Vaginismus is a type of sexual dysfunction in women when unexplained tightness, discomfort, and pain occur in the vagina:

  • When partner attempts penetration during sex
  • when a woman inserts tampons
  • while being touched in the vaginal area

Vaginismus doesn’t interfere with sexual arousal, but it can prevent penetration. It is an involuntary pelvic response to fear when the muscles of the vagina contract at any clue of penetration into the vaginal area. In fact, Women who are suffering from vaginismus do not even know that their pelvic muscles have suddenly contracted. Vaginismus can affect women at any stage of life and at any age.

Vaginismus is classified into two types:

  • Primary vaginismus: where vaginal penetration has never been achieved
  • Secondary vaginismus: when vaginal penetration was once achieved, however, is no longer possible, possibly due to factors like gynecologic surgery, trauma, or radiation.

Sometimes, women develop vaginismus after menopause. When the levels of estrogen drop, a lack of vaginal lubrication and elasticity makes intercourse more painful, stressful, or sometimes impossible.

Here is a list of some causal factors linked with painful intercourse and the appropriate ways to deal with them:

Vaginal dryness: Vaginal dryness is a very common factor responsible for painful intercourse. There are various causal factors of vaginal dryness. Use lubricants after consulting your doctor as it acts as an effective alternative, when the body is unable to naturally secrete vaginal fluids to ease intercourse, thereby reducing the pain.

Infections: Vaginal infections may occur due to prior sexual activity which resulted in Sexually Transmitted Diseases etc. This may cause itching or burning sensation during sex. Consult your doctor immediately to diagnose the causal factors behind the infection, and prescribe medication.

Emotional issues: Emotional issues also affect your sex life. Consult a counselor to deal with your emotional trauma. Go for sex therapy and counseling which involves teaching about your anatomy and what occurs during sexual arousal and intercourse. Information about the muscles involved in vaginismus too is given to you. This may help you know how the parts of the body works and how your body is responding.

Kegal exercises may also help you to deal with vaginismus. To do Kegel exercises repeatedly tighten and relax your pelvic floor muscles that control your vagina, rectum, and bladder.

Also Read: Vaginal changes when you catch an STD

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