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What is Vaginismus?

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Vaginismus is the instantaneous, involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor muscles in anticipation of vaginal penetration. This reaction will occur if penetration is perceived as upsetting, painful (even before attempting it!), frightening or dangerous, making the body scream out loud, “NO ENTRY!” Occasionally, vaginismus will be caused by a physical problem such as a birth defect, or surgery. Either way, it is a vagina in panic

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There are two types of vaginismus — we treat both:

  • Primary vaginismus is when the woman was never able to have vaginal penetrations.  For the woman, being trapped within herself with the painful symptoms of vaginismus brings about the feelings of panic and anxiety, of being “stuck with it forever”, of feeling inadequate, and “the only one who suffers from this…”  Partners suffer as well, feeling frustrated, helpless, rejected and inadequate. Inaccurate sexual information and the lack of understanding of the woman’s body will worsen the crisis, often leading to alienation; it is not unusual for some women in a relationship to suggest a breakup because they feel that they cannot “do what a woman should do.” Primary vaginismus is the main focus of this page.
  • Secondary vaginismus is when the woman lost the ability to have vaginal penetration/s.  Causes include gynecologic surgery, Menopause, cancer treatment & radiation,  emotional or relationship crisis, frequent painful urogenital infections, and Sexually Transmitted infections.  Although these women will remember that penetrations used to be fine, they are now faced with painful/impossible vaginal penetration, making them feel just as isolated and hopeless as those with primary vaginismus.  Typically speaking, a solution is simple and takes just a few treatment sessions.  Contact us for further information, or to schedule an appointment.