August 22, 2019

Vaginismus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

The pain, difficulties of women being unable to undergo a painless sexual intercourse, gynecological exam, and to insert a tampon or a speculum has become a concern to Women Health Experts ...

What is vaginismus? 

Vaginismus is a condition in which there is a feeling of pain around the vaginal opening. This pain usually occurs because the muscles at the opening to the vagina tighten when something such as a “speculum” (a medical device used during a pelvic exam) is about to be placed inside the vagina or a tampon,  or during a vaginal intercourse.

Both adolescents and adult women can be at risk of this condition.

Vaginismus causes an involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina in women with no abnormalities in the genital organs.

Just like the way our body responds when we are pricked by a needle.

The tight muscle contraction makes sexual intercourse or any sexual activity that involves penetration painful or impossible. This can further aggravate or lead to a generalized muscle spasm, pain and gasping ( a short sudden intake of breath).

It can make it painful, difficult, or impossible to have sexual intercourse, to undergo a gynecological exam, and to insert a tampon or a speculum.

The iliococcygeus and pubococcygeus make up the levator ani muscle which surrounds the opening which the urethra, rectum and vagina pass. The muscles pass behind the rectum.

The most common muscle group affected is the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group. These muscles are responsible for urination, intercourse, orgasm, bowel movements and childbirth.


Vaginismus occurs when penetrative sex or other vaginal penetration cannot be experienced without pain.

It is commonly discovered among teenage girls and women in their early twenties, as this is when many girls and young women first attempt to use tampons , have penetrative sex, or undergo a Pap smear .

Awareness of vaginismus may not happen until vaginal penetration is attempted.

Some of the following factors which are listed below can also cause vaginismus; 

👉 Urinary tract infection

👉 vaginal yeast infections

👉 Sexual abuse , rape , other sexual assault , or attempted sexual abuse or assault knowledge of (or witnessing) sexual or physical abuse of others, without being personally abused.

👉 Domestic violence or similar conflict in the early home environment

👉 Fear of pain associated with penetration, particularly the popular misconception of "breaking" the hymen upon the first attempt at penetration


The symptoms vary between individuals They may include:

👉 Painful intercourse (dyspareunia), with tightness and pain that may be burning or

👉 Penetration being difficult or impossible

👉 Long-term sexual pain with or without a known cause pain during tampon insertion

👉 Pain during a gynecological examination

👉 Generalized muscle spasm or breathing cessation during attempted intercourse

And also the idea that vaginal penetration will inevitably hurt the first time it occurs is also a common risk factor.

Pubococcygeus muscle is commonly thought to be the primary muscle involved in vaginismus.

Peter Pacik, M.D. identified two additionally-involved spastic muscles in treated patients under sedation.

These include the entry muscle ( bulbocavernosum) and the mid-vaginal muscle (puborectalis)

Spasm of the entry muscle accounts for the common complaint that patients often report when trying to have intercourse.


To diagnose vaginismus, a doctor will take a medical history and carry out a pelvic examination.
Treatment may involve different specialists, depending on the cause.

The aim of treatment will be to reduce the automatic tightening of the muscles and the fear of pain, and to deal with any other type of fear that may be related to the problem.

👉 Behavioural therapy: behavioral therapy such as emotional exercises can help the person identify, express, and resolve any emotional factors that may be contributing to their vaginismus.

👉 Insertion or dilation training : Once a woman can do this without pain, she will learn to use a plastic dilator, or a cone-shaped insert. If she can insert this without pain, the next step will be to leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes, to let the muscles get used to the pressure. Next, she can use a larger insert, and then she can teach her partner how to apply the insert.

When the woman feels comfortable with this, she can allow her partner to put his penis near the vagina, but not inside. When she is completely comfortable with this, the couple can try intercourse again. They may wish to build up gradually to this, as with the insert.

Anyone who is concerned about symptoms relating to vaginismus should speak with their health provider for proper medical evaluation.

Remember Health Is Wealth 

Written by Isikadi Precious 
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