Secondary Vaginismus?

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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    HI! Back in September I was in a relationship with a guy and we ended up having sex. I was not currently on birth control and everything was fine. Everytime we had sex he usually was a little rough which I totally liked, but this may be a culprit? In the beginning of October I started taking birth control and a couple weeks in, I started running into problems. I didn’t have any lubrication problems, but after removing his penis from me to change positions he could t get it back in because my vagina had closed up or something. Usually it’s just take a minute of trying to penetrate and my vagina would open up again. Now I have not had sex for at least a month (and I’ve been off birth control for this month as well) and today was the first time. After a copious amount of foreplay, he couldn’t even penetrate me. It took a good minute or two of trying to insert for it to finally work. This is super embarrassing and J don’t know why I have Vaginismus. I don’t think it’s emotional either because in not extremely stressed and I haven’t had any recent trauma. Any suggestions? I’m desperate because I really just want to have a normal sex life.


    Hi Merina! I’m glad you wrote to us – I totally get your desire to have a normal sex life. I’m not a doctor so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt, but since it sounds like you’ve only recently started having symptoms, you might want to do some tests to see whether you think you definitely have vaginismus and how severe it is.

    First, are you able to insert anything on your own – say, a tampon, or a finger, or a vibrator, or even a q-tip? Women with vaginismus are usually unable to insert anything at all, and the fact that you can usually get your boyfriend’s penis in, albeit with some effort, is worth noting. If you feel yourself tensing up at the anticipation of anything entering your vagina or feel pain and anxiety at the thought of insertion, I would recommend talking to a gynecologist or physical therapist.

    Second, I know you say you haven’t had lubrication problems, but hormonal changes like birth control CAN affect arousal symptoms like wetness. Have you tried using lube with your partner, especially while you’re first switching to intercourse from foreplay? Plenty of women who enjoy sex still use lube to make the experience more pleasurable for them – relying solely on your own self-lubrication can put more stress on yourself to “perform” in a way that isn’t necessarily realistic and which might end up being damaging long-term. I also recommend starting off with positions that make insertion easier because some of them (for me, doggy style especially) are more difficult and sometimes less comfortable, which makes initial insertion hard. If you’re still having difficulty inserting your partner’s penis even with the use of lube and easier positions, again, I think that might be a reason to speak to a gynecologist or physical therapist.

    Those are just my two cents, but please do let us know if you have other questions or there are other ways we can help, and best of luck to you in the meantime!

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