Pregnancy and Vaginismus

Women with un-treated vaginismus wonder if it is possible for them to get pregnant if they are unable to have intercourse. If they do get pregnant, they then wonder if natural childbirth will cure their pre-existing vaginismus by stretching the vaginal opening.

The truth is that some women with primary vaginismus have been able to conceive even though they never had any form of penetration. A woman can get pregnant if the male ejaculates near the vaginal opening and the sperm makes it way up to the ovaries. This is called “splash pregnancy”. Another way for a woman with vaginismus to become pregnant would be for the man to ejaculate into a small cup and the woman self-inseminates or if she undergoes assisted reproduction (infertility treatment).

GYN physicians sometimes tell women with un-treated vaginismus that if they were able to get pregnant, their vaginismus would most likely be cured because the vaginal delivery will stretch out their vaginal muscles.

Delivering a baby vaginally may stretch out the vaginal muscles but it does not cure the fear and anxiety associated with vaginal penetration. Vaginismus is the involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles thought to be caused by fear and anxiety of penetration. Therefore, vaginismus may remain even after the natural vaginal delivery of a child.

It is my recommendation that women with vaginismus seek treatment before considering having a child. Our Botox treatment program for vaginismus is effective in that the Botox will relax the vaginal muscles for about 4 months so that the woman is able to progressively use increasingly larger dilators, which allows the stretching process to become more comfortable. During this time, fear and anxiety of penetration becomes less and less. Eventually, the woman is able to transition to full vaginal intercourse and the anxiety continues to lessen. Until the Botox wears off (usually about 4 months), I do recommend that the husbands of my patients use condoms or the women use other forms of contraception. After 4 months, they can try to conceive.

It is always a joy receiving emails from our patients announcing that they are pregnant!

One patient writes . . .

“I’ve got some amazing news . . . just found out them I’m pregnant (about 5/6 weeks) !!! We are so happy . . . this is a dream come true for us. The day we got on the plane to New Hampshire was the best thing we have ever done!! I owe you all so much. If I think back to the dark place I was in 6 months ago, I can’t believe how much my life has changed. You have given me a reason for living . . . so happy!!”

I later emailed this patient to see if she would talk to one of our patients and she agreed.

She replies . . .

“I would love to talk to (name withheld). Pregnancy is so wonderful and the exams are really a piece of cake if you have a caring and gentle doctor to talk you through it. My first exam EVER was my first cervical check while I was pregnant with Kaden. I was terrified, but my ob/gyn doctor placed her finger on the muscles that were tensing and said “relax these right here”. I did, and all went well after that. I am still so proud of myself (and a bit astonished) that I was able to go through the birth/delivery process. But you know what . . . it was amazing and a lot EASIER than I could have ever imagined!!!”

“What’s even greater, is that I am on my SECOND pregnancy . . . due in less than two months. WOW!!! Who would have thought little Miss Rachel with SEVERE vaginismus would be capable of delivering two children vaginally? NOT ME!!!”

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