Vaginismus

Hi Readers!

This week’s topic is Vaginismus. This is when the vagina suddenly tightens up just as you try to insert something into it. It can be painful and cause distress. Good news is that this can be treated.

Vaginismus is an automatic reaction to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration. Whenever penetration is attempted, the vaginal muscles tighten up on their own. The person has no control over this. Vaginismus does not necessarily affect the ability to get aroused and enjoy other types of sexual contact. 

If you are experiencing vaginismus, remember it is not your fault and there is nothing to be ashamed of. 

NHS recommends that you see a GP or go to a sexual health clinic if:

  • You find it hard inserting a tampon into your vagina 
  • You struggle with vaginal penetration during sex
  • You feel burning or stinging pain during sex 

Treatment for vaginismus usually focuses on managing feelings around penetration and exercises to gradually get used to penetration. Possible treatments are psychosexual therapy, relaxation techniques, pelvic floor exercises, sensate focus and vaginal trainers. 

There are no obvious explanations for vaginismus, but there are some things thought to cause it; such as fear that the vagina is too small, a bad first sexual experience, an unpleasant medical examination, a belief that sex is shameful or wrong or a painful medical condition.

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

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