Vaginismus refers to the involuntary spasm or contraction of your pelvic floor muscle group which can inhibit entrance to the vagina by a finger, tampon or penis. Vaginismus can make penetration or even the use of tampons impossible or very painful. Some women describe the sensation when trying as 'hitting a brick wall'. Some women just experience problems with intercourse, others describe the same reaction when using tampons or during a physical examination by a medical professional.
The pain experienced when attempting intercourse can cause severe stress in the relationship, strong feelings of dissatisfaction or worthlessness. Vaginismus can start at the first sexual experience or later in life. It is usually unrelated to sexual trauma in contrast to what is often assumed.
This sexual problem may be caused by a medical problem although this is rare. More common factors that contribute to the development of vaginismus can be (but are not restricted to) lack of knowledge or experience, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, restrictive/religious beliefs, negative expectations, feelings of unsafety, or fear of pregnancy.
Treatment of vaginismus at Sex Therapy and Psychology starts with an assessment of the possible causes of the problem. This is important to determine the best approach to improve your symptoms, for example: education, self-exploration of the genital area, physical exercises, relaxation exercises, communication about desires and boundaries, or treatment for anxiety. These options are just examples of treatment possibilities which will be discussed with you after the assessment and can be adjusted at any time during your treatment process. Sometimes Selma may suggest it would be beneficial to include your partner in the therapy process. If she thinks this would positively impact the therapeutic process she will explore this suggestion with you.
If you would like to overcome your vaginismus please click here to make an appointment with Selma van Diest.