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Vaginismus/Painful Sex

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition characterized by involuntary muscle spasms in the pelvic floor muscles that surround the vagina, which can make penetration difficult or impossible. 

These spasms can be triggered by attempts at vaginal penetration, such as during sexual intercourse or gynecological exams.

Vaginismus can be caused by a number of factors, including psychological issues such as anxiety, fear, or trauma, as well as physical issues such as infections, injury, or certain medical conditions. It can also be a result of a lack of sexual education, cultural or religious factors, or a history of sexual abuse.

The symptoms of vaginismus can vary in severity, ranging from mild discomfort or pain during sex to complete inability to tolerate any vaginal penetration. In addition to pain or discomfort, vaginismus can also cause emotional distress, relationship problems, and difficulty with sexual function.

What can you do about it ?

Treatments for vaginismus typically involve a combination of physical therapy, counseling, and medical interventions. 

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy: Pelvic floor physical therapy involves working with a physical therapist to learn exercises and techniques to relax the pelvic floor muscles, reduce pain, and increase flexibility. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy that can help you identify and change negative thoughts or behaviors that may be contributing to your vaginismus. A therapist can help you learn coping skills and relaxation techniques to manage anxiety and fear related to sexual activity.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or pain medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of vaginismus.
  • Botox injections: Botox injections can be used to temporarily paralyze the pelvic floor muscles, which can help to reduce spasms and improve the ability to tolerate vaginal penetration.  

It’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs and goals.

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