Vaginismus Meaning

Vaginismus is a condition where there is an involuntary tightness in the vagina during attempted intercourse. The vagina is part of the female reproductive system. It connects the lower part of the uterus (cervix) to the outside of the body.

The tightness is caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. Women suffering from vaginismus experience discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse.

Such involuntary contractions happen when something – a penis, a finger, a tampon, or medical equipment – attempts to penetrate the vagina. The spasms may range from a mild sensation to severe pain-like cramps that cause discomfort.

How Common is Vaginismus?

The government and other healthcare organizations do not have information on the total number of women experiencing Vaginismus. Some may dislike discussing the problem because it may be too embarrassing.

Who Might get Vaginismus?

Vaginismus symptoms may develop at puberty, during late teens, or in early adulthood when a woman experiences intercourse for the first time. This can also manifest itself as the first time a lady tries to insert a tampon or the first ever pelvic examination at a physician’s office.

Vaginismus may appear to some women at a later age than during their teenage ages. This can occur where they are normally used without complications for several years.

For example, spasms or discomfort may occur at any period where there is any form of vaginal penetration, like intercourse.

Underlying Causes of Vaginismus

It’s difficult to find the exact cause of Vaginismus for health professionals, as it’s not solely a physical symptom; it can also be related to mental issues. Some of the causes being

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Vaginal tears from giving birth
  • Past surgeries
  • Emotional aversions to sex resulting from past traumatic experiences or abuse.

Symptoms of Vaginismus

Discomfort or pain when trying vaginal penetration is a common symptom of Vaginismus.

Painful sex, known as dyspareunia, is another indicator of Vaginismus. The pain occurs explicitly during penetration and may persist post-withdrawal. It’s often described as a burning sensation.

Being unable to undergo pelvic exams due to muscle spasms or pain in the vagina also points to the diagnosis.

These symptoms of Vaginismus aren’t something to ignore. However, having Vaginismus does not exclude you from enjoying sexual activities. Women with the condition can still experience sexual pleasure. Several sexual practices don’t require penetration, like Massage and Masturbation.

You cannot just wish these symptoms away; obtaining the correct vaginismus treatment is critical, so don’t delay.

Diagnoisis and Test

Your physician will inquire about your symptoms and your medical and sexual backgrounds. They will perform a pelvic exam to search for any other health issues that may be causing pain.

Sometimes conditions like endometriosis, vaginal infections, or any vaginal lesions may present with dyspareunia, and such conditions need further evaluation and targeted treatments.

A topical anesthetic may be applied to the vulvar area to enhance patient comfort during this examination.

Vaginismus Treatment

Vaginismus treatment and therapies aim to reduce the reflex that triggers your muscles to tense up. Treatments also target worries or phobias that lead to Vaginismus.

Your healthcare practitioner may prescribe one or more of the following procedures:

Topical application: Topical lidocaine or formulated lotions may alleviate the discomfort associated with this illness.

Physical therapy: Women with Vaginismus can practice exercises to manage and relax the muscles surrounding their vagina. This is known as gradual desensitization, and the goal is to become comfortable with penetration.

Your counselor may first encourage you to do Kegel exercises. You may be asked to squeeze the muscles you use to stop the flow of pee.

  • Compress the muscles.
  • Keep them for 2–10 seconds.
  • Relax your muscles.
  • Do approximately 10 Kegels exercises at a time and at least 3 times per day.

Vaginal dilators: Women with Vaginismus use Vaginal dilator therapy to make vaginal penetration more comfortable and painless. Learn how to use vaginal dilators under the supervision of an expert. Vaginal dilator therapy employs tube-shaped instruments with various diameters. Their main goal is to extend the vagina. The dilators will gradually enlarge. This allows the vaginal muscles to expand and become supple. To facilitate insertion, your provider may advise you to apply a topical numbing lotion to the exterior of the vagina beforehand.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Anxiety associated with sexual disease is common. Therefore, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you decrease anxiety and trauma-related stress-related disorders caused by Vaginismus.

Psychosexual counseling: Qualified sex therapists assist single people and couples in rediscovering the joy in their sex.

Vaginismus Exercises

Vaginal atrophy: The low or nil levels of estrogen, which are characteristic of a woman of past childbearing age, lead to the development of a disease known as vaginal atrophy, where the vagina walls become thin and dry.

Vulvar vestibulitis (provoked vestibulodynia): This condition is known to cause painful sexual intercourse that is otherwise termed Dyspareunia. These can range from having what may be considered pain at the initial phase of inserting a penis up to the ultimate phase of having sex.

This article outlines some of the symptoms of Vaginismus, including pain during intercourse, discomfort during intercourse, and difficulty in having intercourse.

Complications and Preventions

Vaginismus can affect your sex life and relationships with your partner. It can affect your mental health, leading to increased anxiety. If you’re trying to become pregnant, Vaginismus may make it more challenging to conceive.

Many women would like to know how they can prevent Vaginismus because this condition can be very uncomfortable during intercourse.
While it is still possible to uncover the causes of Vaginismus in some women, the exact causes remain unknown. It similarly does or was not known that there’s any method to stop it.

Vaginismus and Infertility

This condition can pose a problem with the attempts at pregnancy. As the prerequisite to achieving a natural pregnancy is not fulfilled, it can create undue stress among couples and tense marital relationships. Along with finding the cause of Vaginismus and treating it, procedures like Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF can be performed for such patients under sedation/anesthesia so the dream of motherhood can be achieved.

Living With Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a relatively rare condition, and its prognosis depends on the cause of the problem, which is established through a proper diagnosis made in consultation with a qualified doctor.

Only a small number of women with Vaginismus complain after undergoing treatment. It is, however, important to note that treatment of these conditions takes time, so you have to exercise some patience. It helps to remember once again that anybody can have satisfying and enjoyable sexual experiences while doing other things that are different from triggering Vaginismus.

When to call the doctor?

You should call your healthcare provider if you experience: You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Genital irritation or itching.
  • Painful intercourse.
  • Painful urination (dysuria).
  • An unusual odor or vaginal discharge that is not consistent with a woman’s regular cycle may be a cause for concern.
  • Non-specific symptoms include vaginal redness, soreness, or swelling.


Vaginismus refers to a condition in which the muscles of the vagina tighten up involuntarily and takes away sexual satisfaction from a woman and even makes ordinary activities such as intercourse, tampon insertion, or even having a pelvic exam a painful affair.

Even though there are no clear numbers for the number of women who experience the disorder, Vaginismus is a condition that can affect any aged woman which results in emotional and physical discomfort.

There are different modalities used in the management and treatment of Vaginismus, including medical and psychological approaches that help in managing muscle spasms while addressing psychological causes.

FAQs on Vaginismus: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

How do I know if I have Vaginismus?

The main symptom of Vaginismus is your vaginal muscles tightening up on their own when you try to put something in your vagina. This can cause a burning or stinging pain. It can happen when: you put a tampon into your vagina.

Can vaginismus be cured?

It is possible to treat and even cure Vaginismus. However, treatment will depend on the underlying cause, whether physical, psychological, or a combination. The more complex the case or severe the symptoms, the longer treatment may take.

How to relax vaginal muscles?

First, take a slow, gentle breath through your nose, allowing your belly and ribs to flare to the sides. “Open.”With your inhaled breath, your pelvic floor will slowly and gently move through your mouth, allowing your belly to fall. Let the air out of your upper lungs and relax your ribs, belly, and pelvic floor.