Gretel’s Story

Overcoming Vagismus – A Fabulous Success Story from Gretel

Gretel’s First Letter After Reading The Diana Success Story On Dr Jan’s Web


Dear Dr Jan,

My name is Gretel and I am very pleased to read the story of Diana.

I also have vaginismus and also married 10 years, just like Diana.

Even though I don’t know her I feel so proud of her as I am still trying to overcome the problem myself. I was so overwhelmed by her story because it reminded me so much of myself. I was reading it nodding my head, understanding everything she was saying.

My background is much like hers, old fashioned – no sexual visions (kissing,etc) on tv , not being told about the ‘birds and the bees’ , afraid of my parents reaction , told touching was bad (mum caught me once and threaten to tell one day when I was naughty), I didn’t do it after that, but I was the youngest of my family so I was the very over protected one.

My sisters are 12 – 14 years older than me and the eldest did fall pregnant at 16 and I heard all the rough stories of how she tore when she was giving birth and all the bad things that happen. I think it was to scare me from doing the same because I was always told how much I was like her in all sorts of ways. Well it worked and I am still afraid.

I so much want to have a baby. I am 31 years old and feel my clock is ticking.

I have done all the things like getting associated with my own body, inserting a finger then a small vibrator and just lately partially inserting a bigger vibrator close to the size of my husbands penis, when erect, but what is frustrating me is I put so much pressure on myself to get to the point of penetration that when it come to inserting him I freeze and can’t do it, so then I get quite depressed. I can’t come to inserting two fingers though.

Anyway I just thought I’d write this mail to let you know how good it was to actually read a story of success, they are so hard to come by.

Thank You for the inspiration to know I should be able to overcome this.



Dr Jan replied to Gretel –

Dear Gretel,

Thanks for your trust in sharing your own challenges.

I do appreciate the honesty of your share and hope you still have faith – I am sure you can overcome it!

If you want to make one hypnosis session with me, I will do my best to help you to “unblock” the fear!

Best wishes

Dr Jan


Gretel wrote again several months later…

Gretel’s Letter No 2

Dear Dr Janet Hall,

I’m not sure if you will remember me but I wrote an email to you some time last month about Diana’s story of success. You offered a hypnosis session if I wanted one.

Well I just thought I’d let you know that I won’t be needing the session to get through the problem of vaginismus because we (my husband and I), just like Diana and her husband, got through it and I had sex for the first time the other day.

I just thought I’d let you know because I think it was by reading Diana’s story gave me the mental strength too know I can get over this, and I have.

So I would like to thank you for putting Diana’s story on your site, it was an inspiration.

Thank You So Much


On congratulating Gretel, Dr Jan asked if she would share her whole story –


Gretel’s True Story

Many things happen in my life as a child that I think may have contributed to me having vaginismus. Here goes…

I was one of 3 children but a lot later than my 2 sisters, they were 12 and 14 years older than me so I was like an only child. My mother and father both worked. My mother went back to work when I was only 6 weeks old, so I was sent to babysitters until I was 14 years old.

By the time I was 2, I became an aunty as my eldest sister had a baby boy.

With this, I think my parents then decided to be more protective of me.

With my sister having her own baby to look after she also looked after me at times, I ended up having a better relationship with her than my mother, sometimes when I was younger I would call my sister mum and that upset my actual mum.

As I got older and made friends in my street for one reason or another my mother made it clear she didn’t like them, I wasn’t allowed to play where they couldn’t see me. We lived on a curve so I could only play 4 houses up from mine, I wasn’t allowed out of the street.

My mother had her own issues with sex and didn’t like anything on the tv that looked like it may lead to sex, so used to turn it over or off. I had a really big issue with pain so mum used to always tell me about my eldest sisters rough time that she had giving birth to her son, so if on the tv there was a birth happening with the women screaming and saying it hurt, I was allowed to watch it, so of course I always said I was never going to have children or sex.

I started blooming when I was in primary school, 5th or 6th grade I’m not sure.

My eldest sister had to say to my mother that she thinks it is time I was fitted for a bra, I was well and truly growing breasts at this time, I was in high school by this time. It was if she didn’t want me to grow up.

Anyway my last babysitter was a grandmother, living with her daughter and her daughter’s family, husband son and daughter. The son was older than me and the daughter was younger than me. One night that I stayed over, the son asked if we wanted to play a game called murder in the dark, I was only about 10, anyway his sister was out of the room and the lights were off. He was breathing quite heavily near my ear then next thing I knew he had my hand and was putting it on his bare and very erect penis trying to get me to hold it,wrap my hand around it, he was about 18 I think. With my hands being so little it didn’t go close to wrapping around it. They also had a pool in the back yard and he again used to come up with games in the pool. He liked to play blinds mans bluff in the pool and when he found me he used to put his hand in my swimmers touching my groin area The pool thing went on for a while, I got to a point if he went in the pool then I’d get out and I stopped staying over at night.

This left picture and thoughts in my head that I know now aren’t true. With my hand being so little when I felt his penis it made it seem soooo huge and so my thoughts were it would hurt so much.

Then another incident was with my eldest sister partner, he freaked me out.

Because I had a close relationship with my sister I liked staying over. I was in the spare room. By this time she had had 3 children to this man. He made it clear that he liked sex and women, he used to whistle at young girls when they walked past, he also used to like drawing women and all their bits.

One night when I was staying over I awake to see him in the room staring at me in the middle of the night, I ended up when I stayed over I would sleep at the bottom of my nephews bed. I felt safer then.

Another time we were at a pet show, at the school her eldest went to. I was sitting down on a slope. I can’t remember if anyone was around me. He came up the slope pushed me down and sat on my stomach, pinching (not hard) my breasts. I don’t remember much after that.

When my husband and I met I was 17. We did try to have sex in the beginning but it just would work. So for years we found other ways of giving sexual pleasure and that was ok by him, he never pressured me for anything else.

Then my eldest sister had another baby boy, 15 years after her last. I broke down, she had her turn it was my turn. I ended up having to see a social worker, she used to seek information from a sex councillor. While we were talking I remembered that my mother used to tell me it was very naughty to touch myself, and she caught me on day in the bath and black mailed me with it when I was naughty that she would tell everyone.

I did make a little progress with the social worker, I got the tip of my pinky finger inserted (not much but it was a lot to me at the time). I stopped going because she went on holidays and I didn’t go back when she came back.

My GP didn’t even know of my problem. She never asked me for a smear. I was talking to my husband one day about it and we decided to tell my GP to see if she had anyway of helping me. She sent me to a psychologist for someone to talk to and a gynaecologist for an examination.

I spent about 13 weeks with the psychologist and we talked a lot. She came up with the conclusion that my head was full of very strong thoughts that I had grown up with, always being told I was so much like my eldest sister (talk, sound, look), and the fact that I didn’t want to be like her, because she has nothing. We worked out that even though I wanted to have children very badly that I was so afraid of turning out like my sister, not being able to afford anything, losing everything my husband and I worked so hard to get (house and car) -that my fears had a lot to do with the way my mind run my body. So when it came to trying to have sex my body shut everything off and would let anything in.

A few other things were -my parents have always said you must both always be working all the time to be able to have things and with me being at babysitters all of my childhood, I would like to be a “stay at home” mum to get a proper connection with my children.

My mother didn’t know how to show love. I was a spoilt brat, because I got whatever I wanted because mum felt guilty for not being around so she more or less brought my love.

Then there was the visits to the gynacologist. Well, how scared was I when I went to him.

I was so scared I was in tears, but he was so understanding, he never pressured me either.

I had a few sessions with him, I felt comfortable with him and told him if it came to having a pap smear I felt more comfortable for him to do it than my own GP.

While I had visits to them both I was doing some home work of my own.

I started slow but touching myself. Then one day out of the blue, I hopped out of a bath and said to myself ‘I am so sick of this fear, get over it Jackie’. I went to my bedroom and successfully inserted a finger. I was so excited I cried.

I was so tense in the fingers it wasn’t funny, I was so scared to move. I lay there for a while keeping still just to get used to the feeling, my muscle was throbbing so hard on my finger.

I removed my finger and inserted it again, I did this a few times.

I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home to let him in on my progress. I purchased a vibrator that was a little bigger than my finger so I could gradually stretch the muscle.

I did get that in as well. I was getting very proud of myself. I never did gratuate to 2 of my own fingers. I had an issue that I didn’t feel like a full complete woman, that there must have been something wrong with me so the gynacologist and the psychologist both decide for my own piece of mind that it was time for a internal exam, to free me of any thoughts like that.

So came the day that I had a 2 finger exam … and I couldn’t go through with it!

That was ok by the gynacologist -he understood. We made another appointment with me for 2 weeks grace and I was to prepare myself for it.

The second time he inserted 1 finger and that was ok -I didn’t flinch. When he inserted 2 I was very tense but he calmed me down and we got there. When we finished the exam he showed me how big his 2 fingers were that were just inside me, so I could see that they were the width of a general sized penis and that they fit. It felt a little uncomfortable but it didn’t hurt, which was one of my biggest fears. He was satisfied with that and didn’t require another appointment until I wanted one.

I only seen the psychologist once or twice after that because she went on holidays and I didn’t go back, as usual. At times I didn’t feel she was doing any good.

I was questioning myself of why I was going.

Ok so now I know I am normal, so we tried. I knew all the things about “female on top opens up further” and things like that. We tried with me on top and he started to enter and I could feel him gliding in, but then the head of his penis got through and made a pop and I jumped off because it scared me. Another failure.

My best friend knew of my problem and she suffers from polycystic ovaries, which made it hard for her to conceive a baby too. She said it would be good if we fell pregnant together. She already has a daughter she is about 10. I thought that’s ok, this will give me enough time to get through my problem and I thought I’d have a fair chance of falling before her.

One night the phone rings and she says she is pregnant. I fell in a big heap, cried most of the night. When I got over the shock, this made me determined to get over it. She kept telling me I could plan to have sex on certain nights, just let it come naturally. But I wasn’t able to do that.

Anyway a few more failed attempts but then one morning I did something else I wasn’t able to do and that was to let my husband insert his finger, I was lying on his arm when it was inserted. This happen a couple of times, then I got real and we worked on it.

One night, we were in missionary position and he was partly in. He was so overcome by the sensation that he ejaculated, but that was ok by me cause he was partially where he should be. Then the next morning, in the same position, we made it completely.

We both cried with happiness. That was a month and a half ago now. You know I didn’t think my husband and I could get any closer than we were but I was wrong, we are so close now.

Thank You Dr Jan