For many women, exploring their own bodies is a difficult task. It can come with physical and emotional weight. For some women, one of the big problems is vaginismus. This condition can be confusing for many women, especially when it seemingly pops up out of nowhere. In this guide, you will learn more about vaginismus and what you can do to cope with the condition.
What Exactly Is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is characterized by uncontrollable contracting of the muscles surrounding the vagina. As a result, penetration and other activities (like putting in a tampon) can feel painful and sometimes even impossible. Some women with the condition are not able to have sexual intercourse or even put in a tampon or menstrual cup. For some women, even masturbation is difficult.
Women who struggle with vaginismus often report that sexual activities feel as if the person entering them is hitting some sort of wall. It can be uncomfortable at best and extremely painful at worst. In addition to physical trauma, the condition can also create emotional and relationship issues.
How Is Vaginismus Diagnosed?
A doctor will diagnose vaginismus by performing a pelvic examination. The doctor, knowing that you may have this condition, will be as gentle as possible. You can express discomfort as necessary to alert your doctor that something is wrong. In addition, the doctor will take into account the patient's history, which may include trauma or anxiety.
One of the biggest problems with diagnosing vaginismus is that it does not display any symptoms. There are no scars, lesions, or other outward signs that something is wrong. The doctor typically makes a diagnosis based on the patient's reactions and lack of physical signs.
How Is Vaginismus Treated?
Exposure therapy is one method through which women learn how to overcome vaginismus since the condition is often linked to anxiety. The individual with the condition will start by becoming comfortable with touch near the pelvic area. Over time, the patient may begin using dilators that get larger in size. Eventually, the patient should be able to have sexual intercourse without pain.
Some women benefit from using a mirror to become more familiar with their bodies. Much of the fear that goes along with vaginismus comes with feeling nervous or wary of the unknown.
Do you have questions about your body? Are you afraid you might have vaginismus? Making an appointment with your gynecologist is the next best move you can make for your body and your mind.