Vaginismus (also known as Pelvic Floor Myalgia) is the involuntary spasm of a woman’s pelvic floor muscles which surround the vagina. These spasms can be so severe that the vagina closes, leading to painful sex (dyspareunia), painful tampon insertion and a difficult pelvic exam. The pain is most often a burning sensation that may develop as sexual intercourse progresses. Vaginismus is the leading cause of unconsummated sexual relationships. There are varied causes, yet most clinicians believe it has both a physical and emotional component.
There are four different classifications:
- Primary vaginismus (lifelong)
- Secondary vaginismus (occurring after a period of normal sexual function)
- Global vaginismus (occurring in all situation: intercourse, tampon insertion, or pelvic exam)
- Situational vaginismus (occurring when experiencing painful intercourse with only one partner, but not others, or only during sex but not with tampon insertion or pelvic exams.)
Progressive dilator therapy helps women improve their vaginal health by learning how to control and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Treatment may also include relaxation techniques and therapy. Women who undergo this treatment have a very high success rate, typically between 75 to 95 percent.
Did you know?
- 2 out of every 1000 women has at least moderate vaginismus
- 79% women suffering from vaginismus are college graduates/professionals
- Due to shame and embarrassment, many women do not seek help
- 60% of women with vaginismus are married
- 53% of women with Vaginismus are aged 25-35