For the, even watching a couple of kisses on TV can cause Wynona to experience excruciating vaginal pain. It’s a topic Wynona Fenech never thought she’d speak about publicly, let alone in an interview on tonight’s episode of Insight on SBS. “There’s always that apprehension because your is on TV; you’re talking about your vagina and the fact that you can’t have sex with your husband,” she told news.com.au. “People were like, do you want to discuss this on TV? You know what, I don’t really, but nobody else is going to, so I have to.”
For the past four years and counting, the 28-year-old Melbourne HR manager and her husband have struggled to kiss, let alone have sex, due to her endometriosis and the resulting trauma she suffered due to the pain. It means that Wynona and her husband, Stefan Fenech, have been forced into a celibate relationship, with the pair unsure of what intimacy will look like. Wynona had grown up with painful periods like the other women in her family. Still, it was only when she was rushed to the aged 17 with excruciating pain on her right side that she was diagnosed with endometriosis.
But it was when she was pregnant with her daughter in 2017 that herdrastically. Sex becomes unbearably painful, with the of Wynona’s vagina feeling like they were on fire and her pelvic area cramping. “We couldn’t have sexual intercourse because it was , but we couldn’t kiss. I couldn’t hold my husband’s hand,” she said. “I couldn’t be turned on because even just the motion of being turned on, the aching, it would feel like my vulva is on fire.”
The couple stopped having sex, with Wynona putting down the pain possibly down to being pregnant. Evenand cause Wynona to have diarrhea. “Literally like on a rom-com if someone does a peck,” Wynona said. “It’s not because I’m overly horny. It was so sensitive that any arousal was so painful. After the traumatic C-section birth of daughter Isla in June of that year, only got worse, with Wynona’s vagina becoming so closed off she “couldn’t even get a Q-tip in without it hurting”.
She was diagnosed with vaginismus, an involuntary tensing of the vaginal canal which prevents penetration. Wynona’s endometriosis symptoms also came back soon after, and shethey were “embarrassing”. Wynona’s vagina was so closed off that she couldn’t work with dilators to try and relax the area. Doctors instead recommended she get to make her vaginal opening wider. “We did agree to have plastic surgery as a last resort because we did try everything,” she said.
Wynona got the surgery and a laparoscopy done simultaneously, which saw her diagnosed with stage four endometriosis. But unfortunately, the surgery on her vagina has not enabled her to have sex, with Wynona nowa “mental barrier”. “The route that we were supposed to take was this plastic surgery, but it also didn’t help because it didn’t the fact that there’s all this mental and psychological trauma you have after going through so much pain,” she said.
Wynona said she’d had countless bad experiences with health professionals – including a gynecologist who asked if it was “all in my head” – and could not get help. But she still feels “fortunate” as her husband Stefan has supported her throughout her problems with pain and sex. “I have a wonderful husband who has shown no issues towards us not having sex,” Wynona said. “We’ve had to be intimate in other ways, so we do everything together. Usually, when we go to work together, we catch the train together, and we can take the train home.” Wynona hopes that by sharing her story, other women with endometriosis who go through similar experiences with sex will know they aren’t alone or “weird”. “No one is up in arms about this, and we need to be,” she said. You can hear more from Wynona and others about Celibacy tonight on SBS Insight at 8.30 pm.