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What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus, also known as Vaginism can be defined as a painful expansion of the vagina in response to sexual activity or pressure. If a woman has Vaginismus, the vagina’s muscles squeeze or spasm when something is being inserted into this area, such as a tampon or a penis. It can cause slight discomfort, or it can very be painful.

There are exercises a woman can do that can help assist with this condition.

Symptoms of Vaginismus

Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse is often the first sign that may arise when one has Vaginismus. The pain will usually only occur with penetration. The pain usually goes away after withdrawal, but not always. Women have explained the pain as a tearing feeling or a feeling like a man is “hitting a wall within her.” Many women who have Vaginismus also feel uneasiness when inserting a tampon or during a doctor’s internal pelvic exam.

Causes of Vaginismus

There is no definite reason as to why vaginismus occurs. It is commonly linked to anxiety and fear of having sexual intercourse. However, it is unclear which came first, the anxiety or the Vaginismus.

One may have it only in certain situations, like with one partner but not others, or only with sexual intercourse but not with the use of tampons or during medical examinations.

Other medical difficulties like infections can also cause painful intercourse; so it is important to visit a medical practitioner to uncover the underlying cause of pain during sex.

Treatment for Vaginismus

Women who experience vaginismus can exercise in the privacy of their homes to learn to control and relax the muscles around the vagina. The method is called progressive desensitization, and the gist is to get comfortable with the insertion.

Kegel exercises can be done by squeezing the same muscles you use to prevent the flow of urine when urinating. The following steps can be followed:

Step 1: Squeeze the muscles
Step 2: Hold for 2 seconds
Step 3: Relax the muscles

After a few days, insert a finger, up to about the first knuckle joint inside the vagina while still doing the exercises. It is essential to maintain cleanliness, short nails and use a lubricating jelly while following the exercise.

The exercise can also be done in a bathtub where water is a natural lubricant.

Begin with one finger; in the end up to three fingers may be used. You will feel the vagina’s muscles expanding around your finger, and you can always remove your finger from the vagina if you are uncomfortable.

For women whose vaginismus is associated to fear or anxiety, therapy can also often provide some help.




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