Vaginismus! Sounds complicated? Let us make it simple for you. It is a condition in which the vaginal muscles contracts involuntarily or persistently during vaginal penetration. This could make sexual intercourse painful and affects your sexual life. Vaginismus can happen while your partner attempts penetration or any touch near the vaginal area.
This week on our blog series, #NotSoShy, we will be explaining the Vaginismus meaning, possible treatment and Symptoms.
What is Vaginismus?
The term refers to an involuntary contraction of muscles close to the opening of the vagina, without any specific rarities in the genital organs. It will prevent penetration but will not interfere in the sexual arousal. It can make any sexual activity or penetration painful.
Depending on the condition of women, it could be mildly uncomfortable or can cause extreme pain. Women with this condition generally cannot bear the pain during sexual intercourse and/or are not able to use tampons.
Types of Vaginismus
There are two types of Vaginismus:
- Primary Vaginismus: Where vaginal penetration has never been achieved.
- Secondary Vaginismus: The condition in which a woman had a normal sexual experience but is no longer possible. The reasons could be gynecologic surgery, trauma, or radiation, among others.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]FAST FACT
- The symptoms of vaginismus vary from person to person.
- The intensity of pain could be mild to severe.
- Vaginismus can be the result of emotional factors, medical factors, or both.
- Physical or emotional exercises will be effective for the treatment of the condition.[/box]
The initial and foremost sign of this condition includes painful sex. The women feel pain only when they try for penetration. The severity of the condition varies between women. If you have vaginismus, you will not be able to control the contraction of muscles near your vaginal opening. Usually, the pain goes away after the withdrawal, but not in all cases.
Women describe that pain as a tearing sensation. They feel extreme pain and discomfort. Many women with this disorder also feel discomfort while using a tampon or during a doctor’s internal pelvic exam.
Some women feel pain in all situation or with any object. Where others may have it under certain circumstances. For example, with one partner but not others or only during sexual intercourse but not while using tampons or during medical exams.
The additional symptoms of the condition could be fear of vaginal penetration or decreased sexual desire related to penetration. Having Vaginismus doesn’t mean that the women will stop enjoying sexual activities with their partners. They still can have a craving for sexual pleasure and have orgasms.
Sometimes, a vaginal infection can also cause pain during sexual intercourse. So it’s better to see a doctor before reaching to any conclusion.
Also, read about: #NotSoShy: The Health Benefits of Sex
The doctors are not able to understand the exact cause of this condition. It could be linked to several reasons. It can be caused because of some past sexual abuse or trauma, past painful intercourse, and emotional factors. This disorder is somewhere linked to anxiety and fear of having sex. But in a few cases, no direct cause is found.
Generally, to diagnose this disease, the doctors will ask a few questions about medical and sexual history. They also do a physical exam to reach to a conclusion.
This is a condition that can affect your sexual life. So it’s better to take the best possible treatment on time. Generally, the treatment covers education, counselling and exercises.
You can do Kegel exercises, try to tighten and relax your pelvic floor muscles, which control the vagina, rectum, and bladder. Here are some steps to be considered while performing the Kegel exercises:
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold and count to 10.
- Relax your muscles, hold and count to 10.
- Repeat this for around 10 times, three times a day.
Practising this exercise will help control the muscles contraction. But always perform this exercise after emptying your bladder.
Life with Vaginismus
This condition can disturb your relationships. It can be treated very easily if diagnosed on time. We need to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Whenever you feel the symptoms of this disorder, have a conversation with your partner and consult your gynaecologist. Your doctor or therapist will provide you with various ways to overcome the condition. Many people have recovered by the therapies and are living a happy sexual life with their partners.
If you are interested in learning more about sexual and reproductive health, watch out for #NotSoShy.
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