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Diagnosis & Causes of Vaginismus

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How do I know if I have vaginismus?  Diagnosing is quite simple: it requires identifying an inability, or a great difficulty, with one or more of the following Five Penetrations of LifeSM

  • Finger
  • Tampon
  • Applicator
  • Intercourse (or use of penis-size dildo)
  • Gynecologic exam

In other words, a woman may have none of the penetrations, or she may be able to have some but not all of them.  However, intercourse is always problematic/impossible.  (Note: Although most women self-diagnose, this information is not intended in lieu of medical care)

Learn about our proprietary treatment for sexual pain, the DiRoss Methodologysm

Watch Vaginismus as see on Canadian TV
VIDEO: Drs. Katz & Tabisel and former patients explain vaginismus on Canadian TV (2002) * Results may vary from person to person

What causes vaginismus? The following are the most common causes in order of prevalence.  Note that, contrary to common belief, abuse is not at all on this list!

  • Fear of pain, mostly because heard from friends how painful it was for them…
  • Fear of the unknown: how will it feel inside, how will I react, what if I don’t like it, etc.
  • Religious inhibitions and taboos
  • Fear of the vagina: being an invisible body part is a huge contributing factor to worries and fallacies
  • Perceiving the vagina as fragile thus worrying about scratching, hurting, breaking something inside it (invisible, remember?), etc.
  • Past experience with discomfort, i.e. infection, a rough partner, a dry & uncomfortable vagina, etc.
  • Misconception about sex and sexuality
  • The inability to say NO to unwanted sex
  • Parental indulgence and over-protectiveness, limiting the ability to deal with life’s challenges (including vaginal use)

Join A Private Pain, our support group for women (on Facebook)

Partner/husband: join Vaginismus – A Support Group for Men (on Facebook)

While the woman may not know why she has this condition, she certainly knows that she is not friendly with her vagina and cannot use it naturally, or in ‘the normal way.’

Watch Lisa’s Vaginismus Story
VIDEO: Lisa's story.  How she struggled for 19 years to find vaginismus treatment, and a cure (* Results may vary from person to person)

For an in-depth discussion of all the causes, refer to our book Private Pain: Understanding Vaginismus and Dyspareunia

Watch Raquel, and her supportive Mom, share their journey of vaginismus (* Results may vary from person to person)
VIDEO: Raquel, and her supportive Mom, share their journey of vaginismus (* Results may vary from person to person)

Can heating pads or heated car seats cause or exacerbate vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a psychosomatic reaction, an involuntary & instantaneous tightening of the vaginal opening in anticipation of vaginal penetration by way of our autonomic nervous system’s Fight-or-Flight response.  External means, such as a heating pad or heated car seats, or a hot bath, can neither cause nor exacerbate vaginismus and are perfectly fine to enjoy for any other reason the woman wishes.

Contact us for further information, or to schedule an appointment.