A WOMAN is nicknamed the Virgin Mary by her friends after becoming pregnant without ever having sex.
Nicole Moore, 28, didn’t have sex for the first time until five months into her pregnancy with her daughter, Tilly, who is now eight years old.
The mum, fom Portsmouth, Hampshire, suffered from vaginismus – a condition where the vagina tightens up when you try and insert something into it.
Whenever sex is attempted, the vagina restricts and trying to carry on can be extremely painful, therefore ruining a woman's sex life.
Nicole was not aware she had a medical condition until her later life – she says doctors told her she was just “extremely tight”.
But she had never been able to insert a tampon, have a pap smear or have sex – so when she got pregnant, it was the shock of her life.
The supply teachers said doctors called her “ridiculous” for claiming to be pregnant and a virgin.
She said: “I’d spent all my teenage life not being able to insert a tampon, so I knew something was not quite right.
“But doctors told me I was fine, so I just believed for a while that there was something wrong with me.
“When I was 18 I got into a relationship with my daughter’s dad. We began trying to have sexual intercourse, he was a few years older and more experienced.
“We tried but it was impossible. I didn’t understand why it couldn’t happen.
“The only way I can describe it is like it felt like he was hitting a brick wall.
“I went back to the doctors who then gave me an examination but again told me everything was fine, and I was just extremely tight.”
Nicole and her partner found other ways to be intimate with each other.
While they never thought it could be possible, this was how the pregnancy happened.
I thought I was never going to get anyone to believe me or get answers.
The couple now understand that the fluids passed between them during sexual activity meant semen entered Nicole’s vagina.
Speaking of when she became pregnant, Nicole said: “One day at work I started getting terrible heartburn and sore breasts.
“My boss at the time, who was a close friend and knew about my situation, said she thought I could be pregnant.
“I laughed and said there was no way, as I was still a virgin and never had penetrative sex.
“I did a pregnancy test on my lunch break that day at work and it was positive.
“But she said it was possible if there had been any fluids near my vagina, despite not actually having intercourse.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was so shocked and confused.
“All I kept thinking was how on earth am I going to deliver this baby if I couldn’t even have intercourse.
“I was worried my partner would think I’d cheated on him, as it seemed so impossible.
“But thankfully he knew me and my body, and he didn’t doubt me for a second.
“So many people still tell me I’m the Virgin Mary which really makes me laugh. It was crazy.”
AN AGONISING CONDITION THAT RUINS SEX LIVES
VAGINISMUS is a painful condition that can make sex unbearable.
Stress can make it worse, causing a woman's pelvic floor muscles to knot up and spasm.
It causes involuntary tightening of the muscles around the vagina whenever penetration, whether its with your man or using a sex toy, is attempted.
Even using tampons or a visit to the gynaecologist can leave sufferers in agony.
Vaginismus can completely disrupt a woman's sex life and cause her to lose all confidence in the bedroom.
And it can also lead to relationship problems even preventing women get pregnant.
The condition varies from person to person – some women are unable to insert anything into their vagina, some can use a tampon but cannot have sex and some can have sex but find it extremely painful, according to the NHS.
But there are things that can help, including psychosexual therapy to talk about the patients feelings around sex, pelvic floor exercises and vaginal trainers in varying sizes.
Nicole said that it was difficult to get some medical professionals to believe her when she told them she had never had sex.
But after seeking a second opinion it was confirmed that while rare, it was possible to get pregnant without having penetrative intercourse if the sexual activity introduced fluids to the vaginal area.
Nicole said: “I really struggled throughout my pregnancy with professionals believing my story.
“My boyfriend at the time often had to come with me to appointments to explain that we really hadn’t had sex.
“I remember going for a check-up at the hospital and not being able to have an internal examination because the nurse couldn’t insert her finger.
“I tried explaining to her that I still hadn’t had sex and she said to me ‘don’t be ridiculous of course you have’.
“I thought I was never going to get anyone to believe me or get answers.”
Nicole was finally diagnosed with vagnismus when she was four month pregnant, and was able to get answers on the condition that had plagued her life.
It's estimated around 0.5 per cent of women suffer the condition, but there is not a clear figure for prevalence.
She said: “I had a routine check-up at the doctors for a pregnancy related illness and happened to be seen by a student doctor who had recently been studying vaginismus.
“I told him about my struggles, and he told me that I likely had this condition.
“I went home to google the symptoms and couldn’t believe what I was reading.
“I finally realised there wasn’t anything wrong with me and I actually had a medical condition.”
Vaginismus can be caused by a bad first sexual experience or believe sex is shameful.
But sometimes there is no reason for it to occur.
After her diagnosis, Nicole was referred to a therapist who specialised in vaginismus and was able to teach her ways to help overcome the condition.
With this help, she was able to finally lose her virginity and have penetrative sex at five months pregnant.
The condition can be improved with a number of methods, including with dilators – objects in various sizes that help the patient gradually get used to something being inserted – or even Botox.
Although she feared giving birth, Nicole’s little girl Tilly, now eight, came into the world without any issues.
Nicole is now sharing her story to help raise awareness of vaginismus, saying that seeing a therapist was the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
She said: “It wasn’t easy. The process was frustrating, stressful and upsetting, but I kept with it and was eventually able to have sex for the first time while pregnant.
“My daughter’s father and I are no longer together, but he was always supportive of me after my diagnosis.
“I still suffer with vaginismus but I now know how to deal with it and it definitely isn’t as bad.
“I still can’t do certain things, like insert a tampon, but I feel very fortunate that I am now able to have a normal sex life.
“Tilly is definitely my little miracle. We’ve got the best life together and having her was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
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