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What is Vaginismus? Here’s everything you need to know

Experiencing painful sex? Maybe you’re suffering from Vaginismus

Are you experiencing painful penetrative sex? Or even inserting a tampon is hurting? If yes then there are chances that you suffering from vaginismus. If the insertion of any object in your pelvic region feels painful, it’s very likely the condition of vaginismus.

What is vaginismus?

Vaginismus is the body’s natural response to the fear of any form of vaginal penetration. When penetration is attempted, your vaginal muscles automatically tighten. You have no say in the matter. Vaginismus can occur even if you have previously had painless penetrative intercourse.

It is a condition characterised by a pelvic floor muscular spasm. It can make penetrative intercourse unpleasant, difficult, or impossible. Here, an involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor muscles tightens the vagina when you try to put an item such as a tampon or a penis into it.

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Vaginismus can be categorised into two types –

Primary Vaginismus – Primary vaginismus is the condition where vaginal penetration has never been achieved before. It is certainly something that women will face during their first intercourse.

Reasons behind primary vaginismus range from Infections of the urinary tract, yeast infection, sexual assault, witnessing physical sexual abuse, violence in childhood which has had psychological impacts, fear of pain, physical trauma, stress, anxiety etc. It is sometimes even idiopathic where the actual reason could not be diagnosed.

Secondary Vaginismus – Secondary vaginismus (also called acquired vaginismus) occurs when a woman or individual with vaginal discomfort had previously enjoyed pain-free intercourse but now finds it difficult or impossible.

Secondary vaginismus can be caused by a variety of factors, including a loss of interest and control in sexual intercourse, body image concerns, a lack of confidence in one’s partner, and a stressed vagina that isn’t broad or deep enough to allow penetration during sexual intercourse.

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According to research, vaginismus affects one in every 500 women in the United Kingdom. There is no reliable study in India since women are hesitant to speak about their sexual experiences and are also unaware of the problem.

How does it feel like when you have vaginismus?

Penetration being difficult or impossible, discomfort during tampon insertion or gynaecological testing, and generalising attempted intercourse are all signs of vaginismus. Depending on the degree of the disease, the pain might range from moderate to severe muscular spasms or respiratory stoppage. It might give you a lot of pain and a burning sensation. Vaginismus does not prohibit individuals from being sexually aroused, but it might make them uneasy, so they may want to avoid it.

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How to deal with it?

Well, Vaginismus is curable. You need to monitor your symptoms and discuss them with your gynaecologist. The doctor may inquire about your sexual history, including if you’ve ever been subjected to sexual trauma or abuse.

In general, a pelvic exam is required for the diagnosis and treatment of vaginismus. Women with vaginismus may experience anxiety or dread during pelvic examinations. If your doctor advises a pelvic exam, you and your doctor can talk about how to make the procedure as painless as possible.

Possible treatment options include sex therapy and counselling, Vaginal dilators and physical therapies as well.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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