Vaginismus is a condition involving a muscle spasm in the pelvic floor muscles. It can make it painful, difficult, or impossible to have sexual intercourse, to undergo a gynecological exam, or insert a tampon.
WHAT CAUSES VAGINISMUS
Dr. Sherry A. Ross, a women’s health expert and the author of sheology, says this can be caused by several factors, including chronic medical conditions, abnormally low sexual desire, and genital or sexual trauma. Sometimes there is no known direct cause of this condition. Overall, this becomes your body’s natural response to intimacy.
It can be extremely frustrating to receive a vaginismus diagnosis. People suffering from this tend to have difficulties talking about their experiences or even seeking medical help from a gynecologist. Not everyone faces vaginismus, this is a condition linked to people with vaginas.
TYPES OF VAGINISMUS
- Primary Vaginismus
This means the condition has been with you through the beginning of your lifetime. It usually is discovered within your first attempt at sexual penetration.
- Secondary Vaginismus
This means the condition developed after already having experienced sexual activity. It can come about at any stage of your life. This usually happens after a specific event, such as trauma, childbirth, and even infection.
Doctors categorize vaginismus in levels of severity in a patient’s condition. There is either complete or situational. Complete means that the person cannot tolerate any form of penetration, whereas situational severity can handle the insertion of tampons and gynecological exams.
Is it Treatable?
If you’re wondering why it has been difficult for you to experience sex or even put a tampon in, it could be vaginismus. So, the question provoked is “Will I be able to have penetrative sex?” The short answer, YES! This is a treatable condition, so in due time it is possible.
- That may require kegal exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. I’m doing mine right now!
- The use of vaginal dilators can be extremely helpful in your journey. Dilators are at your own pace, so you are in complete control with these tools. It can allow your vaginal muscles to relax and become aquatinted with penetration, possibly for the first time or again.
- Other treatments may be required such as psychological, physical, or hormonal therapy.
Talk to your gynecologist about your options and what will work best for you. The journey can be a long road ahead, but it is extremely rewarding. You deserve access to all parts of your body. There are options out there.
STEPS TOWARD PLEASURE
Vaginismus can be extremely frustrating, and keep you hesitant from dating. Check our article My Partner has Vaginismus: How To Support. If the idea of intimately dating right now seems overwhelming masturbation can help. Masturbating can progress you towards comfort within the psychological and physical factors of pain.
- The classic flicking the bean or clitoral stimulation might be the easiest place to start. Lubricate your clitoris and rotate in circles with your index and middle finger. Focus on your breathing and take breaks or completely STOP if you need to. Be proud of yourself!
- The use of dilators can be extremely helpful to get you comfortable with PIV sex.
- After using them for a while and increasing in a size or two, you can start to consider using the dilators as a tool of pleasure. As always, lubricate and focus on your breathing. Take breathing breaks or completely STOP if you need to. Whether you kept it in for under a minute or got one thrust in, remember this is a huge step!
- Focus on pleasure and not on achieving an orgasm. This is a great time to give your yoni (vagina) some good ol’ fashion attention. Observe her, get to know her by taking a mirror down there and speaking sweet affirmations to her. Get some movement in first, with a little dance session or some yoga to get a little loosened up. And if you’re anything like me, maybe a glass of wine to ease the newness.
- If psychological factors or the fear of being touched play a major role in your vaginismus, you can start by setting the tone with some candles. Aphrodisiac fragrances like jasmine and vanilla can really add a fun layer to your sensory neurons. After, find some erotica novels or audios, which may help you with arousal by using two of your senses without having to touch yourself.
- Continue to work with your gynecologist/therapists/or possible partner this can be a useful support system in your journey to healing.