A woman who was desperate to have sex with her husband finally lost her virginity aged 32 after being cured of a rare condition.
Karen Buono spent most of her life affected by the painful condition vaginismus – which caused her vaginal wall muscles to involuntarily constrict.
It meant she was never able to insert a tampon, have a cervical smear test or engage in penetrative sex.
The 35-year-old school teacher from Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA, was left baffled after she tried to have sex with several boyfriends.
They all told her the same thing; it was ‘like hitting a brick wall’ when they attempted intercourse.
Karen said she gave up trying to have sex and would always lie to her partners by telling them she wanted to wait until marriage – but she said she was ‘desperate’ to lose her virginity.
It wasn’t until she was 31 years old that Karen was officially diagnosed with vaginismus – after years of thinking it was all in her head.
And after discovering a doctor who specialised in treating the condition, Karen was completely cured after just four months of intense physical therapy.
Karen was able to have sex for the very first time at 32 years old with her ‘very patient’ husband, Joe Johnson, 38.
She said: “I knew something was wrong with me after I tried to have sex with my boyfriend for the first time when I was 16.
“I had never even tried to used tampons before that, so this was the first attempt at penetration.
“But no matter what we did, he just couldn’t get it in. It was so awkward.
“I thought it might have just been because it was our first time. So we waited a bit and tried again.
“But we couldn’t do it. He said it was like hitting a brick wall and there was just no way he could get it in.
“So we just gave up. But then the same thing happened with other boyfriends when I was in my twenties.
“Some of them just yelled at me to relax. I used to get really drunk to try and relax my muscles.
“But nothing worked. I was so depressed.
“I desperately wanted to have sex. I was dying for it. But I couldn’t.
“So I just told every partner I had that I wanted to wait for marriage. But that wasn’t true at all.
“When I was 25, I’d had enough. I paid $4,000 for my doctor to put me under anesthesia to see what was wrong with me.
“But they said everything was fine. I was dumbfounded.
“So I just thought it must be all my fault. That it was all inside my head."
She went to see a pelvic floor specialist ans was finally diagnosed.
“After just four months of therapy with her, I was cured. I could finally have sex for the first at 32 years old.
“It was one of the best days of my life. I was so happy to finally lose my virginity and have sex with the man I love.”
Vaginismus is a gynecological condition which causes the pelvic floor muscles to involuntary spasm and constrict, making it difficult – or in Karen’s case, impossible – to penetrate the vagina.
After years of allegedly being dismissed by several physicians who told her it was ‘all in her head’, Karen claims one doctor suggested that she ‘could possibly have vaginismus – but said there was no real cure and nothing else they could do.
So she took matters into her own hands by researching the condition online and purchasing a set of dilators, to help open up the vagina.
But without any direction or proper knowledge on how to use the dilators, Karen struggled to use them properly.
After meeting her husband Joe online in April 2014, she said she quickly fell in love and knew he was ‘the one’ – so she decided to seek medical help one last time for her elusive condition.
She said: “I honestly didn’t think the doctor would be able to help me, but I had nothing to lose so I thought I’d give it a go.
“She promised me I’d be able have sex in four months. I was thrilled. I’d waited my whole life, so four months was nothing.
“For the first two months, I saw her twice a week. She didn’t even get near my vagina at first, it was all just breathing techniques and relaxation exercises.
“Then she would try to insert a cotton bud. It was hard at first, but then it finally went in.
“She would just let that sit in there for about 20 minutes.
“Over time, we worked on the dilators and I worked on it myself every night at home too.
“I never gave up. I just wanted it so bad. After four months, she told me I was ready to try.
“I waited a few more weeks to make sure I was 100% ready.
“And then one night my husband and I were making out on the couch. I looked at him and said ‘do you want to try?’
“It worked. I finally had sex. I couldn’t believe it. I rang my doctor straight afterwards to tell her what had happened.
“I felt so proud. I felt like I’d just won a race of something that I’d been training for.
“It wasn’t romantic at all. But it meant the world to me.
“Over time, we did it more and more. It took about a year for us to really get into the groove of things.
“After all, I was totally new at all of it and had a lot to learn. But after about a year, sex became really amazing and pleasurable the way it is supposed to be.
“Now we’re doing it around four times a week because we’re trying to have a baby.
“I really value sex. It’s incredible. I was without it for so long, so I’d never take it for granted.”
Joe proposed to Karen a year ago, and the newlyweds tied the knot in April this year – with Karen’s ‘miracle doctor’. Lynn Deang even attending the ceremony.
And after an ‘incredible’ honeymoon in the Caribbean, the loved-up duo are now trying for a baby ‘as often as they can’.
Karen said: ““My whole life has completely changed. I never thought I’d be able to experience the joy of sex but now I’m with the man of my dreams doing it all the time.
“We’re trying to have a baby, which is something I never thought I’d be able to do.
“I always wanted to be a mother, so this is like a dream for me.
“There are women out there suffering from vaginismus in silence.
“You can never give up. There is hope.
“It’s not all in your head. The condition is real, and it can be cured."
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