Vaginismus is a sexual dysfunction encountered in people whose biological gender is female. It is a condition in which the vagina contracts as an automatic reflex during sexual intercourse. At its core, it involves feelings of fear and shame towards sexual intercourse.
For this reason, it is more common in countries where sexuality is considered a taboo, and unfortunately our country is among these countries:(

In this article, we discuss vaginismus.

What is vaginismus?

The system in our body that provides us with the ability to move is the muscular system. Likewise, there are muscles in the vagina that enable stretching. These muscles help penetration by stretching easily during sexual intercourse.
Vaginismus; It is a condition in which the vaginal muscles cannot stretch sufficiently during penetration, contract, and prevent the entrance to the vagina due to both psychological and physiological reasons.

There are 2 main types of vaginismus.

First; It is the type where the vagina is closed to everything, including the penis, and pain is felt with every attempt. It is called long-term vaginismus .

Latter; It is the type in which sexual intercourse can be experienced without pain at first, but later the intercourse becomes difficult and impossible. It is called acquired vaginismus .

What are the symptoms of vaginismus?

Symptoms of vaginismus develop involuntarily and usually cannot be controlled without treatment.
Painful sexual intercourse is often the first symptom of vaginismus. Pain occurs only during penetration, and when penetration ends, the pain usually ends.

Other symptoms include:

  • Severe contractions and spasms in the vagina
  • Fear of having sexual intercourse
  • Self-absorption despite sexual desire
  • Do not be afraid to use medications such as tampons and suppositories
  • Difficulty in penis entering vagina
  • Inability to penetrate
  • Dryness in the vagina
  • Don't be afraid of gynecologist examination
  • Vaginal contractions like during sexual intercourse during gynecologist examination

What are the causes of vaginismus?

Just as vaginismus symptoms develop involuntarily, its causes are mostly involuntary. Although experts cannot reveal the exact cause of vaginismus , it is generally claimed that it is related to feelings of fear and shame about sexuality. However, it is not exactly known whether these feelings are a cause or a result.

The causes of vaginismus may be:

  • Being sexually harassed and abused
  • Being exposed to domestic violence
  • Traumatic histories of birth or gynecological procedures
  • Distrust between partners
  • The belief that the first sexual intercourse will be extremely painful
  • Feeling of sexual inadequacy
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

How is vaginismus diagnosed?

First of all, if the above symptoms and possible causes make you suspect that you may have vaginismus, it would be beneficial to get an expert opinion. The doctor listens to your story by asking questions about your sexual history.
Performs a pelvic exam for other health conditions that may cause pain.

If you are worried about going to the doctor, you can be sure that your doctor will be more gentle than ever in case of possible vaginismus situations.

How is vaginismus treated?

You can teach yourself to control the muscles around the vagina. Kegel exercises are just for you. If you need help with Kegel exercises, you can find our relevant article here.

You can add expert support to your Kegel routines and try to receive treatment with your partner if possible. If your doctor deems it appropriate, it will be good for you to start sexual therapy sessions and work on your fears.

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