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What is vaginismus?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Vaginismus is a condition characterised by involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles, also known as the pelvic floor muscles, during attempts at vaginal penetration. This can cause significant pain and difficulty when trying to insert a penis, finger, tampon, menstrual cup, sex toy, or during pelvic exams with a speculum.

Vaginismus is a leading cause of unconsummated marriages and is also a major contributor to dyspareunia (painful sex).

The condition is classified into two categories: Primary, when it is present from the first attempt at vaginal penetration, and secondary, when the symptoms develop after a period of pain-free vaginal penetration.

Does vaginismus result in pain?

While many individuals with vaginismus experience pain during attempted penetration, some do not feel pain. For those who do, it can feel as if their partner's penis (or any other object) is hitting a wall due to the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, hindering or making entry difficult.

Pain experienced with vaginismus is often accompanied by fear and anxiety, leading to a complex pain cycle that makes it challenging to resolve without professional medical assistance.

How is vaginismus treated?

Our Osteopaths have extensive experience in treating vaginismus and specialized training in female sexual disorders. Our holistic approach may include internal and/or external pelvic floor myofascial release work, improving posture and alignment, and utilizing general osteopathic techniques to treat the whole person. We place significant emphasis on addressing the fascia and its impact on the pelvic floor and breathing patterns.

We also focus on educating patients on movement practices to lengthen the pelvic floor, breathing and meditation techniques to manage anxiety and stress, and the proper use of dilators to ensure comprehensive care for the patients.


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