I want to settle down and have a family but I suffer with vaginismus – so sex is painful

DEAR DEIDRE: I WANT to settle down and have a family but I suffer with vaginismus, so sex is painful. I am a single woman of 26.

My dream is to marry and have a big family but I don’t see how that will ever happen.

If previous partners got anywhere near my privates, I tensed up.

I hate the feeling. It makes me panic.

Sex was very painful, so now I avoid getting into relationships.

People assume I have everything to look forward to but I feel like life is passing me by.

How can I develop a proper relationship if I can’t even have sex?

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DEIDRE SAYS: Your anxiety has triggered vaginismus – the muscles tense up and make sex near-impossible.

You have no control over this.

It can be painful and upsetting but the good news is it can be treated.

Vaginismus doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to get aroused and enjoy other types of sexual contact.

My support pack Painful Sex? explains common causes, as well as self-help and where to find expert treatment.

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