your work, it seems to be that the route or the popular route to treatment is a combination of physical and psychological therapy. How do these elements work together, and why is it the most effective route?

If you are a sex therapist and you’re not a qualified medical person, then you will be asking the woman to see a doctor. Because I am a gynecologist, so I have the privilege of examining a woman, and it’s fascinating. You see how women react on the table, on the couch when you examine them. It tells you a lot. It’s very informative, not only to find about the physical reason, but to find about how the woman behave on the couch.

It’s a treatable condition. It’s not difficult to treat. They should just seek help, please. There are many, many other things, you see, we can do to help them. Seeing the couple together or for the therapy, it’s about using vaginal dilators. If there are any physical conditions, we treat the physical condition. There is a lot of help, but please, please seek help. Don’t just keep quiet. It can be treated easily.

Brogan

Thank you. That’s a really great note to end on. We have one final question that we put to all of our podcast guests, which is, what makes you uncomfortable?

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

It’s just I have been working in this field for a long time and I don’t like doing any videos or podcasts or anything like that.

Rachel

What a thing to admit.

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

To be honest, until this moment, I don’t put myself across to such thing. But when you contacted I said, “Okay, this is an opportunity. Why don’t you take it?” I feel really uncomfortable about showing myself, you can put it this way. I can work in silence, I can do a lot of work. I feel happy to help people, but I don’t know why I feel this way.

Rachel

No, that makes me feel super honoured to have you as a guest even more so then. Thank you so much for joining us. You’ve been really, really brilliant.

Dr. Wafaa Eltantawy

Thank you.

Rachel

That’s it this week from, Am I Making You Uncomfortable? You can subscribe and review this podcast. Please give us five stars, be kind. And if you know anyone who would benefit from reading the podcast who can’t listen to it, we’ve got a transcript of the whole chat on our website. So go check that out and direct them to it. I’m Rachel Moss, and you can find me at @Rachel Moss_.

Brogan

I’m Brogan Driscoll, and you can follow me at @Brogan_Driscoll. Thanks to our producer, Chrystal Genesis, our assistant producer, Rachel Porter, and our sound engineer Nag Kirinde.

Rachel

You’ve just listened to, Am I Making You Uncomfortable? And our hashtag is A-I-M-Y-U.