Among our customers, we often receive messages from women who experience pain during intercourse. After medical examination, they appear to have no "disease". Vaginismus is not usually part of their gynecologist's vocabulary. So what are we talking about?
What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is still little-known, yet it affects thousands of people in France and around the world. It is often characterized by involuntary, uncontrollable and repeated contractions of the muscles surrounding the vagina. This reflex contraction often makes penetration difficult or even impossible (whether with a tampon, a finger, a speculum, a penis, etc.).
There are several types of vaginismus.
- Primary vaginismus: when pain and muscle contractions have always been present throughout a lifetime,
- Secondary vaginismus, which appears during the course of life when no pain during penetration has been felt before.
- - Global vaginismus, which occurs in all situations, whatever the partner and whatever the attempt at penetration.
- As well as partial or situational vaginismus, which occurs in certain situations only (with certains partners, only during intercourse, in a specific context, etc.).
not to be confused with dyspareunia!
What causes vaginismus?
Vaginismus is not an anatomical pathology; its origins are often psychological and less often physical. There are no studies demonstrating the exact causes of vaginismus, but certain factors could nevertheless provoke it. Vaginismus can be caused by a lack of or strict sexual or emotional education, leading to a lack of body awareness, or by fear of STDs or unwanted pregnancy. It can also result from painful(s) vaginal(s) penetration(s) in the past, or from trauma following traumatic medical examinations or sexual abuse. It can also occur when a person is stressed, experiencing sentimental and/or professional difficulties, or suffering from a vaginal infection. Menopause can also be a factor in vaginismus.
In short, vaginismus is the result of many factors specific to each case. However, it's important to put a word to your ailments to rule out any disease (e.g. endometriosis).
What(s) is the solution(s)?
It's important to understand that, however long you've been suffering from vaginismus, it's not inevitable. It can be treated very well, especially if physiological work to relax the muscles is combined with a psychological approach. First of all, putting a name to the problem helps you know what you're up against! Nhere are many people who have never heard of vaginismus. Then, finding the causes and understanding their origins can sometimes help you overcome it. In most cases, consulting a health specialist, particularly a gynecologist, psychologist and/or sexologist trained in the subject, is a great help. In fact, we recommend that you consult a doctor for all your ailments, especially in the event of pain .
Some people combine medical treatment with personal work to reclaim their bodies. This is often done in stages, with relaxation exercises, perineal re-education or the use of vaginal dilators of increasing size as progress is made. Sex therapy can also be considered, as well as complementary therapies such as sophrology, meditation, hypnosis, etc.
If all that isn't enough! listen to yourself, don't hurt yourself! Sexual intercourse is not just about penetration. menstrual panties during your periods rather than internal protection!
In any case, it's important to remember lthat vaginismus can be cured. Lhe important thing is to go at your own pace without forcing yourself and, above all, to consult a doctor to rule out any illness!