Vaginismus

Vaginismus

Vaginismus

Painful, unsatisfying sex can have a significant impact on a woman’s physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as dramatically reducing her sex drive. In many cases, the pain that occurs during sex is caused by a condition known as vaginismus. Vaginismus occurs when the vaginal muscles involuntarily or persistently contract during any form of vaginal penetration. In addition to affecting women during sex, vaginismus can make inserting a tampon or even routine gynecological exams painful or uncomfortable. Vaginismus may affect every woman differently and the pain can range from mild to severe. Additionally, some women experience vaginismus pain during all situations (global vaginismus), whereas others only have symptoms in certain situations, for example, during sex but not during gynecological exams or tampon insertion (situational vaginismus).

 

Vaginismus Diagnosis & Treatment

The first step towards treating vaginismus is receiving an accurate diagnosis. Properly diagnosing vaginismus can be a complicated process that requires a board-certified gynecologist. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we will begin by conducting a physical evaluation that includes a discussion of the woman’s medical history as well a pelvic exam to help determine the underlying cause of her pain.

Vaginismus is treatable. The first step in potentially treating vaginismus is helping the woman become more psychologically and physically comfortable with sex, as anxiety and fear over sex can often lead to vaginismus flaring up. This might include speaking with a counselor or specialist for the woman and her partner. For some women, performing pelvic floor control exercises like muscle contraction and relaxation activities (Kegel exercises) can help improve control of the pelvic floor muscles. Learning how to better control your pelvic floor muscles can help reduce vaginismus pain and promote more satisfying sexual intercourse in the long-run. Some gynecologists and sex therapists recommend the use of vaginal dilatory for some women to gradually expose themselves to more vaginal stimulation. This treatment can be highly effective, but it is important to progress slowly to prevent worsening vaginismus pain which can occur if the woman becomes overwhelmed.

For women who need help treating their vaginismus pain, we perform Botox® injections work by blocking the chemical (acetylcholine) that goes from the nerve to the muscle, causing the muscle contractions. By relaxing the muscles, Botox® can effectively stop these contractions and ease the painful symptoms of vaginismus.

 

Vaginismus FAQs

Are women born with vaginismus or is it developed over time?

Every case of vaginismus is different. Some women are born with vaginismus and experience symptoms their entire lives (until treatment). This is known as primary vaginismus. Other women develop symptoms over time. This is called secondary vaginismus.

Does vaginismus affect sexual arousal?

Vaginismus will not prevent women from becoming sexually aroused. However, the pain and discomfort caused by vaginismus can lead to painful, unsatisfying sex as well as anxiety about sexual intercourse that can diminish sex drive.

How can I tell if vaginismus treatment is right for me?

Choosing the best-possible treatment plan for vaginismus depends on each woman’s personal preference. During your appointment, our board-certified gynecologist will discuss your options to help determine the right treatment plan for you.

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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

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