Is Vaginismus Affecting Your Sex Life? Here's How to Know for Sure

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 4 min

For many women, sex is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. But for others, it can be painful and uncomfortable. This is often the case for women who suffer from vaginismus, a condition that affects the muscles around the vagina. In this article, we will explore what vaginismus is, its symptoms and causes, how to know if you have vaginismus, and what treatment options are available. 

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic care.

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What is vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition where the muscles around the vagina involuntarily contract, making penetration difficult or impossible. This can cause pain, discomfort, and anxiety during sexual activity. Vaginismus can affect women of any age, but it is most common in women who have never had sex.

There are two types of vaginismus: primary and secondary. Primary vaginismus occurs when a woman has never been able to have vaginal intercourse due to the involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles. Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman who has previously been able to have vaginal intercourse experiences involuntary muscle contractions that make it difficult or impossible to do so.

Symptoms of vaginismus

The symptoms of vaginismus can vary from woman to woman, but generally include pain, discomfort, and difficulty with penetration. Other symptoms may include:

  • Burning or stinging pain during sex

  • Muscle spasms or contractions in the pelvic area

  • Difficulty inserting a tampon or undergoing a gynecological exam

  • Anxiety or fear associated with sexual activity

Causes of vaginismus

The exact causes of vaginismus are not always clear, but several factors may contribute to the condition. These include:

  • Previous sexual trauma or abuse

  • Fear of pain during sex

  • Anxiety or stress related to sex

  • Medical conditions such as endometriosis or vaginal infections

  • Negative cultural or religious attitudes towards sex

How do I know if I have vaginismus?

If you experience pain or discomfort during sex, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help determine if you have vaginismus or if there is another underlying condition causing your symptoms.

To diagnose vaginismus, your healthcare provider will likely perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history. They may also recommend a pelvic exam or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.

Diagnosing vaginismus

There is no specific test for vaginismus, but your doctor can often diagnose the condition through a physical exam and evaluation of your symptoms. They may also perform a pelvic exam to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

If you are diagnosed with vaginismus, your healthcare provider may refer you to a specialist such as a gynecologist or a sex therapist for further evaluation and treatment.

Treatment options for vaginismus

The good news is that vaginismus is a treatable condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can help you learn exercises to relax your pelvic floor muscles and reduce pain during sex.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This type of therapy can help you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors related to sex.

  • Vaginal dilators: These are cone-shaped devices that can be gradually inserted into the vagina to help stretch and relax the muscles.

  • Medication: Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications such as muscle relaxants or pain relievers to help manage your symptoms.

Best lube for vaginismus

Using a lubricant during sex can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with vaginismus. Water-based lubricants are generally recommended because they are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. Because Oomf contains CBD, which has been shown to relieve pain, it's the perfect lube for women who suffer from vaginismus.

Recommended Reading: Best Lube for Vaginismus for Enjoyable Sex

Coping with vaginismus in a relationship

Vaginismus can be a challenging condition to deal with in a relationship, but communication and understanding can go a long way. It is important to talk openly with your partner about your symptoms and how they can help support you. You may also consider couples therapy to help you both navigate the challenges of vaginismus.

Support groups for vaginismus

There are many support groups and online forums available for women who suffer from vaginismus. These can be great resources for information, advice, and emotional support. Some popular support groups include:

Conclusion and final thoughts

Vaginismus is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort during sex. There are options available, like using a good quality all-natural lube, that can ease some of the discomfort, however It’s still important to seek medical advice from a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of vaginismus. With the right treatment and support, many women can overcome vaginismus and enjoy a fulfilling sex life. Remember, you are not alone, and there are many resources available to help you manage and cope with this condition.

If you think you may have vaginismus or are experiencing pain during sex, talk to your doctor today.