Vaginismus is usually described as the involuntary contracting and tensing of the muscles surrounding the vagina. Unintentional vaginal muscle spasms usually happen during penetration. The resulting pain can range from slightly uncomfortable to excrucially painful, causing dyspareunia or painful sex.
These vaginal muscle spasms can affect every aspect of a woman’s life, leading to problems in her romantic relationships and ruining her self-esteem.
However, by understanding the causes and symptoms and receiving adequate vaginismus and Dyspareunia Treatment in Tamarac, patients can resume living normal lives, as the condition is 100% treatable.
How Common Is It?
After answering the question, “What is vaginismus?” let’s talk about the condition’s frequency. As it is a pretty sensitive topic, experts are having a hard time assessing numbers, as most women are embarrassed to talk about their condition with their doctors.
Who Can Get Vaginal Muscle Spasms?
Women may experience vaginismus first in their late teen years or early adolescence during their initial sexual experience. The condition can even be discovered before, while the patient tries to insert a tampon for the first time. It can also be discovered during her first pelvic exam.
On the other hand, some women will experience the symptoms of vaginismus later in life, as it can appear without any warning signs whenever vaginal penetration takes place.
Vaginismus Symptoms & Causes
As of now, medical experts aren’t sure what leads to vaginismus. According to the latest evidence, sexual, physical, and psychological issues may trigger the condition, and UTIs, bladder problems, and yeast infections can worsen the pain.
So far, evidence also suggests that the following factors may contribute to the development of the condition:
- Vaginal tears
- Anxiety problems
- Fear of sex due to trauma and/or abuse
After establishing what is vaginismus, we must also talk about some conditions that may cause similar symptoms but are different health issues.
- Vulvar vestibulitis: This condition also causes painful sex or dyspareunia. Women may have pain through the entire course of penetration. Luckily, patients who suffer from this condition may also seek dyspareunia treatment in Tamarac.
- Vaginal atrophy: This is the thinning of the vaginal lining caused by the lack of estrogen following menopause. In this case, the vagina also becomes drier.
When taking a closer look at vaginismus symptoms, there are a couple of obvious signs:
- Painful intercourse
- Pain or discomfort whenever vaginal penetration happens
- Patient’s may also be unable to have pelvic exams and/or sex altogether during vaginal muscle spasms
Experts advise women who can’t insert a tampon in their vagina or have sex to visit a professional as soon as possible since these phenomena aren’t normal.
What is vaginismus, and how can you diagnose it? First of all, patients will have to visit their healthcare provider and talk about their symptoms and probably about their sexual and medical history. An initial pelvic exam may help confirm or rule out the presence of vaginal muscle spasms.
As a part of the tests, the healthcare provider may also use topical numbing creams to make the process more comfortable for the patient.
Treatment methods for the condition revolve around reducing the reflex of the vaginal muscles that causes them to tense up so much. On the other hand, treatment may also address concerning fears and anxieties that may enhance vaginismus,
Usually, several treatment options are available, and healthcare providers may recommend several of them to cure the condition.
- Pelvic floor physical therapy: In these cases, patients will learn how to relax their pelvic floor muscles with the help of a physical therapist.
- Sex therapy: Sex therapists work together with couples and individuals to help them relax during sex and to reintroduce pleasure to their relations.
- Topical therapy: Topical compounded creams or lidocaine may help relax the muscles in question and ease the pain associated with vaginismus.
- Vaginal dilator therapy: These tube-shaped dilators vary in size, and their purpose is to help stretch the vagina. Vaginismus patients often use these devices to become more comfortable with vaginal penetration and lose some sensitivity. Usually, experts recommend applying numbing creams before using dilators to make insertion easier.
- CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy: These therapy sessions can help you understand the ways your thoughts can affect your behavior and emotions. CBT isn’t a direct vaginismus treatment, but it can address post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, which may all contribute to the development of vaginismus in the first place.
If you know what is vaginismus, you also know that it won’t have any other physical health effect on your body. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t cause any complications. As mentioned above, a lot of patients are simply too embarrassed to talk about their condition. In the long- and short-term, vaginismus can affect the patient’s mental health. This can lead to anxiety issues and even depression. Furthermore, it can ruin a person’s sex life and romantic relationships.
Lastly, it can make conceiving more challenging, so patients who are trying to get pregnant may experience even more mental pressure because of the condition.
Sadly, experts have a hard time figuring out why some patients develop vaginismus in the first place. So far, there aren’t any known methods of preventing the condition.
After having answered the question “What is vaginismus” learned about symptoms and treatment options, you might also want to learn a bit about the outlook of the condition and people who suffer from it.
Fortunately, most patients will no longer experience pain after vaginismus treatment. However, effective therapy takes time, so patience and perseverance are vital in curing the condition. Also, sex therapists will often recommend experimenting with other sexual interactions and other ways that don’t include that vagina but are still fulfilling. This avoids triggering muscle spasms while treatment lasts.
Living with the Condition
As mentioned above, living with vaginismus can be mentally challenging, so discussing your concerns with your doctor as soon as possible is usually the fastest way to recover and get back on track with your life.
That being said, consider contacting your healthcare provider if:
- You are experiencing itching and genital irritation
- You are dealing with dysuria or painful urination
- Experiencing Painful intercourse
- Seeing unusual vaginal discharge
- Experiencing vaginal swelling, redness, or soreness
Talking about painful intercourse and vaginal muscle spasms might be embarrassing. However, it’s crucial to find the best treatment to combat the condition.
Furthermore, you can avoid the pain getting worse over time. When addressed in time, you can also avoid the mental burden that might result from the condition and you may also find support if required. Also, a sex therapist might be able to help you explore other pleasurable sexual activities for the time being.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you are experiencing muscle spasms in your vaginal area and discomfort during intercourse, making it painful or even impossible, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your concerns and condition.
You don’t have to suffer. The condition is highly treatable, and seeking help can also help you overcome mental health issues related to vaginismus.
Lastly, seeking proper treatment can also improve your sex life and romantic relationships. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your treatment options.