Don’t Forget the Brain!
July 21, 2020 at 9:00 am #31948Jennifer Dembo, LMSWParticipant
While treatments like dilators, pelvic floor physical therapy and in some cases the Botox procedure are undeniably effective for treating vaginismus, there are other important pieces to the puzzle.
Anxiety and vaginismus often go hand-in-hand. If the brain (which is, by the way, the most important sex organ in our bodies) receives signals that all-things-vagina are negative, it will never be able to function at high capacity. In fact, it might even shut down desire and arousal because of this pain-tension-fear cycle.
While you’re treating the physical aspects of vaginismus, be sure to treat the psycho-emotional as well. Relaxation, stretching and breathing exercises can go a very long way in helping you achieve your goals. If distraction is your thing, go binge the next big Netflix phenomenon. The point is to create a new brain-vagina connection that is open, flexible, positive and pleasurable.July 22, 2020 at 10:13 am #31976Jackie Giannelli, FNP-BCModerator
Thanks so much for this important reminder, Jennifer! I always counsel my patients that while Western medicine and treatments are wonderful – often they only get us “part of the way”. Taking the time to look within and ground the mind WITH the body is the key to successful and sustainable health changes!August 22, 2020 at 10:27 am #32690recessivegenequeenParticipant
This couldn’t be more true, Jennifer. If you asked a sampling of vaginismus sufferers what the hardest part of living with the condition was, they probably would say that the feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, and inability to connect with their partner are harder than the physical pain to endure. Treating those emotions psychologically is a really important part of the healing process because there’s so much we have to re-learn about our desires, our bodies, and how we connect with our partners. Comprehensive vaginismus treatment deals with both the physical and mental effects of the issue!
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