What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a condition that can make sexual intercourse, gynecological exams and even tampon insertion painful, if not impossible.
This condition can occur when inserting an object such as a tampon, penis or speculum into the vagina. Sexual stimulation can be difficult when suffering from Primary Vaginismus or Secondary Vaginismus.
It is one of the more common female sexual problems even though you might not think so. Vaginismus can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary vaginismus occurs when the woman has never been able to have penetrative sex because of the involuntary contraction of her vaginal muscles. Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman has previously been able to have penetrative sex, but is no longer able to.
The pain experienced during Vaginismus is caused by the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles - specifically the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group - leading to generalized muscle spasm and temporary cessation of breathing. Secondary to pain, women may be unable to insert tampons or undergo gynecologic exams.
The vaginal muscles involuntarily or persistently contract when they attempt vaginal penetration. This is called vaginismus. The contractions can prevent sexual intercourse or make it very painful. Vaginismus can effect women's health in a negative way causing physical pain and depression.
This can happen:
- as the partner attempts penetration
- when a woman inserts a tampon
- when a woman is touched near the vaginal area
Vaginismus doesn’t interfere with sexual arousal and a female orgasm, but it can prevent penetration.
A gentle pelvic exam typically shows no cause of the contractions. No physical abnormalities contribute to the condition.
Sexual dysfunction can occur in both males and females and can usually be treated. It’s not your fault, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, these disorders can interfere with your relationships and your quality of life.
Experts don’t know exactly how many women suffer from vaginismus, but the condition is considered to be uncommon.
What does Vaginismus feel like?
When a woman has vaginismus, her vagina's muscles squeeze or spasm when something is entering it, like a tampon or a penis. It can be mildly uncomfortable, or it can be painful.
Involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles is the primary symptom of vaginismus, but the severity of the condition varies between women. In all cases, constriction of the vagina makes penetration difficult or impossible. If you have vaginismus, you can’t control or stop the contractions of your vaginal muscles.
Vaginismus can have additional symptoms, including fear of vaginal penetration and decreased sexual desire related to penetration. Women with vaginismus often report a burning or stinging pain when anything is inserted into the vagina.
If you have vaginismus, it doesn’t mean that you’ll stop enjoying sexual activities altogether. Women who have the condition can still feel and crave sexual pleasure, and have orgasms. Many sexual activities don’t involve penetration, including oral sex, massage, and masturbation.
There are exercises and at home vaginal dilator therapy a woman can do that can help, sometimes within weeks.
Painful intercourse is often a woman's first sign that she has Vaginismus. The pain happens only with penetration. It usually goes away after withdrawal, but not always. You can have a hypertonic pelvic floor that stays contracted.
Women have described the pain as a tearing sensation or a feeling like the man is "hitting a wall."
Many women who have vaginismus also feel discomfort when inserting a tampon or during a doctor's internal pelvic exam.
A hypertonic pelvic floor occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor become too tense and are unable to relax. Many women who have a tense and non-relaxing pelvic floor experience pelvic health concerns such as constipation, painful sex, urgency and pelvic pain. A hypertonic pelvic floor may also be accompanied by tension in surrounding hip and pelvic muscles such as the piriformis, obturator internus, coccygeus and hamstrings. You should visit a pelvic floor physical therapist to help with your pelvic floor. A pelvic therapist will address the issue, a doctor might give you medicine to relax the muscles, but will not address the problem causing the tight muscles.
Doctors don't know exactly why Vaginismus happens. It can be linked to anxiety and fear of having intercourse. But it's unclear which came first, the vaginismus or the anxiety.
Some women have Vaginismus in all situations and with any object. Others have it only in certain circumstances, like with one partner but not others, or only with sexual intercourse but not with tampons or during medical exams.
Other medical problems like infections can also cause painful intercourse. So it's important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of pain during sex.
How can Magnetic Vaginal Dilators help?
When you use a Magnetic Vaginal Dilator, soft tissue lengthens, relaxing muscles and ligaments. As the tissue relaxes, the Neodymium magnets increase blood flow to the painful area calming nerves. VuVa™ Vaginal Dilators are the only patented dilators available with Neodymium magnets.
Magnetic Therapy is based on the premise that all living organisms exist in a magnetic field, including the human body. The human body generates its own magnetic field. Therefore, the body can heal itself when electromagnetic energy is in balance.
The “North Pole” of a Neodymium magnet is often referred to by medical researchers as the “healing side” of the magnet. The VuVa™ Vaginal Dilator set contains over sixty strategically positioned Neodymium magnets that allow this field of soothing energy to flow into the body.
Iron is a component of our blood content and every ion - or atom - contained in our cells carries oxygen and produces an electrical impulse. These two elements make up our bodies own electrical magnetic field.
This means when the negative north side of a magnet is placed next to a painful area, it draws fresh oxygenated blood to the nerves and surrounding muscles. This, in contrast, is a positive energy field. The positive energy field creates two results: as magnets are alkaline, it counteracts any acidity in the body caused by disease and fresh blood helps to remove any acidity from the body which, in turn, accelerates healing while reducing pain.