“Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse”.1

Umbrella
What may the Vaginismus Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder
  • Vaginal Spasm
  • Vaginal Tightness
  • Vaginismus

Definition

What is vaginismus?

DotS the definition of vaginismus may vary. The (United States) MedlinePlus’ definition is:

“Vaginismus is a spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina that occurs against your will. The spasms close the vagina and can prevent sexual activity and medical exams”.2

Vaginismus.com’s definition is:

“Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse”.3

Symptoms

What are the main symptoms of vaginismus?

In Vaginismus: Symptoms the MedlinePlus explain:

“The main symptoms are:

  • Difficult or painful vaginal penetration during sex. Vaginal penetration may not be possible
  • Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse or a pelvic exam”.4

Cause

What causes vaginismus?

In Frequently Asked Questions: What Is Vaginismus? Vaginismus.com elaborate on:

“The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or will the tightness to occur; it is a limbic system reaction to penetration. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem. In some cases, vaginismus tightness may begin to cause burning, pain, or stinging during intercourse. In other cases, penetration may be difficult or completely impossible”.5

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and vaginismus?

In Vaginal Discomfort: Discomfort Not Directly Related To Menopause – Vaginismus the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

“It may develop as a result of past sexual abuse, fear of sex, or lack of sexual experience. Vaginismus also may occur for the first time in midlife women as a response to painful intercourse caused by estrogen deficiency and vaginal atrophy”.6

Treatment

How is vaginismus treated?

In Vaginismus Treatment: Training Overview Vaginismus.com elaborate on:

Vaginismus

“Vaginismus is highly treatable. Successful vaginismus treatment through training does not require drugs, surgery, hypnosis, nor any other complex invasive technique. Effective limbic reduction training will combine pelvic floor control exercises, digital penetration and trainer insertions, pain elimination techniques designed to help women identify, express and resolve any contributing emotional components. Vaginal muscle training can often be completed at home, allowing a woman to work at her own pace in privacy, or in cooperation with her health care provider”.7

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have vaginismus?

If you think you have vaginismus, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The NAMS explain:

“Because vaginal discomfort can arise from so many different sources, persistent symptoms of dryness, irritation, burning, itchiness, or pain should be evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine their cause”.8

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to the Vaginismus?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Frequently Asked Questions: General Questions – What Is Vaginismus? Vaginismus.com https://www.vaginismus.com/faq/general-questions/what-is-vaginismus Accessed: 03 May 2020
  2. Vaginismus. Review Date 19 April 2018. Page Last Updated: 09 April 2020.  MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001487.htm Accessed: 03 May 2020
  3. Frequently Asked Questions: General Questions – What Is Vaginismus? Vaginismus.com https://www.vaginismus.com/faq/general-questions/what-is-vaginismus Accessed: 03 May 2020
  4. Vaginismus: Symptoms. Review Date 19 April 2018. Page Last Updated: 09 April 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001487.htm Accessed: 03 May 2020
  5. Frequently Asked Questions: General Questions – What Is Vaginismus? Vaginismus.com https://www.vaginismus.com/faq/general-questions/what-is-vaginismus Accessed: 03 May 2020
  6. Vaginal Discomfort: Discomfort Not Directly Related To Menopause – Vaginismus. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/vaginal-discomfort Accessed: 03 May 2020
  7. Vaginismus Treatment: Training Overview. Vaginismus.com https://www.vaginismus.com/vaginismus-exercises Accessed: 03 May 2020
  8. Vaginal Discomfort: Discomfort Not Directly Related To Menopause. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/vaginal-discomfort Accessed: 03 May 2020
Topic Last Updated: 03 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 03 May 2020
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