In this article, I will discuss a new treatment modality for painful penetration of the vagina or pain at the vaginal opening related to a condition called vaginismus (vaginal muscle spasms).

Vaginismus is a voluntary contraction of vaginal muscle on penetration. It is usually triggered by unpleasant sexual experience either due to forced sexual encounter or more commonly due to pain caused because of infection, vaginal dryness, a spasm or soreness in one of the vaginal muscles and glands or other medical conditions (for example, lichen sclerosis).

Once women experience such pain, the mind and body develop a conditioned response to penetration. The body learns to expect pain with vaginal penetration which causes the pelvic muscles to contract to protect against the potential pain. It is something that happens automatically. The problem is that tightening of these muscles actually causes more pain instead of protecting from pain. Even when the original cause of pain is no longer a present factor, a woman cannot help but contract their vaginal muscle on penetration.

Some women develop vaginismus after having a bad yeast infection or bladder infection, others are too scared of intercourse because of potential pregnancy or other reasons.

Read more about vaginal dryness

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