Among our clients, we often get messages from women who experience pain during sex. After medical examination, they apparently do not have a "disease". Vaginismus is generally not part of their gynecologist's vocabulary. But then, what are we talking about?
What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is still little known, yet it affects thousands of people in France and in 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, ...).
There are several types of vaginismus.
- Primary vaginismus: when the pain and muscle contractions have always been present during a lifetime,
- Secondary vaginismus, which appears in the course of life when no pain during penetration had been felt until then.
- - Global vaginismus, which occurs in all situations, regardless of the partner and regardless of the penetration attempt.
- As well as partial or situational vaginismus, which occurs in certain situations only (with certain partners, only during sexual intercourse, in a specific context...).
not to be confused with dyspareunia!
What are the causes of vaginismus?
Remember that vaginismus is not an anatomical pathology, and that its origin is often psychological and less often physical. No study has shown the exact causes of vaginismus, but certain factors could nevertheless cause it. For example, a lack of or strict sexual or emotional education that leads to a lack of awareness of one's body, or the fear of STDs or unwanted pregnancy can lead to vaginismus. It can also result from painful vaginal penetration(s) in the past or from trauma following traumatic medical examinations or sexual abuse. It can also appear when the person is stressed, has emotional and/or professional problems, or suffers from a vaginal infection. Menopause can also sometimes be a factor in vaginismus.
In short, vaginismus is the result of many factors specific to each case. However, it is important to put a word to your ailments in order to eliminate any disease (e.g.: endometriosis)
What solution(s) can be found to remedy it?
What you need to understand is that no matter how long you've been suffering from vaginismus, it is not a fatality. It can be treated very well, especially if physiological work on muscle relaxation and a psychological approach are combined. First of all, putting a name to the problem allows you to know what you are fighting against! Nhere are many people who have never heard of vaginismus. Then, finding the causes and understanding the origin of the problem can sometimes help to overcome it. This is not systematic, consulting a health specialist, especially a gynecologist, a psychologist and/or a sexologist trained on the subject is in most cases a great help. We also recommend that you do not hesitate to consult a doctor for all your ailments, especially in case of pain .
Some people accompany a medical follow-up with a personal work of reappropriation of the body. This is often done in stages, with relaxation exercises, perineal re-education or by using 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 this is not enough! listen to yourself, don't hurt yourself! A sexual practice is not just a penetration, use menstrual panties during your period rather than internal protection!
In any case, keep in mind that vaginismus is curable. Theimportant thing is to go at your own pace without forcing yourself and to consult a doctor to rule out any illness!