Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina spasm involuntarily preventing vaginal penetration. This involuntary spasm can prevent women from inserting a tampon, undergoing speculum exams and having intercourse. Vaginismus is a major cause for unconsummated marriages.
The cause of vaginismus is unknown, however fear, anxiety and pain can be contributing factors. We evaluate all of our vaginismus patients in the same manner. Our protocol consists of an in-depth medical history and physical exam as well as a psychosexual history that focuses on all dimensions of sexual functioning. We understand that anxiety and fear surrounding vaginal penetration can have negative effects on desire, arousal and even orgasm. Many vaginismus patients also have pain with attempted vaginal penetration which creates a very complex pain cycle that can be very difficult for a patient to break on her own. Our sexuality counselors work together with our medical staff to determine the level of anxiety, fear, and/or pain surrounding vaginal penetration in order to provide the patient with the best treatment options.
Our traditional treatment for vaginismus includes sexuality counseling/education and progressive dilation with cylindrical plastic dilators of increasing size. Some patients may benefit from more intensive psychotherapy which we offer at our center too. We have great success with these treatment modalities with most patients completing treatment in 2-5 months. However, there is a subset of patients that does not respond to conservative treatment either due to severe pain or intense fear. Patients who cannot tolerate being on an examination table fall into this category. In these severe cases, we often recommend the Vaginismus Treatment Under Anesthesia procedure with progressive dilation under anesthesia. For more information on our Vaginismus Treatment Under Anesthesia procedure click here.
The bottom line is that there are many ways to successfully treat vaginismus. We can help YOU and always remember you are not alone. Many women find reading these testimonials written by other women about their experiences with vaginismus extremely helpful. Check them out.