Vaginismus is a condition where a woman’s vaginal walls tighten and close due to strong muscle spasms inside the vagina. Attempts at penetration, or even touch, result in spasms in the vaginal muscles which close up the entrance to the vagina so that virtually nothing can penetrate without pain. A woman suffering from vaginismus does not consciously control the spasm. Part of this condition is psychological. The women suffering from this are scared, anxious and in some cases phobic of penetration.
The tightness is caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles in the vagina. There are varying degrees of vaginismus. A woman with vaginismus may be able to tolerate a penis in the vagina for very short periods, but accompanied by unpleasant discomfort and pain; or she may suffer so severely that she cannot touch her own vagina, have a gynecological exam or insert a tampon.
Women with vaginismus will often describe the feeling as the penis “hitting a wall” when they attempt intercourse. Often they describe feeling a severe burning or stinging pain at the entrance to the vagina, the introitus. In most cases, the introitus is found to be in an involuntary spasm which causes severe pain upon attempted entry.
Vaginismus can be devastating and debilitating. Women with vaginismus may begin to think there is something crazy or abnormal about them. They may begin to avoid relationships and avoid every type of sex or sexual encounter. If they’re married or living with someone, most often their “non-intercourse” sexual encounters, which have sustained them through their difficulties with intercourse, taper off so that there are fewer and fewer sexual moments in their life.
The most important thing to remember is that vaginismus is TREATABLE. Sex should not be painful. If you suspect that you have vaginismus, you should get treatment as soon as possible so that you can achieve the sex life you want, and move forward with your life.