What Is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the muscles of vagina, perineum, inner thigh and abdomen whenever something tries to enter into the vagina, like a tampon or penis. It can range from being slightly uncomfortable to quite painful.
What are the types of Vaginismus?
- It is mainly of two types:
- Primary vaginismus
- This is when a woman has never been able to insert anything into her vagina.
- Secondary vaginismus
- This is an acquired condition when a woman has had sex without pain before, but later it become difficult or impossible.
What are the Symptoms of Vaginismus?
There is involuntary contraction of the vaginal wall muscles whenever a woman attempts penetrative sex or insertion of a tampon inside the vagina. The first symptom of vaginismus is usually pain during intercourse. The pain typically happens only with penetration and usually goes away after withdrawal.
Women with vaginismus also feel pain and discomfort while inserting a tampon or having a pelvic exam at the doctor’s office.
There is fear of pain during sex that leads to loss of sexual desire.
These symptoms are involuntary, meaning a woman can’t control them without treatment.
What are the Causes of Vaginismus?
The exact cause of vaginismus is not known. Some women have it in all situations and with any object. While others have vaginismus only in certain circumstances, like when with partner but not with other objects. It has been seen that it has more of a psychological element than pathological. There might be some history of sexual abuse in the past, resulting in psychological trauma and apprehension for sex. Other local causes like infections and dryness can also cause painful intercourse. So, it is important to visit a doctor and to get yourself examined to find out the underlying cause.
How is Vaginismus Diagnosed?
A proper medical and sexual history is taken and thorough examination is done to rule out any local cause for pain. Your doctor will move as slowly and gently as possible, explaining everything in detail.
What is the Treatment of Vaginismus?
Women with primary vaginismus will require counseling sessions to learn relaxing themselves. You can initially start with kegels exercise at home to learn to control and relax the muscles around your vagina. This is called progressive desensitization, and the idea is to make you comfortable with insertion. Apart from kegels exercises, doctor might advise you to use progressive vaginal dilators before attempting penetrative sex. In resistant and severs cases, injections of botulinum toxoid in vaginal muscles may be considered. Patience is the key to success in vaginismus treatment. Women suffering from local conditions might be treated appropriately with antibiotics, hormone therapy or laser vaginal rejuvenation.