What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a condition that can greatly affect women in a variety of ways. It’s essentially a spasm of your pelvic floor muscles that is most commonly seen while attempting sexual intercourse. This tightness in your pelvic floor can make sex very painful, which can affect your relationships and your self-confidence. It can also impact exercise, inserting and wearing a tampon, and cause difficulty undergoing a gynecological exam.
There may be triggers, both physical and emotional, that can exacerbate this condition. Physical triggers can include childbirth, an infection, side effects from medication, surgery, or menopause. An emotional trigger could include the past experiences from either childbirth or sexual abuse.
The best way to treat vaginismus is to find the root of the cause and consult with practitioners who specialize in pelvic health. You can first see your gynecologist to discuss what causes your pain. If the pain is more related to difficulty with using a tampon or sexual intercourse, they may refer you a pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you reduce the pain and sensitivity and assist with stretching out these muscles through manual therapy or the use of dilators. If the pain is associated with tightening up due to fear and anxiety, finding a mental health counselor can be ideal to give you tools to overcome these symptoms.
Remember, vaginismus can be the result of a number of causes and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating it. If these symptoms are an issue for you, don’t hesitate to reach out for help in creating a personalized treatment plan that will work best for you.