Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Treatment for Vaginismus

Vaginismus or vaginal muscle spasm on penetration makes sex impossible. You may have noticed that I have not used the term "fidget" to describe any female sexual dysfunction. I have not because I consider such a term to be a judgemental pejorative belonging to an earlier era of sexual repression. It may have been applied however to, among other things, muscular spasm to the vaginal entrance preventing intercourse. Today this is called 'vaginismus' and it can put a real strain on your daily life, as well as your sex life. Indeed it can spiral into a major problem you feel you'll never find a cure for. It can make a woman feel utterly inadequate and miserable. Her sex partner also will often incorrectly blame himself and this can make matters even worse.
If that happens to you, it is very easy to feel that no one fully understands what you are going through, or is prepared to take your vaginismus seriously. Searching for a quick fix for your problem, it is likely you will consider the many pills, exercises and vaginal dilators available both online, and in some cases, as a prescription via your GP.

Vaginismus is defined as the involuntary contractions or spasm of the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening causing pain and preventing penetration. In its more severe forms, the tensing may also extend to muscles of the inner thigh and abdomen.

Vaginismus may be either primary or secondary. Primary vaginismus is where the woman has had the problem from the very first attempt at intercourse. In this case there is often a background of strict religious orthodoxy where sex is depicted as 'dirty' or sinful or simply as painful and as something that has to be endured to please men.

Secondary vaginismus on the other hand is the situation where the woman once enjoyed sex to the full but, because of some traumatic experience like a rape or very difficult childbirth, developed vaginismus as a result of that assault.

Treatment consists of (a) relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor and vaginal opening through specific relaxation exercised and (b) gentle and graded dilatation of the vagina using finger(s) and specially graded vaginal dilators known as boogies. Remember that practically all vaginismus is curable but it does take time and some effort. There is no quick fix.

Attending a skilled sex councilor is often the best way forwards.

Dr Andrew Rynne.


Dr Andrew Rynne is a medical practitioner and writer. He has thirty years experience in treating Sexual Dysfunction in men and women


  1. Vaginismus is a potentially harmful factor to any intimate relationship. Yes, it takes quite a while for this disorder to be resolved. But what's important is that the person suffering from such disorder is given the support she needs from her partner.

    -Jennifer West

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