Understanding Vaginismus: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

February 27, 2023 |
Understanding Vaginismus

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition that can significantly impact a woman's sexual health and overall well-being. It is a condition where the muscles around the vaginal opening involuntarily contract or spasm, making it difficult or impossible to engage in vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse, tampon insertion, or gynaecological exams. It can cause physical pain and emotional distress and negatively impact one's sexual and intimate relationships.

Overview Of Men Pelvic Floor ExercisesVaginismus Types

There Are 2 Main Types Of Vaginismus.


This is when a woman has experienced discomfort whenever anything has been inserted into her vagina, including a penis (referred to as penetrative intercourse), or when she has never been able to do so. It's also referred to as lifetime vaginismus.


When a woman has experienced pain-free intercourse, it suddenly becomes challenging or impossible. Also known as acquired vaginismus.

Who Might Get Vaginismus?

Vaginismus can affect people of any age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. It can occur in women who have never had penetrative sex and those who have had pleasurable sexual experiences in the past. It can be triggered by various factors, including anxiety, fear of pain, trauma, cultural or religious beliefs, medical conditions, or menopause.

What Is Treatment For Vaginismus?

The vaginismus treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Treatment may involve a combination of physical therapy, counseling, and medication.

• Pelvic floor physical therapy, which involves exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles, can be helpful for some people.

• Counseling or therapy can help to address any psychological or emotional factors that may be contributing to vaginismus.

• Cognitive-behavioural therapy, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, can also be effective. In some cases, medication such as muscle relaxants or antidepressants may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms.

In addition to these treatments, communication with sexual partners and gradual exposure to vaginal penetration can also be helpful. Using lubricants and practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can make penetration more comfortable.

Vaginal muscles can be controlled and relaxed by at-home workouts for women with vaginismus symptoms. The goal of this process, known as gradual desensitisation, is to become accustomed to insertion.

Start by performing Kegel exercises while contracting the exact muscles you use to stop the flow of urine:

• Squeeze the muscles.

• For two to ten seconds, hold them.

• Muscles must be relaxed.

• Do 20 to 30 Kegels at once. You can perform them as often as you like during the day.

What Are The Causes Of Vaginismus?

The causes of vaginismus can be physical, psychological, or both. Some physical factors that can contribute to vaginismus include:

• Infections

• Vaginal dryness

• Hormonal imbalances

• Menopause

• Endometriosis

• History of sexual abuse or trauma.

Psychological factors may include anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, low self-esteem, or negative attitudes towards sex or sexuality. Sometimes, vaginismus can also be caused by a lack of sexual education or information.

How Is Vaginismus Diagnosed?

Vaginismus can be diagnosed through a

• Physical exam,

• Medical history review, and

• Psychological assessment.

During the physical exam, a healthcare provider may check for any physical abnormalities or infections in the genital area. They may also perform a pelvic exam or try inserting a finger or speculum into the vagina to assess muscle tension or pain level. A psychological assessment may involve questions about sexual history, relationships, and any psychological or emotional factors contributing to the vaginismus treatment.

How Can I Prevent Vaginismus?

Vaginismus can be prevented or reduced by practising healthy sexual habits, including lubrication during sexual activity, communicating openly with sexual partners, and seeking medical help if experiencing Pain During Sex or discomfort during penetration. It's also important to seek therapy or counselling to address any psychological or emotional factors that may contribute to the vaginismus symptoms.

Women with vaginismus symptoms need medical help and support in addressing the condition. This can involve working with a healthcare provider, therapist, or sexual health specialist who can help identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

With the right support and treatment, many women are able to overcome the condition with the ideal vaginismus cure and experience improved sexual health and overall well-being.

Common FAQs Related To Vaginismus

1. Is vaginismus a common condition?

Vaginismus is a relatively common condition, affecting 1-7% of women.

2. Can vaginismus be cured?

Vaginismus can often be effectively treated with physical therapy, counseling, and/or medication. While it may not be completely "cured," symptoms can be significantly reduced or eliminated.

3. Will vaginismus go on its own?

Vaginismus is a self-reinforcing disorder that needs to be treated to end the painful cycle and fully recover. The good news is that vaginismus treatment is very effective. Treatment usually results in a full recovery from vaginismus and the restoration of pain-free intercourse.

4. Can vaginismus cause infertility?

While vaginismus can make vaginal penetration difficult or impossible, it is not typically associated with infertility.

5. Is vaginismus painful?

Vaginismus can be painful or uncomfortable, depending on the severity of the muscle spasms and the degree of penetration attempted.

6. Can vaginismus be a lifelong condition?

Yes, they can improve sexual performance.Vaginismus can be a lifelong condition if left untreated, but symptoms can often be significantly reduced or eliminated with proper treatment.

Contact Us

Dr. Leena Daware - Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

Follow Me

Contact Us

Contact Us For Free Consultation