There is Hope for Painful Sex caused by Dyspareunia and Vaginismus
Dyspareunia and vaginismus are the two most common reasons for painful sex in women. There are methods to restore pleasurable intimacy.
Dyspareunia is recurring pain in the genital area or within the pelvis during sexual intercourse. The pain can be sharp or intense. It can occur before, during, or after sexual intercourse.
There are many reasons for dyspareunia. They may include pelvic inflammatory disease, organ prolapse, retroverted uterus, uterine fibroids, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction, endometriosis, adenomyosis, hemorrhoids and ovarian cysts.
Vaginismus is the name for the body automatically reacting to fear of vaginal penetration. The muscles of the pelvic floor tighten up on their own in anticipation of pain. It is involuntary. It is possible to experience vaginismus even if you have previously enjoyed painless penetrative sex.
Vaginismus does not necessarily affect your ability to enjoy other types of sexual contact. Some good news is it is possible to have pleasurable sexual interactions by doing other things that don’t trigger vaginismus.
In this study it indicates that Dyspareunia and Vaginismus affect a woman on many levels: sexual, medical, emotional, and relational.
Some causes of vaginismus are:
- Fear of pain or the unknown
- Fear of how it will feel
- Feeling the vagina is fragile, and sex will hurt or something will break inside
- Infections can worsen the condition
- Injury during childbirth, i.e. Vaginal tears
A woman may not know she has vaginismus, but she does know she experiences discomfort in her vagina and may not experience pleasure. This can add more anxiety and stress to relationships, which in turn affects mental health.
Stress can play havoc on our body-mind health!
When a woman is suffering from stress, she may have more than one body area affected. When it comes to vaginismus symptoms, it is common for women to suffer stress in several body areas, not only in her pelvic floor!
This study identifies clinical similarities and differences in patients with vaginismus and dyspareunia.
Healing is Possible
The cause of these conditions is very personal, and the healing treatment will also be specific to the individual.
It could be one or a combination of things such as talk therapy, sex therapy, and physical exercise programs like pelvic floor physical therapy, kegels, hypopressives, vaginal dilators, abdominal massage, or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help relax the muscles and spasms.
Some at-home practices women may find helpful are journaling their feelings, using meditation, or having supportive friends to talk with. Sometimes reading or watching erotica may help in creating an intimate relationship with your vagina and partner.
We are Here to Help!
We all want to experience pleasure with our partners and relief from pain and fear. Fill out the form below/in the sidebar to speak with one of our Pelvic Floor Professionals and get clarity on all the options available to you.