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Table 2 Participants experiences

From: Women’s experiences of using vaginal trainers (dilators) to treat vaginal penetration difficulties diagnosed as vaginismus: a qualitative interview study

Participant number Summary of experience
1 First contact with GP, self-directed use of VTs followed by short term physiotherapy using VTs - not yet recovered.
2 First contact with relate (“Marriage Guidance) reassurance but no support given. Several years later saw GP, referred to NHS clinic, not helpful. 20 years later successful self-treatment.
3 First contact with GP, referred to relate, not helfpful. Self-directed use of VTs. Waiting for referral to gynecology - not yet recovered.
4 Vaginismus caused by rape. First contact with GP, referral for counselling - didn’t go because of offensive referrral letter. Went to relate, sensate focus and VTs not helpful. Referred to counselling, not helpful. Referral to psychosexual nurse, not helpful. Awaiting referral to physiotherapy. Not yet recovered.
5 First contact with GP series of referrals to gynecology, problem not recognised. GP referral to specialists clinic - finding treatment helpful, but not yet recovered.
6 First contact with GP, referred for psychosexual therapy, but husband could not attend so therapy terminated by therapist. GP suggested Relate. but this not taken up. Used self-hynotherapy recording. Now able to have sex, but not able have internal examinations.
7 First contact GP (problem initially not recognized), self referral to relate for counselling and VTs - relationship improved, but vaginismus not resolved. Referral to specialist clinic - just started therapy, hopeful of a resolution.
8 First contact with relate counselling and VTs - successful treatment.
9 First contact with PCP, who refused PCP refused exam/ diagnosis until after marriage. Referral to psychologist.- not helpful. Did own research and used VTs in programme. Referral to specialist physiotherapist. Slow progress, not yet recovered.
10 Problems caused by ovarian cyst. Repeated referrals to gynecology before vaginismus diagnosed, then referred to specialist clinic. Experiencing progress, but not yet recovered.
11 First contact PCP, problem not recognized. Referred to gynecologist advised to purchase VTs. Self directed treatment with VTs. Unable to take up physiotherapy referral due to cost. Some progress, but not yet recovered.
12 First contact GP, referral to gynecology, referral to specialist clinic - much improved able to have intercourse but still in treatment.
13 First contatc GP, referred to gynecology given diagnosis and VTs, one appointment with nurse. No progress. Requested further support, advised to persist, unable to persist due to pain. Given up on treatment. Not recovered.