What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a spasm or contraction of the muscles around the vagina. This can happen during sexual intercourse. It can also happen when you try to insert a tampon into the vagina, or during a Pap test.
Who gets vaginismus?
The exact number of women with this condition is not known, since many women are embarrassed to discuss it with their doctor. However, it is important to openly discuss this concern with a doctor as treatments are available.
This condition sometimes begins when women are in their teens or early twenties when they first attempt to use a tampon or have sexual intercourse. For other women, it can develop later in life, after a period of normal sexual function. It can happen every time penetration or intercourse is tried or only occur in certain situations.
What are the causes of vaginismus?
Vaginismus is thought to be a psychological condition, although some physical conditions can contribute to it. Situations that may contribute to vaginismus include:
Fear of sex
Past sexual abuse or trauma
Negative emotions towards sex
Yeast and urinary tract infections can add to the pain related to vaginismus. A condition called vulvar vestibulitis can also be confused with vaginismus since the inflammation is often not noticed until penetration is tried. After menopause, the lack of estrogen in the vagina can cause pain and discomfort, a condition called atrophic vaginitis.
Dr. Gueye can help diagnose and treat this condition.