Vaginismus is among the most common causes of painful or unsatisfying sex for women. The condition affects women by causing the vaginal muscles to involuntarily and persistently contract during any form of vaginal penetration. Depending on the specific case, a woman’s vaginismus symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely painful. Vaginismus can be challenging for some women to identify and diagnose. Although vaginismus can affect every woman differently, we have highlighted its most common symptoms to help educate our readers on how it can be identified.
Pain During Sex
The symptom most commonly associated with vaginismus is pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginismus does not prevent women from becoming sexually aroused, however vaginal constriction occurs at the time of vaginal penetration. Some women have described feeling a tearing sensation or a feeling like the man is “hitting a wall.”
Discomfort with Vaginal Penetration
The pain or discomfort that women with vaginismus experience during sex can also affect them during other instances of vaginal penetration. For instance, vaginismus can make something as routine as inserting a tampon nearly impossible. Vaginismus pain can also occur during routine gynecological examinations like a pelvic exam. Additionally, some women may experience a burning or stinging pain when anything is inserted into the vagina.
Psychological Effects of Vaginismus
In addition to the physical effects of vaginismus, the condition can have a profoundly negative impact on a woman’s sex drive or ability to enjoy sexual intimacy. Due to their symptoms, it’s common for women who experience vaginismus to develop anxiety or fear about sexual intercourse.
Although it may seem embarrassing to talk about, suffering from vaginismus is nothing to be ashamed of. There are several treatments and therapies for vaginismus that can be very effective. The first step in successfully treating vaginismus is scheduling a visit with your board-certified gynecologist to discuss your symptoms. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we will conduct a physical evaluation (including a pelvic exam) and work with you to determine the underlying cause of your pain and create the most beneficial treatment plan based on your specific needs. For more information on vaginismus, contact board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould to request your appointment today or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional news, tips, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.