Characteristics of vaginismus

This article was endorsed by Irene Mazzuca - Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rome "La Sapienza"

What is vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a sexual dysfunction consisting of an involuntary contraction of the muscles of the vagina, making penetration and intercourse a difficult or impossible act because it becomes painful or impracticable.

How many women have vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a disorder that affects a few women (less than 2%), mainly teenagers, but can occur at any time.

Symptoms of vaginismus

The main symptoms of vaginismus are:

  • Inability to relax the muscles of the vagina
  • Pain in penile penetration
  • Pain in the finger penetration
  • Penetration failure
  • Anxiety before intercourse or penetration
  • Painful intercourse, etc.

Why does vaginismus occur?

The main reason for vaginismus is psychological. Consciously or unconsciously, the woman contracts the muscles of the vagina and pelvic floor. Other times, the cause may be physiological, due to anatomical changes.

Causes of vaginismus

eating too much

The main causes that can cause vaginismus are psychological. The main reason for vaginismus is the fear, conscious or unconscious, that the woman feels to be penetrated. The reason for this fear may be due to different factors, such as the following:

  • Psychological causes: The main reason for vaginismus is fear. Consciously or unconsciously, some women feel it before being penetrated. The reason for this fear may be due to several factors, including:
    • Rapes: A rape, besides the physical pain, produces a psychological damage that can lead to vaginismus.
    • Bad sexual experiences: an unsatisfactory sexual experience can be the cause of this dysfunction. For example, a relationship in which the woman has not been stimulated enough and in which penetration has always been carried out by force, a woman with an imposed or unwanted sexual relationship, etc.
    • Stress: A relationship in which women feel anxious or stressed and the partner cannot or does not know how to give her confidence.
    • An education too rigid and moralistic in man considering sex as sinful or just as something aimed only at procreation.
    • Psychological problems of diverse characteristics: These can create personal problems and turn sex into something unwanted.

Physical causes

In rare cases, certain physical changes of the vagina can cause a difficulty in penetration may be due to vaginismus. Many of them can be addressed medically, but may leave a “mark” of permanent denial that can last after the physical problem is solved. Therefore, the fact of curing these defects does not imply that the psychological consequences resulting from these physical problems can continue causing vaginismus.

Vaginal diseases

Certain infections or inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis) can make sexual intercourse painful or unpleasant.

These can be solved medically, but, as in the previous case, the personal sensation of a little pleasant intercourse can continue to exist in a conscious or unconscious way.

Diagnostics of vaginismus

The diagnosis of this disorder is made by physical examination. In it, the obstetrician performs a vaginal examination to check the reaction of the muscles around the vagina. In the event of vaginismus, with the insertion of the fingers, there is a spasm of these muscles with the corresponding contraction accompanied by pain.

The scanning can reveal the existence of some physical abnormality. In their absence, the causes are psychological.

Is vaginismus necessary to treat, or does it disappear?

Vaginismus must be discussed with the appropriate therapist. In addition, the experience of going to a sexologist can strengthen both the couple’s relationship and help in other aspects of psychology.

Treatment of vaginismus

To address the problem of vaginismus first treatment is needed by a sex therapist who informs the couple about sexual anatomy and function. This may take a session of psychotherapy. During it, the couple must remove their possible taboos or fears that they may have on the sexual relationship. This will provide, in addition, greater knowledge of sexual techniques which will lead to increase the degree of mutual trust.

Along with this help, it can be very appropriate a series of exercises that can help reduce the anxiety of the woman before intercourse.

Exercises to overcome vaginismus

Usually a series of techniques to learn to control pelvic floor muscles (Kegel exercises) and a series of exercises intended to relax the vaginal muscles. In the latter case, plastic dilators in the form of dildos of varying thickness, are introduced gradually, until the woman gets the relaxation and elimination of muscle spasms. In many cases, the woman can use her fingers instead of dilators to achieve the same purpose.

It is important that these techniques are carried out under the supervision of a specialist in the presence of the two members of the couple.

Punto rojo More information on the vaginismus.

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

7 July, 2020

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