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Unread 03-19-2003, 10:19 PM
No vagina?

I had a total vaginal hysterectomy 7 months ago. Since then my husband and I have not been able to have sex. I have only a 1 to 1 1/2 inch depth where my vagina should be. Needless to say, sex is very painful when tried and a normal sex life is out of the question. My doctor tells me my vagina shrunk due to the hysterectomy and this happens sometimes. Now I'm to insert a "dilator" for an hour each night to try to gradually increase the depth of my vagina. This is very painful and I'm to do this for approx. 6 months and then it may not even work. I am so depressed and have never heard of such a thing. Has anyone ever had this happen or know of someone who has?
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Unread 03-19-2003, 11:00 PM
No vagina?

Hi bejai and welcome to Hystersisters! I am so glad you found us. I have a couple of questions for you. Did you keep your ovaries? If you did, are you having any menopausal symptoms like hot flashes or night sweats? And if you didn't, are you on any type of hormone replacement?

The reason I am asking is that vaginal atrophy (a shrinking of the vagina) can happen with very low estrogen levels in the vaginal tissues. It can make sex (and even just walking) pretty painful, and even cause bleeding during penetration. Here is a link to a discussion about vaginal dryness/atrophy with the range of solutions for treating it:

Vaginal dryness

Even if you are not having hot flashes, those vaginal tissues can sometimes be made more elastic with the use of a little vaginal estrogen, either in cream form or vagifem pills (they are inserted vaginally). This can help make those stretching exercises you are doing much less uncomfortable, so it might be worth asking your DR about.

Have you considered seeing another DR for a second opinion about this shortening of your vagina? There should not really be appreciable shortening in a TVH, not to the degree that it makes sex impossible. I would want to have another DR take a look.

Hang in there sweetie
Unread 03-20-2003, 01:55 AM
No vagina?

This hasn't happened to me either but it doesn't seem quite right to shrink that much. Some estrogen cream should help but I would get a second opinion to see what is really happening, this doesn't seem quite normal.

Sorry to hear of your trouble and hope that things get better. I will keep you in my prayers and hopefully the other doctor will find out what is causing the problem. Keep your chin up okay??
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Unread 03-20-2003, 11:00 PM
No vagina?

Thanks ladies. I feel so much better knowing that someone understands how I feel. I have no ovaries and I do have some occasional hot flases but no night sweats. I made an appoint-
ment with a different gyn. Wish me luck and thank you for your prayers. I'll keep you posted.
Unread 03-21-2003, 01:30 PM
No vagina?

Good luck, sweetie. I hope your new gyn has some good answers for you.

Emily s
Unread 03-21-2003, 04:40 PM
No vagina?

I'm soo sorry you are having to go thru this There have been a few other ((Ladies)) here who experienced this, some have had success with Vaginal Dilators to help stretch the area. Here is some info on *shortened Vagina* as well as dilators:

shortened vagina can be improved with dilators of various sizes that will allow successful sexual intercourse. ...

Vaginal Dilators:

Graphic~detailed info on the depth/length of the vagina
just as the vagina has the capacity to expand, allowing for the passage of a baby during childbirth, the vagina also has the ability to elongate during intercourse to accommodate a penis. As you mentioned, for some women, the depth from the vaginal opening to the tip of the cervix is 3 to 4 inches when they are not sexually aroused. Other women may have a vaginal depth of five to seven inches. Regardless, during arousal, blood flows to the genital area, and sexual excitement causes the upper two-thirds of the vagina to lengthen by forcing the cervix and uterus to ascend. The vagina also lubricates to help ease penetration.

Some people think that the vaginal canal is a continuously open space. However, this is a misperception. Think of the vaginal canal as if it were a balloon that is not filled with any air. The walls, which have the potential to expand and elongate, gently touch one another. When something is placed inside, they mold around the width..
Sometimes during penetration, a penis or other object inserted in a vagina does hit the cervix. This may be an indication that the woman is not physiologically aroused enough; when she is more aroused, her vagina will elongate and her cervix, the neck of the uterus, will lift up and move out of the way
Good luck I hope you able to find something that can help..pls keep us posted
Unread 03-21-2003, 05:14 PM
no vagina

Hi, I lost my vagina to radiation and there was only about an inch left. I know exactly what you are going through. It is frustrating and something that is difficult to talk about. You feel like your vagina was amputated.
My gyn/onc referred me to a plastic surgeon who worked with me very well. The dilator hurts and doesn't work well when you are that far shrunk because the harded you try to get the dilator in the opening the more trauma you cause to that area and then you swell making it more difficult.
The plastic surgeon first gave me a tissue expander that I inflated with a syringe and fill it with air. A tissue expander is used to stretch and area, say the skin over a mastectomy until there is enough stretched skin to build a breast. You want to build a vagina. The tissue expander is soft and pliableand painless to insert. Once it is in you expand it by blowing it up with air with the syringe as big as you can stand it. Watch TV for about 10 or 15 minutes and then let the air out. You do this nightly. The tissue expander did work for the width but it wasn't doing as much as I wanted for the length. I ended up having my vagina reconstructed (it was covered under insurance) using my peritineum in a procedure that my Doctor invented and the surgery worked.
Suggest to your doctor a referral to a plastic surgeon. It may just help.
Feel free you e-mail and ask questions.
Good luck. I have been there and I know it is a rotten place to be.

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