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Do your vaginal muscles tighten up on their own?

Vaginismus occurs when the vaginal muscles tighten or spasm involuntarily when something is inserted. Whether from penetration, inserting a tampon, or even a physical exam. With vaginismus you have no control over it, but you do have control over your treatment options.

How many women have vaginismus?

It is not known within the general population how many women are impacted by vaginismus. In the clinical setting, it is estimated that between 5 to 17% of women have vaginismus. Vaginismus is one of the more prevalent female sexual dysfunctions.

What are the symptoms?

Women may experience symptoms of vaginismus for years without receiving proper information on the condition or their treatment options.

Some of the most common symptoms of vaginismus include:

  • Inability to insert a tampon, have penetrative intercourse, or tolerate a pelvic exam
  • Fear or Intense pain during these activities
  • Low sexual desire
  • Feelings of shame, sadness, worry, or fear

Treatment Options

Vaginismus is considered a chronic condition. While there is no cure for vaginismus, a combination of treatment options can be used to alleviate the symptoms of vaginismus, and help patients return to normal function.

Some treatment options include:

  • Sexual health devices and products, like dilators and lubricants, can increase comfort and alleviate pain during intercourse
  • Medications, to help alleviate pain during intercourse
  • Counseling and physical therapy
  • Vaginal botox

What to expect on your visit

During your visit, you can expect your care team to listen to and address all of your concerns in a safe and trusted space. A consultation for vaginismus may include:

  • A history and physical examination
  • Labs
  • Vulvoscopy
  • Imaging
Are there FDA-approved medications to treat vaginismus?

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat vaginismus. However, there are dilators that patients can use to help ease the discomfort associated with vaginismus. At HerMD, we recommend our patients use the Milli Vaginal Dilator, which has been cleared by the FDA, and the She-ology Wearable Vaginal Dilator.

How does vaginismus occur?

Vaginismus occurs as a response to the pain cycle. The brain associates touch in the genital area with pain or discomfort, and the body responds by attempting to protect itself through an involuntary reflex.

How does HerMD define the journey of vaginismus?

At HerMD, the journey of vaginismus is defined by helping our patients progress from painful or impossible feelings to experiencing palatable (dilator and tampon use, pelvic exam), and eventually pleasurable experiences.

If I pursue treatment with vaginal botox for vaginismus, will I be awake during botox administration?

To make our patients comfortable, and in an effort to prevent any additional pain or trauma, we use anesthesia to put patients to sleep during botox administration.

The HerMD Difference

TYPICAL OB GYN OFFICE HerMD
  • 10 minute appointments
  •  20 – 60 minute appointments
  • Fragmented
  • In-person only
  • Hybrid: in-person and virtual
  • Sterile environment
  • Patient-centric, beautiful and warm
  • Focus on obstetrics, annuals, and STI care
  • Gynecology, sexual health and menopause focused with ISSWSH and NAMS trained providers

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  • Makayla Kerns


    Wonderful clinic, highly recommend! If I could change anything I would add to their patient portal a way for patients to be able to access their medical records online.

  • MaryAnn

    Cincinnati, OH

    Lexi is the best when it comes to your skincare needs

  • Shell G


    Everyone is great at HerMd KY. The office is so homey and welcoming.

  • Elizabeth Cotton


    I’m so thankful to find HerMD. A group of women physicians treating women. The care was great but also the experience was great. The nurse practitioner spent a lot of time with me and didn’t rush through the appointment. It was great!

  • Elizabeth Velazquez-Noll


    Rachel was fabulous. She is friendly and knowledgeable, gave me options without making me feel pressured and I am so happy with the outcome!

  • Anthony Ripepi

    Cincinnati, OH

    Great staff and always get me in last minute. The only place I never have to go back for touchups because they do a great job the first time.

  • Jessica Lewis

    Cincinnati, OH

    Friendly staff and amazing 1:1 time during your appointment, they listen and take care of your needs

  • Karen Jarrold

    Cincinnati, OH

    Michelle is great! Made me feel comfortable. She is very good, knowledgeable. Highly recommend!

  • Tina Hochwalt

    Cincinnati, OH

    The best services ever!!!! Lexi is the Bomb Diggity

  • Nicole S.

    Cincinnati, OH

    I highly, highly recommend this practice – especially for people who are neurodivergent and/or who have anxieties around receiving medical care. All staff members were pleasant to interact with; I let the medical assistant know that I’m typically a hard stick, but bless her, she got it in one try. I wish I could give them more than five stars!

Questions

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