Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of Vaginismus

Causes of Vaginismus:

Vaginismus is a condition where the muscles around the vagina tighten involuntarily, making it painful or impossible to have vaginal penetration. The causes of vaginismus can vary, but they often involve emotional or psychological factors. Common reasons include:
Previous painful experiences, such as trauma, surgery, or a negative sexual encounter, can create fear or anxiety about vaginal penetration.
Stress, relationship issues, or emotional concerns can contribute to vaginismus. Feeling pressured or having negative emotions about sex may trigger involuntary muscle contractions.
Individuals with a history of sexual abuse may develop vaginismus as a protective response to prevent further pain or trauma.
Upbringing and cultural or religious beliefs about sex can influence feelings of guilt or shame, contributing to vaginismus.
Certain medical conditions, such as infections, endometriosis, or childbirth injuries, can cause pain during sex, leading to vaginismus.
Changes in hormonal levels during menopause can result in vaginal dryness and discomfort, potentially contributing to vaginismus.
Limited understanding or knowledge about sex and anatomy can lead to anxiety and fear, triggering vaginismus.

Symptoms of Vaginismus:

Vaginismus is a condition characterized by involuntary muscle spasms or contractions around the vaginal opening, making penetration painful or impossible. Symptoms of vaginismus may vary from person to person, but common signs include:
The primary symptom is pain or discomfort during attempted vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse. The pain is typically sharp, burning, or a feeling of tightness.
Women with vaginismus may find it challenging or impossible to insert tampons into the vagina due to the involuntary muscle contractions.
Routine gynecological examinations, such as Pap smears or pelvic exams, may be extremely uncomfortable or impossible for individuals with vaginismus.
A sensation of tightness or squeezing around the vaginal muscles, even in the absence of attempted penetration, is a common symptom.
Individuals with vaginismus may avoid sexual activities altogether due to the fear of pain or discomfort, which can strain relationships.
Anticipating pain or discomfort, individuals with vaginismus may experience anxiety or fear related to any form of vaginal penetration.
Involuntary tensing or clenching of pelvic floor muscles in response to the anticipation of penetration or attempted penetration.

Treatments of Vaginismus:

Reating vaginismus involves addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of the condition. Here are some layman’s explanations of common treatments:
This involves working with a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor muscles.
This approach involves gradually and gently introducing vaginal penetration through the use of dilators or other methods.
Talking to a counselor or sex therapist can help address any emotional or psychological factors contributing to vaginismus.
Learning about the anatomy and function of the pelvic area can help reduce anxiety. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or mindfulness, can also be helpful in managing stress and tension.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed to address pain, anxiety, or other related issues.
Open communication with your partner is crucial. Support and understanding can make a significant difference in the journey to overcome vaginismus. Partners can be involved in the treatment process to build a supportive environment.
Books, online resources, and support groups can provide additional information and encouragement.
Vaginismus is a condition that causes pain and discomfort. If you have it, you can get it treated at the Eva IVF & Women’s Centre.