Definition - What does Vaginismus mean?

Vaginismus is the contraction of vaginal muscles that occurs as a result of vaginal penetration. Vaginismus is a type of sexual dysfunction; contractions may be painful, and can prevent sexual intercourse, along with tampon insertion or sexual contact near the vagina. Vaginismus does not impact sexual arousal, but may prevent women from engaging in intercourse, therefore impeding conception.

FertilitySmarts explains Vaginismus

The primary symptom of vaginismus is painful intercourse. However, inserting a tampon or a pelvic exam may also incur similar symptoms.

There is no singular cause of vaginismus. Physical abnormalities do not contribute to the condition. Psychological conditions including sex, abuse, or intimacy triggered anxiety disorders may be be a factor. Treatment is based on individual women’s needs, and may include:

  • Emotional health treatment or counseling
  • Vaginal exercises
  • Vaginal dilators

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