Vaginismus occurs when the muscles of the vagina go into an involuntary spasm. The resulting tightness prevents or limits penetration and can be so severe that even a vaginal exam or inserting a tampon is impossible. Some women describe it as “hitting a wall.” The causes of vaginal spasms can be physical or psychological or both.
The two primary ways to address vaginismus are vaginal dilator therapy and pelvic floor physical therapy (PT). We’ve included instructions on the use of dilators here on our website, and offer several varieties of dilators in our shop. Physical therapy is very effective in addressing vaginismus, as well. It’s important to find a physical therapist who has special training in pelvic floor conditions; not all are trained to address vaginismus.
The good news is that vaginismus is very treatable once it’s recognized. Best of luck with working through a solution!
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.