Vaginismus: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment!

You cannot seem to relax, your vaginal muscles start contracting involuntarily, and sexual contacts turn into a painful experience with every attempt.


What Is Vaginismus?

Rather rarely encountered, vaginismus (also known as vaginism) is a dysfunction characterized by involuntary vaginal muscle contractions. For this particular reason, sexual contacts become uncomfortable and painful.

Involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vaginal entrance and the lower third of the vagina occurs in some cases because of the association between sexual activity and fear or pain. Anatomically speaking, the woman`s genitals are usually perfectly normal, but with every penetration attempt, the entrance into the vagina closes through a mechanism that is involuntary.

Vaginismus may be the result of the woman`s unconscious desire to stop sexual intercourse due to an traumatic or unpleasant experience. Other various causes may include irritations, infections or injuries.

Due to the pain that happens in women who experience this condition, penetration becomes difficult, almost impossible. Still, sexual activities that don`t involve penetration are perfectly acceptable.

Therefore, vaginismus is distinguished from frigidity, which is characterized through the inability of the woman to experience pleasure or have orgasm during sexual contact. In contrast, when it comes to this medical condition, the woman will exhibit a repeated inability to feel pleasure while penetration occurs, but she may still experience orgasm through masturbation.

It`s not really known how many women may be suffering of this condition, which may lead to painful sexual intercourse or sometimes even impossible. Estimates range anywhere from 6% to 12% of women, but these are only estimations with no scientific evidence in this regard since lots of women don`t even know they experience it or aren`t interested in talking about such intimate problems.

Types of Vaginismus

Primary vaginismus generally occurs when it comes to women who haven`t had sexual contacts and is usually manifested during adolescence. These young women aren`t aware that they experience this medical condition until penetration occurs.

The most important causes for the occurrence of this vaginismus are represented by preconceptions about the experience of the sexual act and sexual abuse.

Secondary vaginismus may occur in women who already had normal sexual intercourses during the initial phase. The causes may be physical, like psychic or genital infections, and trauma.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Impossibility of vaginal penetration.
  • Difficulty in introducing tampons.
  • Apnea episodes at the beginning of sexual contact
  • Intense pain during sexual intercourse.

Most women who experienced pain of vaginismus say:

  • It`s like hitting a walk made of bricks.
  • Sharp vaginal pains.
  • Vaginal pressure.
  • A feeling of knife poking me.
  • Burning around the vaginal entrance.
  • Pain for hours or days after sexual intercourse.
  • Lower abdominal pains.


Vaginismus can be diagnosed undergoing a gynecological examination. If this consultation prove to be painful, an anesthesia may be required.

If there isn`t a physical cause, psychological therapy may be recommended.


It`s not necessary to cope or suffer from this condition because treatment is available. All that you require is the proper intervention for an experienced doctor as well as your own commitment through the entire process.

Vaginismus is a medical condition with plurifactorial etiology, which involves both psychological and physical factors. Because of this specific particularity, treatment needs to be complex and address these 2 issues at the very same time.

The condition itself doesn`t get worse if treatment isn`t applied; however, in time, it will associate various medical complications that will automatically reshape the mental and somatic health of the patient.

Psychological Treatment

Studies performed among who suffer from this medical issue have proven that the most frequent emotional causes involve: religious concepts, sexual abuse and fear of sex. Therefore, psychological therapy is required for this condition. Other psychological issues associated with this condition represent depression and low self-confidence.

Physical Treatment

This particular stage includes the daily Kegel exercises for strengthening the pelvic muscles. They include alternating series of contractions and with breaks of 5 seconds.

Special exercises for the vagina`s dilation are performed only with a doctor`s recommendation and only after the woman is explained about what she is supposed to do. This type of exercises is performed with plastic dilators whose has similar shapes to a penis found in erection and generally the cooperation of the partner.

The size of these dilators can gradually be increased while the spasms fail. The main purpose of this type of exercises is to achieve step-by-step an increasingly intimate contact, and in the end, sexual penetration is able to take place. – Read more!

Sexual Education

An essential treatment stage and which shouldn`t miss from any therapy is represented by sexual education. She also has to be familiarized with the anatomy and physiology of sexual functions and phases of the sexual cycle.

To Remember!

It`s essential to remember that this condition doesn`t occur deliberately or with intention. The patient cannot control this particular problem, and in same causes she doesn`t even acknowledge that she experiences vaginismus.

Living with this Condition

Sexual dysfunction can have a damaging effect on relationships. Being proactive and following treatment can be really vital in saving a relationship or even a marriage.

It`s essential to keep in mind that there is no reason to feel ashamed. Having an honest discussion with your life partner about what you feel or fear regarding sexual intercourse might be more helpful than you think. A therapist or doctor can offer you various ways to get through this problem. Lots of people recover and go on living happy and healthy sexual lives.

Treatment involving sex therapy might be quite beneficial. Using specific position or lubrication during sex may help make intercourse a lot more comfortable. Experiment new ways on what works and what doesn`t for either you or your life partner.

Vaginismus represents a medical condition that is in fact much more common than is known. That`s the main thing that people need to know, because since lots of women suppress this medical condition or attempt to brush it off, that makes vaginismus less likely to be treated.

Image courtesy of vaginismus.com

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