What causes vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a distressing diagnosis that can impact many aspects of your personal life. This condition leaves the sufferer in pain when vaginal penetration is attempted – through inserting tampons, gynaecological examination or sexual intercourse. Understanding what causes vaginismus is the first step toward getting effective treatment. Stay tuned as we look at everything you need to know about vaginismus, from how it can impact your life to symptoms and treatments.
Why is it important to identify what causes vaginismus?
Understanding the underlying reasons behind a vaginismus diagnosis can be a key part of getting effective treatment. It is not currently fully understood what causes the condition, but it is thought to be triggered by psychological and/or psychological issues. An example of this may be a traumatic sexual experience or anxiety around sex.
Early diagnosis is the best way to speed up the path to recovery and getting your sex life back on track. There’s no need to be embarrassed – nobody should have to put up with pain. Narrowing down what could be contributing to your condition allows your healthcare provider to create an effective treatment plan. This means a quicker return to a fulfilling sex life. By understanding the ‘why’ behind vaginismus you’re paving the way for a happier and healthier future.
Some women have a fear of their ‘first time’. The anxiety and stress of this can contribute to the symptoms of vaginismus. Because of this emotional weight, involuntary contractions of the muscles around the vagina may occur which can make penetration uncomfortable or difficult. This can result in a vicious cycle in which the expectation of pain leads to physical tension, exacerbating the issue.
There are certain physiological reasons that may lead to vaginismus. Recurrent UTI infections and irritations make it to the top of the list, as they can cause pain and make the vaginal muscles automatically contract. It’s a natural bodily reflex of the body attempting to defend itself from potential damage.
Vaginismus can also be triggered as a result of relationship dynamics (whether old or new). Unpleasant experiences and sexual trauma can weaken trust and create emotional hurdles to intimacy. Past traumas may make it difficult to relax and connect with your partner on a physical level. Building trust and encouraging open communication are critical stages in dealing with this component of vaginismus.
Treatments for vaginismus
Thankfully, there are a range of treatments for vaginismus. The most common ones are as follows:
- Botox: Using Botox to treat vaginismus has proven very effective. A minimally invasive and advanced treatment, this procedure involves injecting Botox into the muscles around the vagina to relax the muscles. This has been shown to significantly lower the pain associated with penetration and help women start to enjoy pain-free penetrative sex again.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is essential for addressing the psychological causes of vaginismus. A counsellor can examine the emotional and mental factors that may be contributing to your condition. It can be really beneficial in that it can help you to build a toolbox of coping skills to help reduce anxiety around the discomfort associated with penetration.
- Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques are essential for the treatment of vaginismus. Meditative breathing techniques and gradual muscular relaxation can help women feel more relaxed during intimate situations. Learning to relax both physically and psychologically is an important ability that may significantly enhance the overall experience and comfort of individuals suffering with vaginismus.
- Dilators: Dilators, also sometimes referred to as vaginal trainers, are useful tools for women to progressively and gently stretch their vaginal muscles. It can be very effective when combined with Botox treatment. These devices are available in a variety of sizes, allowing for a gradual desensitisation and penetration. Dilators are an excellent way to restore control and comfort, allowing women to move at their own speed towards pain-free intimacy.
Take control of your sex life
It’s important to maintain open communication with your partner if you are suffering with vaginismus, to gather emotional support, strengthen your relationship, and foster trust. By seeking guidance and treatment as early as possible, you can improve your quality of life. Remember, help is available at every step.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.