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Vaginismus and Pregnancy

Vaginismus and pregnancy open the door to many questions and concerns, all of which are typical and common to women around the globe regardless of race, culture, religion, educational level, financial status, etc.:

vaginismus and pregnancy

Is vaginismus a contraindication to getting pregnant?

Getting pregnant is a healthy process, a natural evolvement aimed at procreation, or we would become extinct. Having vaginismus does not prevent nor preclude getting pregnant. But there are other considerations, so read on.

Can I get pregnant by sexual activities if I have vaginismus?

YES, you can!

Many believe that pregnancy can only happen with a ‘penis in vagina’ (vaginal intercourse), and that non-penetrative sexual activities – 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 not possible through non-penetrative sexual activities.

Fact: 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! We have had many patients who were still virgins yet already parents, several times over. Be smart and responsible!

Are there non-sexual ways to get pregnant with vaginismus?

Yes, it can happen

  • By having the man ejaculate into a small cup and the woman self-inseminating (if she can insert the small syringe), or

  • By undergoing assisted reproduction (infertility treatment).

Will my vaginismus affect the pregnancy?

Firstly, the underlying anxiety that is associated with vaginismus may prevent getting pregnant in the first place, as it would even without the presence of vaginismus.

Secondly, what happens to a woman with vaginismus during pregnancy?

  • Medically, unless she can tolerate pelvic (gynecologic) exams and vaginal ultrasounds, she will have to be managed “from the outside,’ and often by a high-risk obstetrician;

  • Emotionally, she will struggle with fears and worries, including pregnancy, childbirth, and other stressors, all of which may negatively affect the development of the baby.

However, getting pregnant with vaginismus is not necessarily a bad thing. Many women/couples that we met embraced this gift while admitting that they tried all they could in their desperation, even at the cost of feeling “fake” about getting pregnant that way.

Is vaginismus treatment available during pregnancy?

That will depend on the clinician who is treating you.

Our position has been that although the vagina is typically safe for penetration during pregnancy, there could be unforeseen circumstances or developments that may disrupt the pregnancy and we prefer not to have our treatment be considered as a potential cause for them.

In other words, we will not provide the physical aspect of our intervention if you are pregnant, not even if your healthcare provider promises you are safe to be treated for vaginismus. But we are happy to address your emotional needs anytime!

Can I be sexually involved during pregnancy with vaginismus?

Absolutely yes, unless given medical instructions to the contrary!

And why not remain sexually active for as long as you feel well and physically comfortable? Pregnancy is not an illness, and sexual intimacy is an important aspect of the relationship.

What about childbirth with tight pelvic floor muscles?

Won’t the pelvic floor (vaginismus) muscle clenching block the baby’s exit, making a c-section a must??? Not at all. The physiologic process of childbirth makes the pelvic floor muscles a non-player.

How to give birth with vaginismus?

Women with vaginismus who can tolerate an internal exam (albeit under duress), may very well deliver vaginally and without special accommodations.

Women who were never able to be internally examined during pregnancy may be delivered via a c-section as a precaution against encountering a surprise anatomical or structural abnormality.

Will vaginal birth cure my vaginismus?

Okay, so I had my baby vaginally, and now the vaginismus should be cured. Yet, it is still here… What is going on?”

The answer is simple: childbirth (‘coming out of the vagina’) does not address nor cures the fear and apprehension associated with vaginal penetration (‘coming into the vagina’). These are two different bodily activities.

In other words: do not count on giving birth as a cure for your vaginismus but rather seek professional help for the condition so you won’t be disappointed after giving birth.

Can I get vaginismus after giving birth?

Secondary vaginismus may develop because of different causes superimposed on an underlying anxiety condition. Without that anxiety, the woman will address the cause as a matter of fact and then will move forward to re-using her vagina without hesitation.

Examples of causes for secondary vaginismus after childbirth, all associated with an underlying anxiety condition:

  • The episiotomy healed too tightly, intercourse became painful or impossible;

  • The episiotomy did not heal and necessitated further intervention;

  • Fear of ‘breaking’ the vagina having given birth;

  • First intercourse after giving birth was painful, with the woman assuming that she is ‘broken’ or that ‘something is wrong;’

  • Childbirth was more complicated than expected, perceived by the woman as a traumatic experience;

  • I look different down there. I am not the same.”

  • Self-esteem issues, such as excess weight, being flabby, not attractive any longer;

  • Pressure by the partner to resume sexual intimacy.

Vaginismus and Pregnancy

  • 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 need will be addressed.

  • Examine the pros and cons of becoming a parent with vaginismus.

  • Seek treatment for vaginismus – there is no reason to live with it!

About The Author

vaginismus specialist Dr. Ditza Katz team member Women's Therapy Center
  • Sylvie March 20, 2019 at 9:15 am / Reply

    Since I was very small my mom always told me how it would be very painful to have things inserted into my vagina in her ruse of not letting me play or go outside. Now I’m 35, but the idea of sex still scares me. My husband and I are actively trying to have a baby, in which we have sex every two days during the period in my cycle where I should be fertile, but he only inserted the tip of his penis into my vagina to ejaculate, and not further than one centimeter, we suppose. As your blog and other sources said, it might result in pregnancy, but we wonder about the odd of getting pregnant that way? High, medium, low? I’m anxious because my biological clock is ticking too. We’re going to see a doctor in June, but your insight would be very helpful. Thanks!

    • Ditza Katz March 20, 2019 at 7:05 pm / Reply

      We cannot tell what your odds are. Best to discuss your situation with the doctor when you see her/him (and be evaluated for vaginismus).

  • Dr Patrick Quinn August 17, 2018 at 10:01 am / Reply

    Great blog! Just want to add here that this is one of the best info you will read on the Internet. I am happy that there are people out there who share their experience with the world. Thanks for spreading such useful information for conceive. Great share I must say.

  • Lukong Bernard Shafe August 5, 2018 at 4:17 pm / Reply

    What are the natural cures for vaginismus.
    What advice

  • Heather July 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm / Reply

    Hello my name is Heather. I am 34 weeks pregnant. Never had a papsmear, anything internally. I can’t even withstand a qtip. I am very scared. I am praying my doctor does a c section. With not knowing the abnormalities inside I am very scared. I can’t do nlany dialation checks. I’m scared. Point blank. I’m screaming for help and no one cares

    • Ditza Katz July 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm / Reply

      Dear Heather,
      It saddens us that you are left so scared and without answers because vaginismus is still an elusive condition that many doctors do not know much about.

      Indeed, vaginismus calls for a C-section, and you do have the right to request it from your doctor!

      And, once you give birth and recover, it would be a good to have your vaginismus treated and cured so that you can move on with life without such despair.

    • Dezi July 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm / Reply

      Hi, Heather.

      I am so sorry you feel that nobody cares. I hope you know that it’s okay to feel scared, and I want you to know that it can get better. Talking about female sexuality can be taboo in modern culture, but problems associated with the vagina are really just like any other medical condition. If we have blood glucose issues, we go to the doctor to help regulate it. If we break an arm, we go to a doctor to set it. If we have strep throat, we go to the doctor to cure it. The same principle should apply to sex and vaginal issues. It is perfectly reasonable to find a trusted medical OBGYN / sex therapist to address the problem. We all have different medical issues, and that’s okay. The right medical professional can help us navigate the problem. You don’t have to cope with the fear on your own. xoxo

    • Katja Gutierrez September 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm / Reply

      Hi Heather. I also have vaginismus but would like to geget pregant. Could you let me know if you had a C-section or vaginal delivery?

      Thank you!!


  • Anthony July 2, 2018 at 5:43 am / Reply

    Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly loved browsing your
    blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss
    feed and I am hoping you write again soon!

    • Ditza Katz July 2, 2018 at 9:06 pm / Reply

      Thank you. Please be sure to revisit, and share.

  • Fazi August 23, 2017 at 6:48 pm / Reply

    Hi whoever u r I don’t agree with u. For example wat u do if u fail an exam, do u not try to study more next time n sit for the same exam again or u say well it’s god’s wish to let me fail? I married a widow a month ago, with vaginismus n she is afraid I will leave her. As I am a believer in one n only god the creator of the universe n all creatures, I don’t intend to leave her. I can’t penetrate her but I ejaculate near the vagina… Hope she gets pregnant n she loves kids.. Good luck to all n cheers… Peace

  • Julia October 31, 2016 at 10:16 pm / Reply

    Thank you so much for your work on this topic – vaginismus! I was so relieved when I finally found out, what was wrong with me. And I was cured, in a first step by using dilators (I could use tampons and have intercourse but only after I had used dilators shortly before, no spontaneous sex), secondly and finally through the vaginal birth of our child. For me it is therefore definitely a cure and I would like to encourage women to try to have a normal birth if they still feel uncomfortable when having sex.

  • Hashmi Dawakhana October 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm / Reply

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work! VERY NICE…Thanks.

    • Ditza Katz October 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm / Reply

      Thank you; greatly appreciated. Please share.

  • sister July 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm / Reply

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

    • Ditza Katz July 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm / Reply

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

  • womentc March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm / Reply

    Thank you. Please email our office for any such inquiries: [email protected]

  • Preggers and Lovin It! January 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm / Reply

    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!

    • Cinthia August 21, 2017 at 9:04 am / Reply

      Thank u so much for ur comment I have vaginismus :/ I been struggling spiritually about it !! I got married a year and 1/2 ago and me and my husband have been struggling with it !! As a Christian women I have to believe what God has stored for us in a future i have prayed about it many times but I know God is bigger then this , keep me in prayer !! And thank you so much .. -cinthia

      • Ditza Katz August 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm / Reply

        You are most welcome, and let us know if we can be of any help to you in the future.

    • Jenna January 8, 2018 at 6:52 am / Reply

      Hi, are you LDS? Just searching for some advice from someone I can understand. I’ve been married about 7 months and struggling with vaginismus.

      • Ditza Katz January 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm / Reply

        email our office for more information about vaginismus, and LDS: [email protected]

      • Dezi July 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm / Reply

        Hi, Jenna.

        I know you posted this months ago but I’m LDS, too. I’ve been married for four years and have struggled with pain during sex the entire time. I think I can understand where you might be coming from spiritually and culturally. I am pregnant now and had my cervix checked yesterday and I’m still having trouble with (what I think is) vaginismus. I haven’t been formally diagnosed, but I wish I had gone to a doctor or sex therapist as soon as I was having problems at the beginning of my marriage (now I have to wait until after giving birth). I used to feel ashamed because something was wrong with me as a woman, but now I realize sexual pain is just like any other medical condition. If there is a problem, we should seek treatment from a medical expert so we can get better. Like Jeffrey R. Holland said, we should “seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with [other] disorders.” Anyway, if you want to talk about it, I’m all ears!

        For anyone else who might be interested, this is an incredible speech that broadly addresses mental, emotional and physical challenges (not specifically vaginismus) and how to navigate them spiritually and physically.

  • jahder lerato June 16, 2012 at 8:51 am / Reply

    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!

  • i can be a better me February 8, 2012 at 8:47 am / Reply

    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…

  • sarah July 13, 2011 at 10:20 am / Reply

    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 June 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm / Reply

    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 @ April 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm / Reply

    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 January 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm / Reply

    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 November 26, 2010 at 12:01 am / Reply


    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…:-)

  • Liz October 9, 2010 at 11:50 am / Reply

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

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