Vaginismus is the tightening of the muscles in the pelvic floor in a woman's body, which prevents almost any penetration in the vagina. If you have problems using tampons or are having painful intercourse, you may have vaginismus. It could also be related to a previous medical condition so you need to have awareness of the symptoms to get the proper treatment. It is classified as a psychogenic disease because the physical pain is increased by the emotional factor that is contributed.
- Dyspareunia. It is pain experienced by females before, during, and/or after vaginal intercourse. It can be associated with vaginismus, but check with your gynecologist. This can also be experienced by men, but mostly it is due to some medical condition so it is more associated with women. The pain may be located in the genitals or within the pelvis. However, some pain while having intercourse is acceptable, intense pain may be a sign of vaginismus.
- Types. There are two types of vaginismus, classified as primary and secondary. Primary vaginismus occurs in women who experience sexual intercourse for the first time. As the walls of the vagina tighten, it will be impossible for any type of penetration to happen. The secondary classification happens when a woman who has had painless sexual intercourse before suddenly experiences hardship in sexual intercourse or orgasms. This may be caused by the sudden tightening of the vaginal walls before or during sex. Classification can be difficult because some women can actually just tolerate the pain of intercourse for years without anyone knowing.
- Anxiety. One might feel anxiety about having vaginal intercourse due to the pain. This could be caused by experiences or problems in the past. Sexual trauma like rape or natural childbirth may cause vaginismus. Relationship problems, like tension, jealousy may also complicate intercourse and may also contribute to make intercourse hurt. This can also cause apareunia, which prevents total penetration.
- Demographics. Studies show that about 15% of all women experience pain in their lifetimes, however, this may not be a sign of vaginismus. The chance of having vaginismus increases if one has been sexually abused. It is also noted that instances of vaginismus are higher for those having first time intercourse, though this may be due to the breaking of the hymen. Women over the age of 50 are also at a higher risk of vaginismus. It is suggested that you consult with your gynecologist if you are over 50 years of age.
Identifying the symptoms of vaginismus can be complicated, especially if the woman has a history of anxiety or has not experienced sexual intercourse. If you are experiencing several of the symptoms listed here, like consistent and severe intercourse pain, consult your gynecologist he or she may be able to recommend a psychotherapist. You can also undergo ultrasound and a pelvic examination to see if there are any other concerns aside from the symptoms mentioned. A good site for information, support and therapy can be found at: vaginismus.com