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Vaginismus, pregnancy, and childbirth

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Three typical questions often raised by women with vaginismus:

  1. Can I get pregnant if I have vaginismus?
  2. Can I give birth if I have vaginismus?
  3. Will vaginal birth cure my vaginismus?

These are excellent questions! Let’s review them one by one:

There is a basic perception that pregnancy can only happen with a ‘penis in vagina’ activity (vaginal intercourse) and that other sexual activities, also known as ‘outercourse’ (oral sex, manual sex, etc.), are safe. Even women without vaginismus, who prefer to refrain from intercourse, will often forgo the use of contraception because they feel that pregnancy is just not possible. Not a good idea…

The truth is that a woman can get pregnant if the male ejaculates by her genital lips during the week leading to ovulation, when the hormonal chemistry in her reproductive system is conducive to sperm survival! In other words, we have had many patients who were still virgins yet already parents… As much as they loved their children, they felt a bit of being a ‘fake’ about getting pregnant that way.

That is not to say that getting pregnant with vaginismus is a bad thing. Many women/couples that we met embraced this gift while admitting that they tried all they could to get pregnant: having the man ejaculate as mentioned above, or have the man ejaculate into a small cup and the woman self-inseminating (if she can insert the small syringe), or undergoing assisted reproduction (infertility treatment).

But what happens to the woman with vaginismus during pregnancy? Unless she can tolerate a pelvic (gynecologic) exam and a vaginal ultrasound, she will have to be managed ‘from the outside’ while also addressing her ongoing worries of internal exam/s at time of delivery and whether the baby will come out altogether…

As to the actual childbirth, physicians will typically opt to deliver the baby via a c-section with safety in mind, never having examined the woman’s vagina beforehand for possible anatomical/structural abnormalities. As mentioned above, women with vaginismus who can tolerate an internal exam (albeit under duress) may very well deliver vaginally.

But what about the pelvic floor muscles — won’t their (vaginismus) clenching block the baby’s exit, make a c-section a must??? Not at all. The physiologic process of childbirth provides ample room for baby’s exit, making the pelvic floor muscles a non-player.

Okay, so I had my baby vaginally and now my vaginismus should be cured, right? Yet, it is still here… What is going on? The answer is simple: childbirth (‘coming out of the vagina’) did not address nor cured the fear/apprehension associated with vaginal penetration (‘coming into the vagina’)…

Conclusions:

  • Use proper contraceptive measures if you do not want to get pregnant, remembering that vaginismus is not a contraception method!
  • Discuss the pregnancy/childbirth process with your OBGYN so that your vaginismus needs will be addressed.
  • Examine the pros and cons of becoming a parent while remaining a virgin, with vaginismus.
  • Seek treatment for vaginismus – there is no reason to live with it!

Leave a Reply

  • Hashmi Dawakhana says:

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work! VERY NICEā€¦Thanks.

  • sister says:

    If I had pains during my periods and during sex, it might be I have Vaginismus

    • Ditza Katz says:

      It may be vaginismus but it may be something else. The situation needs to be evaluated for accurate cause.

  • womentc says:

    Thank you. Please email our office for any such inquiries: doctors@womentc.com

  • Preggers and Lovin It! says:

    I have primary vaginismus, but it is mostly cured as far as intercourse goes. I’m now 9 weeks pregnant, and my husband and I got there in the usual way, rather than by artificial insemination or the other ways described in this article.

    It took me nearly 2 years to be able to have successful insertions of his penis, and another half a year before we were able to truly enjoy sex with no pain (I usually have just a little pain at the very start but it goes away quickly, and then if I’m tired or stressed I’ll start hurting towards the end).

    So don’t give up, ladies! It’s possible to be cured, and it’s possible to get pregnant! I’m a little apprehensive about any pelvic exams or vaginal ultrasounds that may be on the horizon, but I’m looking for a midwife/dr who will be understanding about my history of vaginismus, and I know everything will work out. =)

    As for Maypaki and his/her religious views, well. I realize that was posted a few years ago, but I want to give my own insight so that his/her words won’t discourage any devout Christian (or other religion) women out there. I have very strong beliefs in the Christian faith, and I can promise you God does not give us vaginismus because he wants us not to have children. In fact, before I even knew I had this condition, when I was still just a young teenage woman, I received a message from our Heavenly Father that told me many things about myself, including that I would be blessed with motherhood and have children. At the time I just took this as good news about my future, but when I discovered I had vaginismus and as I struggled through the steps of overcoming, that message from my youth was always in my mind as a promise that He did not intend for me to be barren or celibate. And I know that He doesn’t intend that for any of you either. It may take time, and it will definitely be a struggle, but if you don’t give up you will be stronger from your experiences.

    Hang in there and good luck!

  • jahder lerato says:

    I’ve always thought that I would always remain a virgin no matter how many times I have sex or maybe I wasn’t destined to have sex or that I might be a lesbian since sex with men hurt… Now I know about vaginismus and I’m glad! But to be honest. I’m scared!

  • sarah says:

    I have this problem and I am 33 weeks pregant with A lil boy it is possible to over come or find ways around this problem all it takes is a lot of communition and love between a couple .

  • Jay says:

    maypaki is a trouble maker, hes on every single site that talks about vaginismus. Including youtube. He’s just upset because he’s asian and has a worm for a penis :) Vaginismus is curable. You can buy dilators. There is hope ladies.

  • Amanda @ TreatVaginismus.com says:

    Maypaki, I don’t understand your worldview. You can get married and have a happy sexual life with vaginismus. You can also treat your vaginismus with dilators and therapy.

    As for the blog post, I love that it answers some of the big questions about vaginismus and pregnancy. There are many misconceptions out there about vaginismus, and you have helped to correctly and clearly clarify some big ones.

  • mike matthews says:

    I liked this post, it was very informative. I was especially interested in the extent of the problem. I hadn’t realised the intensity of it.

  • ej says:

    maypaki

    you have got to be joking! There are different “stages” of Vaginismus, as Liz above said “Now I know why sex is painful to me” – so intercourse is still possible, ergo: the woman can still get pregnant! a woman can get pregnant without any intercourse at all, and still be a virgin. and what about women who do not believe in god? and what about women who get married and love their husbands, and follow god’s law by entering marriage as a virgin and only find out after they got married that they suffer from vaginismus…should they get divorced????

    you see the world in black and white only. try to look for shades of grey! there is not just right and wrong. it always depends on the person’s point of view. and just because a woman has vaginismus does not mean that she is made for the life of a nun…:-)

  • Maypaki says:

    Primary Vaginismus.
    If you have it, then your body is NOT designed for sex.

    It is God’s way of telling a woman that she is DESTINED to become a nun or celibate.
    So if you have it, go on and BECOME A NUN.
    Or be CELIBATE.
    That’s because it is God’s way of controlling the global population. God created women with such sexual dysfunction to keep them away from sex and thus preventing conception. Unfortunately, most women don’t realize it and would still go through days and weeks of therapy which is just time consuming.

    Trying to remedy your condition is against God’s will.
    God does NOT want you to have sex.
    If your a woman, don’t get married & don’t have sex if your VAGINA wont let you.
    God had CLOSED the gates of your virginity.
    FACE IT! You have a NUN’S VAGINA.
    It is time to give up on men and become a NUN.

    VAGINISMUS may be the answer to overpopulation.
    God truly works in strange ways.

    • i can be a better me says:

      your a nut. there your veiws, stop imposing them on anyone else. i suffer from primary vaganismus and have endrometriousis and other conditions and to treat the others i had to have the vaginismus treated otherwise i would have been in alot of trouble, being unable to walk or talk or eat throwing up and having to go into hospital on a drip when i had my period. i went in for treatment and it was the best thing i have ever done not only do I LOVE SEX i am also pregnant. if you want people to be nuns, go do it yourself and get the cock out of your **** . girls there is help you dont need to listen to psychopaths be the best you can be. i bet this lady also says people with cancer should die. Uniformed…

  • Liz says:

    I have suffered with this all my life, now i know wy sex is painful to me.