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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 people have vaginismus?

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

What are the symptoms?

Patients 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

  • 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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  • Lesli Dauenbaugh

    Cincinnati, OH

    Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Always a nice experience when I am working with them on resolving issues

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    Cincinnati, OH

    Patient, kind & thorough!

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    Cincinnati, OH

    My favorite doctors visit ever. I’m obsessed with the girls here and the environment I can feel confident in.

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    By far the most organized, professional and clean office. Such a comfortable environment. I have already referred my closest friends and family.

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    Cincinnati, OH

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    Cincinnati, OH

    Excellent care! Finally someone who listened and wants to get to the root of the problem. Wish I would have found them sooner.

  • Jen Mueller

    Cincinnati, OH

    Wonderful experience every time I’m with HerMd. They are my go to for my hormonal health, aesthetics and gynecological care. HerMd takes their time and engages me with my healthcare options. I couldn’t ask for a better team to keep this body going strong with more confidence.


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