The 23-year-old New Yorker had decided that she wanted her first sexual encounter to be a special moment for her and her husband but after years of waiting for marriage, Stephanie was diagnosed with vaginismus – a condition which makes penetration unbearably painful, Daily Mail reported.
Stephanie – who started dating her partner, Andrew (now 31), in 2015 and tied the knot two with him years later – didn’t discover her condition until the pair were on honeymoon.
“Early during our honeymoon, we were having difficulty with penetration but figured it would just take time to get more comfortable,” Stephanie explained to The Sun.
But following her first sexual encounter, Stephanie developed a yeast infection which she’d “never had before and [which] was very uncomfortable” which prompted her to visit her gynaecologist.
Following her doctor’s visit, she was prescribed medication to clear the infection and strong painkllers to ease the pain during penetration.
But Stephanie was determined to learn more about vaginismus and alternative ways to treat it, Metro reported.
While Stephanie says vaginismus put a toll on her marriage to the extent she felt shame for not being able to be sexually active with Andrew, he was very understanding.
“My husband has been incredibly supportive throughout my journey with vaginismus,” she said.
“Anytime that I would say negative things about myself, he’d always reassure me that none of those things were true and that he loved me.”
Stephanie was able to overcome her vaginismus after completion of therapy at a women’s clinic and wants to now use her condition to inspire other women who could possibly be experiencing the same thing.
“For me, it’s so important to talk about it freely because I strongly believe that there’s no shame in vaginismus.”