For women with vaginismus ( involuntary muscle spasm), sexual intercourse is often a torture. Overcoming this medical condition could prove critical to the conception process.
Primary vaginismus occurs when the vaginal muscles abnormally contract when penetrated. As a result, intercourse is usually quite painful for impacted subjects.
Causes of Vaginismus
Physicians and scientific researchers cannot pinpoint what precipitates this unusual condition. However, medical professionals believe that it might be elicited by anxiety or fear of sex.
Under certain circumstances, the illness can be the result of biological issues. Secondary vaginismus is classified as the inability to complete penetration as the result of some type of trauma or present reproductive condition. A common type of the secondary manifestation is the life stage menopause, which causes a precipitous drop in the reproductive hormone estrogen. As systemic levels of this chemical decrease, the vaginal region becomes less lubricated, which could cause it to be more difficult to penetrate.
Physical Manifestations of Vaginismus
The most typical symptom afflicted individuals notice is painful sex, particularly upon penetration. That said, discomfort often disappears or is alleviated during the withdrawal stage. Some who have been diagnosed with vaginismus claim the pain feels like their vaginal muscles are being torn. Others feel a stinging or burning sensation when being penetrated.
Moreover, the ailment is not limited to penile penetration. Many women also experience similar manifestations when they insert tampons or even when undergoing reproductive system examinations performed by their family doctor or gynecologist. Additionally, the symptoms might be precipitated by varying circumstances. For example, some women experience problems with certain sexual partners but not others.
Over time, the pain can become so intense that impacted women reduce partaking in sexual intercourse and, in severe instances, refrain from the activity altogether. Obviously, vaginismus can lead to significant fertility struggles for couples hoping to conceive.
Diagnosis can be time-consuming in certain cases. Typically, a healthcare professional may reach this conclusion after performing a thorough physical examination to rule out other reproductive system maladies. Should initial results prove inconclusive and if the examining physician suspects vaginismus, they might ask the patient about her sexual history and if she experienced any sexual trauma during her life. Sometimes, doctors might be able to reach an immediate conclusion by performing a vaginal exam. If the patient in question experiences symptoms of vaginismus, a firm conclusion may be drawn.
Potential Treatment Options for Vaginismus
Fortunately, vaginismus is treatable. However, specific therapeutic protocols will depend on the severity and underlying cause of the problem. Common remedial efforts include:
These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles inside a woman’s pelvic floor. Specifically, these are the muscles contained in the bladder, rectum and vaginal region. Healthcare professionals suggest that the first step in completing these exercises is to empty the bladder. After urination, the participant should contract their pelvic muscles for 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds. The process should be repeated 10 times at least three times per day.
Sexual counseling will educate stricken women about vaginismus, why it might occur and the efforts that could be performed to remedy the situation. Additionally, prototypical counseling might be recommended for the stricken subject and her partner, which will be geared towards helping them cope with the malady and potentially identify relaxation techniques that may ease the condition.
These devices are used to help expand the vaginal walls. Over time, the use of such contraptions might help the impacted individual learn to contract and strengthen vaginal muscles.