A woman who never had sex has shared how she discovered she was pregnant – despite still being a virgin.
Nicole Moore, 28, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, suffered from vaginismus – a condition which causes the vaginal wall muscles to involuntarily constrict – and was never able to insert a tampon, have a pap smear or have sex.
So when she got pregnant eight years ago, it was the shock of her life, after Nicole and her boyfriend found other ways of being intimate with each other without penetrative sex.
She revealed nurses who didn’t know about her condition wouldn’t believe her when she said she had never had sex, but after seeking a second opinion it was confirmed that while rare, it is possible to get pregnant without having penetrative intercourse if the sexual activity introduced fluids to the vaginal area.
With the help of physical therapy, she was able to finally lose her virginity and have penetrative sex at five months pregnant.
The supply teacher 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.
Tilly, pictured as a baby, came into the world without any issue, according to her doting mother Nicole
Nicole revealed nursing staff wouldn’t believe her when she explained she hadn’t had sex during her pregnancy check-ups, before she was diagnosed with vaginismus
‘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 explained that she and her partner found other ways to be intimate with each other without having penetrative sex.
While she never thought it was possible, this caused her to become pregnant – despite still being a virgin.
She 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.
Tilly as a baby with Nicole. The mother-of-one explained she and her boyfriend at the time had had to find other ways to be intimate with each other without having penetrative sex, and that Tilly was somehow born thanks to these practices
Nicole on a day out with Tilly. A doctor explained to the mother-of-one it was possible to get pregnant if any semen had been near her vagina, despite not actually having intercourse
‘But she said it was possible if there had been any fluids near my vagina, despite not actually having intercourse.
‘I did a pregnancy test on my lunch break that day at work and it was positive.
‘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.
The mother-daughter duo now. Nicole is sharing her message now to spread awareness about vaginismus
Nicole, pictured, who is now separated from her daughter’s father, said he had been very supportive of her after her diagnosis
‘So many people still tell me I’m the Virgin Mary which really makes me laugh. It was crazy.’
Nicole said that it was difficult to get some medical professionals to believe her when she told them she had never had sex.
After a lifetime of struggling to understand her condition, Nicole was finally able to get some answers while pregnant and she was diagnosed with vaginismus when she was four months along.
An ultrasound of Tilly during Nicole’s very unexpected pregnancy. The mother said she now knew how to deal with her vaginismus
Nicole and her graduation with Tilly. Nicole candidly revealed she still couldn’t insert a tampon in her vagina due to her condition, but said she was grateful she could have a normal life
She 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.
‘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.
Tilly as a baby. Nicole finally got the help she needed after the diagnosis and revealed she had to use dilators to help overcome her vaginismus
Nicole admitted that treating her vaginismus was frustrating, stressful and upsetting, but that she kept at it and was ab le to have penetrative sex when she was five months pregnant
‘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.’
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.
WHAT IS VAGINISMUS?
Vaginismus occurs when the vagina suddenly tightens up whenever penetration is attempted.
The woman has no control over it, which can be extremely distressing.
It affects between 0.5 and one per cent of women.
As well as struggling to have vaginal sex, many also find it difficult to use a tampon.
If they can achieve penetration, sufferers may then experience a burning or stinging sensation.
However, vaginismus does not necessarily affect a woman’s ability to get aroused or enjoy other forms of sexual contact.
Vaginismus often has no clear cause but can include a woman:
- Fearing her vagina is too small
- Having a bad first sexual experience
- Believing sex is shameful or wrong
- Having an unpleasant medical examination
- Suffering from an infection or painful condition, such as thrush
Vaginismus can sometimes occur even if a woman has enjoyed penetrative sex in the past.
If a woman suspects she may have vaginismus, she should make an appointment to see her GP.
The consultation usually involves asking about her symptoms and rarely requires an internal examination.
Treatment is usually therapy to help a women understand her feelings about sex and her body. Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness can also help.
Pelvic floor exercise can also help a woman gain control of her vaginal muscles.
In more severe cases, vaginal trainers, which are shaped like tampons and come in different sizes, can help a woman get used to have something inserted in her vagina.
And 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.
She said: ‘With the help of the therapist, I began using dilators and could see a light at the end of the tunnel.
‘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.’