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Vaginismus corresponds to the involuntary contraction of a woman's pelvic floor muscles, not allowing vaginal penetration during intimate contact or penetration of other objects, such as a tampon or vaginal speculum that is used by the gynecologist during routine exams.
This change can happen at any stage of a woman's sexual life and can have physical or psychological causes, such as fear of becoming pregnant, sexual abuse, urinary tract diseases or hemorrhoids, for example. Despite having several causes, vaginismus can be easily treated, and it is important that it be done by a gynecologist and, in some cases, with the help of a psychologist.
There are 2 types of vaginismus, the primary, in which the woman has never had penetration, either through gynecological exams, use of tampons or intimate contact, and the secondary, which is triggered by traumatic events, such as abuse sexual intercourse, childbirth, surgery or menopause, for example.
Symptoms of vaginismus are easy to perceive, with mainly difficulty or impossibility of penetration. However, other symptoms may be present, such as pain during intimate contact, contraction or burning in the vagina, and discomfort during gynecological exams or insertion of tampons.
Vaginismus symptoms can also vary from woman to woman according to the cause, and it is important that the diagnosis of vaginismus is made by the general practitioner or gynecologist so that the treatment can be correctly established and the symptoms can be evaluated.
What causes vaginismus
Vaginismus can have physical causes, but also psychological causes, such as memory of painful sexual intercourse in the past, fear of becoming pregnant or being controlled by a man.
Other causes of vaginismus include:
- Fear of pain from intimate contact;
- Fear of getting pregnant;
- Anxiety and stress;
- Sexual abuse or witnessing sexual abuse;
- Unbalanced religious education;
- Diseases such as urinary tract infection, endometriosis, pelvic tumors;
- Trauma related to childbirth;
- Discomfort in relation to intimate contact;
- After menopause due to genital atrophy;
- Hymen rigid;
- Vaginal septum;
- Vaginal caruncles;
It is important to clarify that the contraction of the muscles of the vagina is involuntary and the woman is not responsible for this contraction, bringing discontent to her as well.
What to do if you have difficulty in penetration
If the woman has difficulty during penetration, it is important to seek medical help because there are several strategies that can help solve the problem and allow her to have a he althy and pleasurable sex life. Making an appointment with a gynecologist is the first thing you should do because it is necessary to investigate whether there are diseases that are causing this difficulty.
When it is clear that the causes are psychological, it is essential to carry out treatment with a psychologist or psychiatrist to deal with emotions and heal trauma, if necessary. It is important that the partner is also evaluated by the doctor because situations such as sexual impotence and premature ejaculation also favor vaginismus, and can be resolved.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for vaginismus should be done according to the cause and may include the use of anti-anxiety medication, anesthetics in the form of an ointment, in addition to the use of vaginal vasodilators.
It can also be done with the use of vaginal dilation techniques in association with Kegel exercises, which are exercises that work the female intimate region, in order to allow penetration. Initially, the woman should be guided to know her intimate anatomy and how to perform Kegel exercises, and thus achieve penetration of small objects such as a cotton swab, for example. Learn how to do Kegel exercises.
The treatment of vaginismus should be guided by a gynecologist and the help of a physical therapist specializing in women's he alth contributes to better results. Psychological counseling, with cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy techniques can facilitate, accelerate the process and reduce anxiety and is therefore also indicated.