I tried these CBD suppositories for my vaginismus, and they changed my life

As I have written here on Medium before, I have endometriosis and vaginismus, two painful conditions that dramatically alter my daily life and functioning. Over the years, I have tried numerous products and therapies to manage my daily pain — laparoscopic excision surgery and physical therapy have been the most helpful in lowering my chronic pain. Not many over-the-counter products aimed at reducing period pain have helped, unfortunately. And don’t get me started on the fact that many products aimed at reducing period pain have an extremely high pink tax that unfairly target women (overpriced TENS units being a good example).

To discuss the treatments for vaginismus pain, let me first describe what vaginismus actually is, since it’s a condition that I don’t see often discussed in women’s health. Vaginismus occurs when vaginal muscles involuntarily contract — usually, it’s when something is entering the vagina, like a finger or tampon, but for me, my vaginal muscles used to be tight every moment of the day, even when I wasn’t actively doing anything to my vagina. These muscle contractions can result from many things, but for me, they were a result of my extreme endometriosis pain. My vaginal muscles can sometimes be so tight that it can be difficult to walk around or breathe, let alone have sex or use a tampon. I cannot comment on why my muscles got to that point, but my theorization was that, sadly, my vagina was defending me from invasive medical doctors and nurses who were doing rough and painful pelvic exams.

Foria’s Relief Suppositories with the old (left) and new (right) packaging.

Botox injections, along with physical therapy, originally reduced my vaginismus pain dramatically; although I still get the occasional flare-up. Foria’s Relief Suppositories with CBD have wonderfully helped my vaginismus pain so that I am able to resume my daily functioning. These suppositories are made with CBD (no THC) and organic cocoa butter — and although some doctors claim that you shouldn’t put CBD near your vulva (they say that it can cause a yeast infection), I have personally never had that issue. I also find that putting a painkiller directly where it hurts instead of ingesting it acts more quickly and effectively.

One CBD suppository, packaged in plastic.

To start, these suppositories go directly inside your vagina. That might bother a few people, but for me, I am willing to do anything to stop my pelvic pain. These suppositories are also very small — about the size of the end of your finger. They also melt very quickly since they are made with cocoa butter, so putting them in the fridge could be helpful if you’ve just taken a hot bath in 90 degree F weather (as I recently learned). I usually slip one in, with my bottom half raised on a cushion, and relax for 15–20 minutes, with my knees held up to my chest. After this time, you can stand up, but make sure to wear underwear since I often have cocoa butter dripping out of me. I typically feel relief immediately, which I prefer over waiting almost an hour for a pill to kick in. I also only ever use one suppository a day, as there are eight in a box. Then, decreased vagina pain and I am able to breathe again!

If you are looking for a solution to vaginismus pain that doesn’t involve a pill or prescription, I do recommend these. I am not being paid to advertise these suppositories — I am only a woman who has lived with chronic pelvic pain enough that I want to share what I’ve learned with other women. Vaginismus pain is not discussed enough in the world, leaving many women frustrated, silenced, and alone, like I felt. We are often made to feel that the pain is our fault and that it is a psychological reaction to stress, depression, or anxiety — even though we know that this isn’t true. But, just know that there are people out there who believe in you and that there are products that will help.

PhD candidate at Penn State University, specializing in disability studies and American literature.