“When people have tried everything and have discovered that nothing works, they will tend to revert to what they know best—which will often be the tribe, the totem, or the taboo.”― Christopher Hitchens
In a nation like India, talking about sex is completely forbidden. However, discussions about sex and menstruation are now more open to our generation. Even then, we have yet to make sex a taboo-free issue to chat about with our parents and grownups. There is no longer a necessity to keep the bedroom conversations there. We are here to break off convention and discuss a topic that not many people are aware of in my feature.
According to studies, 1 in every 500 women suffers from vaginismus in the UK. Since women in India are reluctant to talk about their sexual experiences and are unaware of this issue, no reliable study is available.
The Health Capital brings you this blog to burst all facts and myths about Vaginismus. The good news is that vaginismus treatment is successful without needing drugs or invasive surgeries. More significantly, early problem detection and vaginismus treatment can assist in problem resolution and lessen the associated stress and discomfort.
What is Vaginismus?
A mind-body reaction brings on an involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. Vaginismus is typically accompanied by the contraction of the vaginal muscles and a severe burning sensation during entry. Many women avoid circumstances involving vaginal penetration because it hurts too much (including sexual intercourse, gynaecological examination, and tampon insertion). They might experience tremendous anxiety, worry, and even feelings of shame or rejection.
Unfortunately, because most Indian women are reluctant to discuss their sexual issues, the illness is frequently overlooked or addressed insufficiently. According to clinics, up to 42% of women may have the illness but choose not to seek vaginismus treatment out of fear or reluctance.
Types of Vaginismus
1. Primary Vaginismus:
Women who have had primary vaginismus are those who have always had vaginismus symptoms. This implies that she has never been able to accept vaginal penetration in any form without experiencing discomfort.
2. Secondary Vaginismus:
Women who have previously had no problems with vaginal penetration occasionally get vaginismus symptoms. The term “secondary vaginismus” describes this. Secondary vaginismus can arise from childbirth, a particularly traumatic incident, or specific vaginal infections, albeit each case is unique.
3. Global Vaginismus:
Women who experience vaginismus symptoms following any vaginal penetration are said to have global vaginismus. When trying to insert a tampon or perform a basic gynaecological exam, this might happen during sexual activity.
4. Situational Vaginismus:
Situation vaginismus describes a condition in which a woman experiences vaginismus symptoms during some types of vaginal penetration but not others. For instance, a woman may experience vaginismus during sexual activity but not when she attempts to use a tampon. Vaginismus is a rare disorder that may have distinct effects on every woman.
What are the Causes of Vaginismus?
There are several reasons why a person might have vaginismus. They include
- Fear and/or anxiety brought on by previous instances of sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
- Ingrained prejudice towards sex Personality-driven illnesses
- Physical harm caused by a torn vagina following childbirth Illnesses including pelvic tumours or urinary tract infections
- Sexually transmissible conditions
- After menopause, oestrogen levels decline, which may cause a lack of vaginal lubrication because you worry that your vagina is too tiny.
- A poor first sexual encounter
- A painful medical checkup thinking that having sex is sinful or shameful
- A distressing medical disease, such as thrush
It is best to speak with a gynaecologist to receive an accurate diagnosis. The patient will be questioned about their medical history, and the doctor will perform a physical exam. They will choose a patient vaginismus treatment plan in light of the results.
What are the typical vaginismus symptoms, or How do you know if you have Vaginismus?
Signs of vaginismus include-:
- Pain or discomfort during vaginal penetration
- Due to pain or spasms in the vaginal muscles, it is impossible to have intercourse or do a pelvic check.
- Painful sexual activity.
- Genital itch or irritation.
- Unpleasant urination (dysuria).
- Abnormal or obnoxious vaginal discharge.
- Vaginal inflammation, discomfort, or redness.
If you have discomfort during sex or when putting in a tampon, you should visit a doctor because they indicate early signs of vaginismus. These sensations are abnormal.
Beginning the Process of Vaginismus Treatment
Because of their high anxiety about penetration, fear of pain from penetration, fear of failing, and other factors, women with early signs of vaginismus frequently put off getting therapy. It’s crucial to start the vaginismus-overcoming procedure by taking the initial step.
Seek therapy as soon as you can, if at all possible. Younger women typically have better libidos, stronger maternal instincts, healthier hormone levels, and fewer lubrication issues. Additionally, the partnership typically has fewer issues.
Who might get vaginismus?
When people have sex for the first time in their late teens or early adulthood, vaginismus symptoms may manifest. It is one of the early signs of vaginismus. The issue can manifest itself when a person performs a tampon insertion for the first time or undergoes a pelvic checkup in a doctor’s office.
Some women experience vaginismus as they age. Years may pass before it occurs without any issues. Anytime there is vaginal penetration, spasms or discomfort may happen. Or you might only have them occasionally, such as during sex or pelvic exams.
What medical diseases resemble vaginismus?
These issues may result in vaginismus symptoms:
- Vaginal atrophy: Following menopause, a lack of oestrogen is one of the causes of vaginismus which makes the lining of the vagina thinner and drier (vaginal atrophy).
- Provoked vestibulodynia, also known as vulvar vestibulitis, is a disorder that makes intercourse uncomfortable (dyspareunia). People may feel agony during the entire encounter, starting with the initial entry.
The Diagnosis of the illness followed by Vaginismus Treatment
Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms and your medical and sexual background. A pelvic exam can confirm the existence of muscle spasms or help rule out other issues. Before the exam, your healthcare professional may administer a topical numbing lotion outside the vagina to make you more comfortable. This starts off as a treatment of vaginismus.
What problems might vaginismus cause?
Your sexual life and relationships with your spouse may be impacted by vaginismus. Your mental health may be impacted, which could result in elevated anxiety. Vaginismus may make it more difficult to conceive if you’re trying to get pregnant.
What is the prognosis (prospect) for vaginismus sufferers?
Following vaginismus treatment, many vaginismus sufferers no longer have the condition. However, effective treatment of vaginismus takes time, so you’ll need patience. Remember that there are other activities you can engage in that won’t cause vaginismus and still have meaningful and enjoyable sexual encounters.
Vaginismus exercises to rehabilitate the pelvic floor, using vaginal dilators, psycho-sexual awareness, and counselling are all standard therapy options for vaginismus. It is important how to know if you have vaginismus. Each vaginismus treatment plan is determined depending on the ailment’s type and severity. Vaginismus is a curable disease.
1. Sexual counselling and therapy:
Learning about your anatomy and what transpires during sexual desire and intercourse is often part of education. Additionally, you’ll learn more about the muscles involved in vaginismus. This can make it easier for you to comprehend how your body functions and how it is reacting.
You and your partner may go to counselling together or separately. It could be beneficial to work with a psychotherapist who specialises in sexual issues. Hypnosis and relaxation vaginismus exercises can help you unwind and make you feel more at ease during sexual activity.
2. Vaginal relaxants:
Your doctor or therapist might suggest you receive expert instruction in using vaginal dilators. In your vagina, insert the cone-shaped dilators. The dilators will increase in size. This facilitates stretching and flexibility of the vaginal muscles. Have your lover assist you in inserting the dilators to foster greater intimacy. You and your spouse can attempt sexual activity once more after finishing the term of vaginismus treatment with a set of dilators.
3. Physical vaginismus exercises:
If you struggle to use dilators on your own, ask a friend or family member to recommend a pelvic floor therapist.
They can assist you by:
- Discover more about using dilators
- Study deep breathing techniques
To gradually acclimate you to penetration, vaginismus treatment typically focuses on regulating your feelings around penetration activities.
Vaginismus Exercises that help dissolve the Illness.
Vaginal muscles can be controlled and relaxed by at-home workouts for women with vaginismus. The goal of this process, known as gradual desensitisation, is to become accustomed to insertion. Start by performing Kegel exercises while contracting the same muscles you use to stop the flow of urine, which will tense your muscles. For two to ten seconds, hold them. Muscles must be relaxed. Perform 20 to 30 Kegels at once. You can perform them as often as you like during the day.
After a few days, while performing the exercises, enter one finger inside your vagina, up to about the first knuckle joint. You might wish to use lubricating jelly and clip your fingernails prior. Alternatively, you might perform the exercises in the water-filled environment of a bathtub.
Start with one finger and progress to three over time. Your finger will feel the muscles in your vagina contracting, but you can always remove your finger if you don’t feel comfortable. You’ll eventually be able to implant cone-shaped inserts for 10 to 15 minutes to train your muscles to tolerate pressure. Therapy is frequently beneficial for women whose vaginismus is related to fear or anxiety.
Living with Vaginismus?
Relationships may suffer as a result of sexual dysfunction. To save a marriage or relationship, being proactive and seeking vaginismus treatment can be essential. It’s critical to keep in mind that you have nothing to be ashamed of. You can feel more at ease if you discuss your sentiments and concerns about sex with your spouse. You can get advice on how to deal with vaginismus from your doctor or therapist.
Many people experience recovery and go on to lead fulfilling sexual lives. It may be advantageous to schedule therapy sessions with a sex therapist. Making sexual contact more comfortable can be achieved through lubrication or specific sexual positions.
Try different things to see what works best for you and your spouse.
Why The Health Capital Here?
The greatest sexologists can locate the source of your sexual health issue and recommend the most suitable course of action in The Health Capital. The Health Capital created a platform for women dealing with challenges connected to their sexual, mental, reproductive, hormonal, and lifestyle habits. Take a free health analysis exam at no cost to yourself and live a stress-free existence. The Health Capital has the Best Gynecologist Online Consultation that removes all hassle for you to go to a clinic and check yourself.
1. How to treat vaginismus?
Topical treatment of vaginismus: Compound creams or topical lidocaine may ease the pain brought on by this ailment. Physical therapy for the pelvic floor will instruct you to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Treatment of vaginismus with vaginal dilators: Vaginal dilators are tubes of varying sizes.
2. How common is vaginismus?
Though its exact frequency in the general population is unknown, vaginismus is one of the most prevalent female psychosexual dysfunctions. In contrast, rates in sexual dysfunction clinics range from 5 to 17%.
3. What is vaginismus?
The body's reflexive response to the fear of any vaginal penetration is known as vaginismus. Your vaginal muscles automatically contract if penetration is attempted. You are powerless to change it. Occasionally, even those who have previously experienced painless penetrative sex can develop vaginismus.
4. How to treat vaginismus at home?
Kegel vaginismus exercises, sex therapy, sexual anatomy education, and vaginal dilators are a few possible vaginismus treatment options. The goal of dilator therapy, also known as insertion therapy, is to progressively teach the muscles to accept pressure and to expand outward and inward.
5. What medication is used for vaginismus?
To reduce the hypertonicity of the pelvic floor muscles and treat vaginismus, botulinum toxin, a short-term muscle paralytic, has been advocated.