Vaginismus is a common condition that affects women worldwide regardless of their culture, religion, education, sexual orientation, or family status. Vaginismus is a somatic (body-mind) reaction to fear/apprehension of vaginal penetration. It happens instantaneously and involuntarily.
Women with vaginismus tend to suffer in silence and shame, thinking they are the ‘only one’ with this problem, which is why prevalence is not available. A certain measure of anxiety is typically associated with this condition, ranging from minimal to severe, the latter may also include panic and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
Vaginismus is curable and the cure should be life-long as long as the woman follows discharge instructions, which should include specific management of the residual anxiety/panic/OCD. In other words, once the woman can have vaginal penetrations without a problem, why fear them any longer?
Does vaginismus come back? It can, if the woman did not follow up on discharge instructions and is again ‘allowing’ the anxiety/panic/OCD to regain control and interfere with vaginal function. Sad, isn’t it? To have gone through a treatment process only to then be non-compliant.
On a good note, it is rare that the woman will regress to a complete vaginismus: she will typically be able to have (some) penetration/s but with trepidation and under the effect of her un-managed anxiety. In some cases, the vaginismus could remain cured but other somatic reaction/s may appear, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), neck or back aches, TMJ (jaw joint pain), headaches, etc.
Bottom line (no pun intended): vaginismus is a body-mind phenomenon and both aspects must be properly resolved for a life-long cure, a joint effort between a skilled clinician and a responsible patient.