What is Vaginismus?

November 12, 2012

What is Vaginismus?

The term ‘vaginismus’ or ‘vaginism’ is used to describe the involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscle. This ‘spasm’ is not only painful, but it closes up the vagina and prevents the sufferer from having sexual intercourse because penetration is impossible.

The Vagina

The vagina is what connects the womb and the cervix to the outer body and it is placed between the anus and the urethra, which is where we urinate from. The vagina is a muscular tube which stretches to allow sexual intercourse and childbirth. the blood from a woman’s period also flows through the vagina.

Types of Vaginimus

  • Primary vaginismus – This is usually diagnosed in a young woman after an attempt to use a tampon, or upon her first sexual experience. Fear of penetration, stress caused by work or home life, previous vaginal infections, which caused pain, nervousness with a sexual partner or previous sexual abuse can all be causes of primary vaginismus.

  • Secondary vaginismus – This is usually found in women who have had sex successfully in the past, but due to a bad experience like a difficult labour during childbirth, episiotomy stitches, a painful or reoccurring vaginal infection, rape or injury and the woman now finds that penetration is impossible.

Emotional Factors

When women cannot participate in sexual intercourse because of vaginismus, this may cause them a great deal of anxiety and even lower their self-esteem. It is therefore important to recognise that this problem can be treated successfully and to seek medical help quickly before you suffer real emotional harm.


Treatment is usually very successful, especially with secondary vaginismus, as the sufferer already knows that intercourse is a pleasurable and non-harmful experience. The following methods of treatment are available through your doctor or privately.

  • Botox – This is useful for those women who have an extreme fear of sexual intercourse, where relaxation exercises have not worked and the patient continuous to believe that penetration will cause her pain.

  • Counselling – Counselling can help to educate the patient to understand about sexual responses and desires and to change her attitude to sex if it is a negative one.

  • Sex Therapy – Learning about your body through self exploration, controlling muscle movement with kegel exercises and learning relaxation techniques.


As you can see there are various treatments available and this condition is not uncommon. Medical professionals will provide you with the best treatment for your particular case and you will make a recovery quicker than you think. Once you are experiencing normal sexual intercourse, this will no doubt cure your anxiety and raise your self-esteem.

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