Women suffering from this condition can be affected physically as well as emotionally. Living with this condition is not an easy path. but there is help at hand. As well as understanding the physiological condition from this fact sheet, I work with women to try to minimise the effect it has on their body and in relationships. As an intimacy and relationship coach.Im able to assist women and couples with minimising the effects of this condition.
More fact sheets are available at helenzee.com. Topics on Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, Egg Health Maturation, Sperm Health Maturation, Erectile Dysfunction, Vulvadynia, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
What is Vaginismus
Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse. Vaginismus is also known as genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder (DSM-V).
Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or will the tightness to occur; it is an involuntary pelvic response. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem.
In some cases, vaginismus tightness may begin to cause burning, pain, or stinging during intercourse. In other cases, penetration may be difficult or completely impossible. Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsummated relationships. The tightness can be so restrictive that the opening to the vagina is “closed off” altogether and the man is unable to insert his penis. The pain of vaginismus ends when the sexual attempt stops, and, usually, intercourse must be halted due to pain or discomfort.
Is Vaginismus curable?
Vaginismus ishighly treatable and a full recovery from vaginismus is the normal outcome of treatment. Successful vaginismus treatment does not require drugs, surgery, hypnosis, nor any other complex invasive technique. Following a straightforward program, pain-free and pleasurable intercourse is attainable for most couples.
Symptoms of Vaginismus?
- Burning or stinging with tightness during sex
- Difficult or impossible penetration, entry pain, uncomfortable insertion of penis
- Unconsummated marriage
- Ongoing sexual discomfort or pain following childbirth, yeast/urinary infections, STDs, IC, hysterectomy, cancer and surgeries, rape, menopause, or other issues
- Ongoing sexual pain of unknown origin, with no apparent cause
- Difficulty inserting tampons or undergoing a pelvic/gynecological exam
- Spasms in other body muscle groups (legs, lower back, etc.) and/or halted breathing during attempts at intercourse
- Avoidance of sex due to pain and/or failure
There are many reasons why the vaginal muscles tighten against a woman’s will. But it isn’t always clear each time why this might have happened.
Vaginismus is often associated with past sexual experiences or other sexual issues.
For example, an unpleasant experience at a young age, such as a clumsy, painful sexual encounter or gynaecological examination, can make the body respond in a protective way to prevent further pain.
Having difficulty understanding sex, or having feelings of shame or guilt around sex, could also contribute to vaginismus. For example, you might feel uncomfortable with sex if you:
- Have had a very strict upbringing where it was never discussed
- Have been told that sexual desire is wrong or that sex is painful
- Are affected by cultural or religious taboos around sex
Sexual abuse, assault or rape may also sometimes lead to vaginismus.
Other possible causes of vaginismus may include:
- Fear that your vagina is too small for sexual intercourse
- Fear of getting pregnant
- Damage to the vagina and surrounding muscles during childbirth
- Relationship problems
- Tiredness or depression