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02 Jul 2014

Sexual issues: Vaginismus can be helped

July 02, 2014Health, Psychology

Are you suffering from this sexual issue?

As the name suggests, vaginismus is only suffered by women, and there are actually two different kinds of vaginismus which can affect a woman of any age. If you are diagnosed with vaginismus it is essential that you find out whether you are suffering from primary or secondary as there are different treatments for each type and by getting the right treatment straight away it will save you a lot time, frustration and heartache.

Primary Vaginismus

Is defined as experiencing internal pain when losing your virginity or never having been able to insert even a tampon into your vagina. This type of vaginismus is caused by both physical and psychological reasons.

In the former, unpleasant sexual experiences from the past, including sexual abuse or rape, can make your vagina physically reject anything entering it by tightening up. On the psychological side, anxiety or fear at the thought of having sex, or having being brought up in an environment where sex was a dirty word can trigger the onset of primary vaginismus.

Women between the ages of 15-25 are most likely to develop primary vaginismus, which is believed to be linked to the fact that it is within this age group most girls experiment with tampons or sex for the first time.

Secondary Vaginismus

Is the diagnosis given to women who have previously enjoyed active sex lives but now cannot due to the pain they suffer during intercourse. This is usually much easier to treat as the causes are often physical. These include yeast infections, the strain that is put upon the vagina during childbirth and any other things that can cause the vaginal opening or vagina itself to suffer strain. Secondary vaginismus is much more common is the older age group of 25-50.


Treatment can vary between not only the type suffered but also its severity. In Primary vaginismus the main focus of the treatment tends to be on the psychological side and can range from counselling to intensive sex therapy. The key to primary vaginismus is overcoming the fear of sex to enable the woman to lead a normal life. There are of course many who refuse treatment and choose a life of celibacy, and use pads for their periods.

There are also exercises used for both types of vaginismus which involve the tightening and relaxation of the vagina as these are believed to return it to its natural state. Complementary treatments are becoming very popular when treating vaginismus as it is a complaint many women are embarrassed to seek medical help for. Acupressure, hypnosis and self help are all becoming increasingly methods of treatment.

There is no set time limit for a recovery as once again it depends on both the type and the severity, and also the treatment employed. As a general rule of thumb those with secondary vaginismus have a slightly faster recovery rate as the very fact they were able to have sex in the past greatly assists them. Those with primary vaginismus can benefit greatly from having the support of their loved ones as well as her dedication to the treatment programme prescribed for her.