What image comes to mind when you think of Botox?
Was it a life-changing sexual health procedure? Didn’t think so. You’re not alone. Although Botox may be widely known for its usefulness as a cosmetic wrinkle relaxing treatment, this injectable is actually incredibly versatile. In addition to being the #1 prescribed branded chronic migraine treatment, Botox can be used to treat vaginismus.
What is that? Vaginismus can be characterized as a painful, involuntary reaction to penetration. Essentially, the vagina’s muscles spasm upon penetration; we typically refer to sexual penetration or penetration by a feminine care product. Vaginismus can result in severe vaginal tightness leading to discomfort, burning sensations, acute pain during sex, and in some cases the complete inability to have intercourse.
So where does Botox come in? Botox combats vaginismus by relaxing the spastic vagina muscles that are obstructing penetration. About two weeks after treatment, the Botox takes full effect completely paralyzing the pelvic floor muscles, and patients begin a strict dilator protocol. By the time the effects of the Botox wear off, usually about 3-4 months later, most patients are able to engage in painless intercourse and experience typical penetration.
At HerMD Cincinnati, we have performed approximately 50 of these treatments so far. All patients have responded well to treatment so far, and are able to use larger dilators and tampons. Most of these patients have reported a return to sexual intercourse at about two weeks out, those who are not yet sexually active have not passed our typical four-month results period.
After a vaginismus diagnosis, many women have been led to believe that their sex life as they know it is done. They’re expected to just live with the pain or be grateful they are in good health otherwise. We’re here to say you deserve to receive good care in every aspect of your life, including your sexual health.
Listen to our patient, Libby, bravely share her story of struggling with sexual dysfunction, the impact it had on her life and her relationships, and finding hope again, on HerVoice.
If you are experiencing painful sex and would like to meet with a HerMD provider, click here.