Vaginismus affects about 0.5% of all women. It’s a condition wherein the muscles around the vaginal opening involuntarily contract, making any sort of penetration incredibly painful.
Those suffering from vaginismus can have difficulties establishing sexual relationships. They may feel dysfunctional or like they cannot provide enough for their partner. Being accepting and supportive of these individuals can have a significant positive effect, seeing as vaginismus plays such a psychological role.
Vaginismus is classified as primary if the woman suffering from it has always had the condition, and secondary if penetrative sex was once comfortably possible, but no longer is. It should be noted that the vaginismus has a wide range of manifestations, and thus the primary and secondary classifications can be somewhat restrictive, however the symptoms can indicate other afflictions. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, visit your doctor.
Physical symptoms of vaginismus include burning, stinging, and a sensation of tightness during sex; ongoing sexual pain with no apparent cause; ongoing sexual discomfort or pain following childbirth, yeast/urinary infections, STDs, rape, menopause, or other issues; muscle spasms and halted breathing.
Psychological symptoms include shame, insecurity, fearing and/or avoiding sex, loss of sexual interest, feeling compelled to lie to one’s partner about sex, feeling uncomfortable around topics concerning penetration of any kind.
Vaginismus is not a problem that can be willfully ignored, and treatment takes time and patience. If treatment is careful and consistent, a full (and permanent) recovery is likely, no matter if the pain has persisted for months, years, or decades.
Is dyspareunia the same thing as vaginismus? Does vaginismus keep women from experiencing orgasm? Find out more about Living with Vaginismus here.