What is Vaginismus
Vaginismus is a term used to describe the tightening of the muscles around the vagina during penetration. This often comes as a surprise to the sufferer, because it occurs without conscious intention or control. Instead, the body works of its own accord and tightens the pelvic muscles, with the sufferer unable to make it stop.
With the original intention to have sex, masturbate or simply insert a tampon. Those suffering from Vaginismus want to experience penetration, but to pain caused by the involuntary tightening prevents this from happening. Over time, this painful condition is damaging to the confidence and can harm relationships too.
Although Vaginismus is a common problem, a lot of women are embarrassed to seek help because of the nature of the condition. However, with the right help and support, overcoming Vaginismus is much easier than you think.
Symptoms of Vaginismus
- Burning, stinging or tightness during sex
- Difficult or impossible penetration
- Ongoing vaginal pain after childbirth
- Avoidance or sex due to pain
- Difficulty inserting vibrator or tampon
What causes Vaginismus?
Although Vaginismus isn’t properly understood, there are a number of reasons why experts think this condition may occur.
Factors leading up to the development of Vaginismus could involve-
- Anxiety about sex
- Sexual Abuse
- Damage to the vagina caused by childbirth
- Relationship problems
- Other painful vaginal conditions such as vulvodynia
It is important to remember that Vaginismus is an involuntary condition and it doesn’t mean that the sufferer doesn’t feel any sexual desire. For those in a relationship, it may lead to feelings of rejection or frustration for both parties. But when working together and seeking help as a couple, overcoming Vaginismus is possible.
Thankfully, Vaginismus is a highly treatable condition and doesn’t require drugs or surgery. Instead, treatment involves pelvic floor control, dilation training and exercises to help women identify and resolves any emotional contributors to the condition. With most treatments conducted at home, Vaginismus can be treated in a comfortable and private environment.
For more information about overcoming Vaginismus, please contact your GP and ask for help setting up the correct treatment programme. Because each individual case is different, you will need a programme that is specially adapted for your personal needs.
Sex and Vaginismus
Common myths about Vaginismus are that the condition ‘will go away on its own’, or that the sufferer is somehow ‘frigid’. However, with one of the symptoms being difficulty during penetration, It’s quite clear that there is sexual desire and that the condition is involuntary.
On the other hand, after a period of time, frustration and embarrassment does diminish sexual desire and will leave a couple avoiding sexual contact. If left untreated, Vaginismus will cause a strain on a relationship and this is largely down to lack of intimacy and feelings of rejection.
Whilst seeking treatment for Vaginismus, there are non-penetrative activities that couples can enjoy in the bedroom. And by finding other ways to pleasure each other, this can help overcome Vaginismus and bring couples even closer together.
Non-Penetrative sex ideas
- Oral Sex
- Using hands and fingers to directly stimulate the clitoris and penis
- Masturbation in front of each other, or mutual masturbation
- Using non penetrative sex toys
- Frottage – grinding and simulating sex, but using your body to stimulate your partner.
- Tantric Sex – Apparently this can bring you to orgasm without your bodies even touching!
- Orgasm through nipple stimulation alone. Think hands, mouth and even sex toys.
- Erotic Massage
- Phone Sex
Using your imagination and a little patience. Finding ways to keep the relationship alive whilst overcoming Vaginismus can strengthen your relationship and even open up new boundaries. Just remember to communicate, think positively and work together.
Sex Toys to use with Vaginismus
For those who are single, Vaginismus is both puzzling and at times distressing. After all you still experience sexual desire, but the involuntary tightening of your vagina means that insertion of a vibrator is both painful and difficult. However, for those suffering from Vaginismus it is still possible to masturbate using non-penetrative sex toys.
As your treatment plan progresses, using a penetrative vibrator like the RO 150 Slim line Bullet Vibrator can help the body relax and aid the recovery of Vaginismus. For couples, putting a vibrator between your bodies when grinding against each other is a great way to orgasm, without actual intercourse.
When engaging in sexual play with a partner, using a male sex toy can help to ease his sexual frustration and keep your sex life alive during treatment. There are so many male sex toys to choose from, and with each offering an incredible range of textures and functions, overcoming vaginismus doesn’t have to spell the end of your sex life.
Some great sex toys to use with Vaginismus are:
- Bullet vibrators
- Clitoral Stimulators
- Wand Vibrators
- Pocket Rockets
- Slimline vibrators
- Remote Control Vibrators – great for couples play and masturbation
- Male masturbators
- Realistic vaginas
- Anal sex toys
As with all sex toys and sexual exploration. Think about your needs and look at the different features offered by the sex toy. With most non-penetrative sex toys for women, the vibrator stimulates the clitoris and that’s how it brings you to orgasm. However, for those hoping to incorporate their partner into non penetrative sexual exploration, using remote control sex toys is a great way to get them involved.
For stimulating a male partner, using a male masturbator to pleasure them is a great way to enjoy the penetrative sex experience, without actually having intercourse. Take turns to pleasure each other and explore a whole host of new sexual horizons. Recently I reviewed a sex toy called the Ruby Glow, this hands-free vibrator is non-penetrative and great for someone putting on a erotic peep show. With no penetration to worry about, I thought this was a great sex toy for someone overcoming vaginismus.
Getting the right help for Vaginismus
With millions of women around the world suffering from Vaginismus, you are not alone. If you think you may have this condition, contact you GP for a diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options.
For more information about overcoming Vaginismus and a step by step treatment plan, take a look at Stop Painful Sex: Healing from Vaginismus. A Step-by-Step Guide by Maree Stachel-Williamson.