What is Vaginismus?

Aug 26, 2011

Quick Bites:

Sad coupleVaginismus sometimes referred to as vaginism is involuntary contraction of vagina surrounding muscles. This involuntary spam can be compared to eye blinking when an object comes close to it. Vaginismus affects women’s ability to engage in any kind of vaginal penetration such as sexual intercourse, insertion of tampons and penetration involved in gynaecological examination.


Types of Vaginismus


Vaginismus is classified into two types:


  • Primary vaginismus is a condition wherein, the woman has never been able to engage in penetrative sex or never had sex without pain. It is commonly diagnosed in teenage and in early twenties (either in attempt to use tampon or have sexual intercourse). Main factors that contribute to primary vaginismus include- sexual abuse, vaginal infection, generalized anxiety, stress and fear of penetration.
  • Secondary vaginismus is a condition wherein, woman has previously achieved penetration.  It is mainly caused due to factors such as vaginal yeast infection and traumatic childbirth experience.


Symptoms of Vaginismus


Common symptoms of vaginismus include:


  • Impossible or difficult vaginal penetration during sex.
  • Vaginal pain during sexual attempt and pelvic examination.


Prognosis of Vaginismus

Success rate of vaginismus treatment is very high, provided right treatment is given to the patient.


Treatment of Vaginismus

Vaginismus can be caused by both the physiological or psychological factors. Therefore, the treatment requirement solely depends on the cause and can vary from one woman to another. Usually the treatment for vaginismus comprise of extensive therapy that includes:


  • Physical treatment includes sensate focusing exercises that involve exploring vagina through touch and desensitisation with vaginal dilators. Exercises such as pelvic floor muscle contraction and Kegel are also useful. Such exercise must be performed under the direction of a sex therapist.
  • If there is psychological cause then counselling works best for the patient. 
  • Patient must be provided the educational resources related to her problem. Sexual anatomy, sexual response cycle and knowledge about sex physiology will help to ward off patient’s myths about sex.
  • If the traditional treatments are not successful then the women is given paralytic agent such as Botox. It is helpful for women who have extreme fear of sexual pain.

Treatment methods for both the type of vaginismus are same. However, recovery is relatively rapid in secondary vaginismus as it is aided by previous experience of successful penetration.


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