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Some scientific studies are finally exploring the effectiveness of support groups in helping people deal with taboo medical or physical conditions, which people dont feel comfortable discussing openly in public (such as alcoholism, AIDS, sexual abuse and vaginismus too) and they are showing that such groups indeed have terrific potential because of the great synergy of the people sharing inside them.

You may want to check out the following for example:

* Barlow, S. H., Burlingame, G. M., Nebeker, R. S. and Anderson, E. (2000) Meta-analysis of medical self-help groups. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 50, 1, 53-70

* Adamsen, L. and Rasmussen, J. M. (2001) Sociological perspectives on self-help groups: reflections on conceptualisations and social processes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 35, 6, 909-917

*Adamsen, L. (2002) From victim to agent: the clinical and social significance of self-help group participation for people with life-threatening diseases. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 16, 3, 224-231

* Finn, J. & Lavitt, M. (1994) Computer-Based Self-Help Groups for Sexual Abuse Survivors. Social Work with Groups 17, 1/2, 21-46

Even if traditional views of medicine still don't give self-help enough credit (maybe cause it's very much a woman's tool and available for free?), there is more awareness out there that a support group can help you find a wealth of up-to-date medical information, personal coaching and emotional support all in one place and that it can indeed be very healing and helpful.

[For more information on this topic, you may also check these online reviews or studies:

* Use of Internet at major life moments

** Bella, A., Mortimer, S. and Reilly, J. (2004) Nurturing Connections: a study of support network for adult experiencing long-term effects of childhood abuse (page 6)

Thats why we highly recommend that you join an online group or forum on vaginismus. One of the most powerful things that can happen to you when joining one online, anonymous support group is that it will be immediately crystal clear that there are many women all over the world with vaginismus, that you are not a weirdo for having the sensitive vagina you do, and you may be amazed to see that women with vaginismus are all pretty awesome ladies and that you are one too.

It will feel a bit like finally finding yourself among beautiful swans and realizing that youve been one too all along&! Also, these groups can offer a high degree of security, you can remain anonymous and they mainly only accept other women who want to share their issues with vaginismus.
(Unless you specifically want to join a group which includes male partners too, or therapists).

There is usually no need to disclose anything about yourself, you can just read what the others say and have access to their informative database, or you may start by introducing yourself and disclose whatever details you feel comfortable saying, and then ask all the questions you feel like and wait for a reply, which usually will come pretty fast.

SUPPORT GROUPS for Vaginismus:

This is a list of all the support groups on vaginismus we could find, in different languages. They change often so some links may be out of date now and make sure you check what they look like before joining or please report any mistake or any new group you are aware of, at Thank you.

You can subscribe directly by clicking here:

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WhenSexHurts - a support community for couples struggling with intimacy due to disability

http://www.mavicanet.com/directory/ell/31224.html (in Greek)

http://women.far.ru/main.php?p=health/ginekolog&pp=ginek7 (in Russian)

www.egroups.com/group/vaginismo (in Spanish)

http://it.groups.yahoo.com/group/vaginismo-supporto (in Italian)

http://asia.groups.yahoo.com/group/Vaginismusgroup (in Singaporean)

http://www.egroups.com/group/vaginism (in Dutch)

http://groups.msn.com/VaginismeVulvodynies (in French)

There are two support groups in German. It can be confusing cause one is called a Forum but it is really a support group where you have to register in order to read and write.

Both are mailing lists with moderators and members, the difference is:
de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Vaginismus-Forum is for sufferers, partners and therapists, whereas http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Vaginismus-Germany is for sufferers only.

www.egroups.de/group/Vaginismus-Germany (in German)

http://asia.groups.yahoo.com/group/vaginismusgroup-support-indonesia (in Indonesian)

health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ttcwithvag (a group for women trying to conceive with vaginismus)

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/londonvpsg (based in London)

http://www.vulvalpainsociety.org/london(in London, meet every 6 weeks)

List of FORUMS on Vaginismus

VAGINISMUS 1 FORUM (in English. Some parts are public, some are private and require registration)

Forum-Vaginisme (in French/en Francaise)

Foro sobre Vaginismo: en busqueda de la solucion (in Spanish/ en Espanol)

www.vaginismus-forum.com is a forum with information for everybody (in German)

A Swiss therapist also has a website in German language with a forum (everybody can read and write): http://vaginismus-info.blogspot.com/

Hey, why not start your own in your language if its missing!?

It's easy! Go to Yahoo groups and follow the easy steps. You will help many women..

P.S. If you are a medical practitioner or an organization working on womens sexual health, you may want to add the relevant support group in your website/brochure on vaginismus in your language.

The 2 meanings of SUPPORT

There seems to be two ways of conceptualizing the word SUPPORT when it comes to vaginismus. For some, the idea of Support is to unconditionally support a woman to solve her vaginismus no matter what her personal circumstances are or what the possible consequences of having an open vagina will be for her, as long as that's what she wants at that moment or as long as her partner will be happy. Gynaecologists and therapists often give this kind of support too cause they'll need to give customers what they want and that's their way of making money out of them.
Other women believe instead that a woman with vaginismus should always be supported first of all to see herself as a complete human being, full of potential and passion, who can be loved independently from the state of her vagina, and who should not put up with abuse or pressure to be sexual if she doesn't feel like it or if it's bad for her because of an uncaring partner. Only when she's empowered to see that can practical support to solve her vaginismus follow.

We hope you'll find the support group that's right for you.

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DISCLAIMER: This site is not designed to provide medical advice. All material is gathered from the experience of hundreds of women who experienced vaginismus but it is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on vaginismus-awareness-network.org carefully and confer with a health care professional specialized in vaginismus, as needed.