Signs of Vaginismus

Are you struggling to achieve intercourse and find that it feels like you're hitting a brick wall? Are you experiencing burning when you try to have sex or feel like your vagina is going to tear if you continue? Or have you always had a hard time inserting tampons? If you have anxiety or fear of things going inside your vagina, then you want to read this. You may have vaginismus. This is a curable condition and I can't wait for you to read about it so that you feel clarity, educated, and most of all-hopeful for the future!

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a neuromuscular condition that causes pelvic floor muscle contractions around the vagina upon insertion attempts. This can make intercourse, finger insertion, pelvic exams, and tampon insertion impossible or extremely painful. Vaginismus (which is actually more recently called Genito Pelvic Pain Penetration disorder) typically involves both fear of pain or anxiety with insertion coupled with tight pelvic floor muscles. These two factors are the only things that differentiate someone who can have intercourse from someone who can not due to vaginismus. This combination can make it severely difficult to achieve any type of vaginal insertion. If you're struggling with this, the first thing you should know is that's it's completely curable and that this is a common condition! So no, you are not weird or some freak of nature. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I've worked with tons of women and people over the years who have completed crushed their vaginismus and are not living pain free and having penetrative sex that they enjoy!

What are the causes?

There are many contributing factors that play a role in the development of vaginismus. Some of the most common factors are: generalized anxiety, history of sexual trauma, fear of pain, religious or conservative upbringing, and birth or a pelvic condition that causes injury to the pelvic floor. 

Are there different kinds of vaginismus?

There is primary and secondary vaginismus! Primary vaginismus refers to someone who has never been able to achieve vaginal insertion from a young age. Maybe you noticed at the age of 12 or 13 that you could not insert tampons and have never been able to have penetrative sex. For someone with secondary vaginismus, they at one point could insert things into the vagina or have pain free penetrative sex but now they are unable to handle penetration at all or experience excruciating pain with it. There's also situational vaginismus that refers to difficulty with vaginal insertion only under certain circumstances. This may mean that you can have penetrative sex but you can't get tampons inside. Or, maybe you can't use tampons, get pelvic exams, or insert your own finger but you can have penetrative sex. This is situational vaginismus. 

Diagnosis and treatment

A medical professional like a gynecologist can diagnose you with vaginismus. This is primarily to give you that official declaration that this is what is causing your pain, difficulties with vaginal insertion, and your symptoms. However, if you are unable to achieve penetrative sex, tampon use, sex toys, or speculum insertion, then you may want to go ahead and start working on relaxing your pelvic floor muscles to help loosen you up and create more pelvic floor flexibility to eventually allow penetration!

Both counseling from a mental health care provider and pelvic floor physical therapy treatment can be helpful in helping you completely overcome this condition! Counseling and sex therapy can teach you ways to process trauma that has contributed to this condition and ways to effectively manage your anxiety, self esteem changes, and challenges associated with this condition. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you decrease pelvic floor muscle pain, release pelvic floor muscle tightness, and show you ways to use different tools like dilators and pelvic wands to train your pelvic floor so that penetrative sex and vaginal insertion is possible and even pain free! 

If you're interested in getting my virtual 1 on 1 help for vaginismus then click HERE. I help clients all around the world with remote coaching to teach you how to release tightness, pain, and fear with insertion so you can live a life of pleasure and confidence! Right now, the average amount of time it takes is only 8 sessions, which generally take around 2-3 months! To get started today on some pelvic floor exercises to help you release pelvic floor pain and tightness, click HERE to grab my Vagina CEO Release E-guide or my Vaginismus 2 Vagilicious Workbook! 

Remember this, vaginismus is not just curable. Vaginismus is curable for you! Don't give up.