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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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