Vaginismus

If you’ve experienced vaginismus (pelvic floor myalgia) you know that it can cause a lot of pain, irritation, frustration and distress. It’s a condition where the vaginal muscles tighten or spasm involuntarily. It can range in severity and often happens before or during sex, but can also be triggered by using a tampon or taking a pelvic exam.

What are some of the causes of vaginismus?

Vaginismus can occur from the first time you try to penetrate the vagina during sex, with tampon insertion or during a pelvic exam. But frustratingly, it can also happen to some women after they’ve experienced a period of non-painful penetration.

Causes of vaginismus include:

  • Past experience of uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse
  • Past experience of rape, or sexual abuse or assault
  • Dissatisfaction or abuse in a relationship 
  • Previous pelvic examinations that caused pain
  • Fear of becoming pregnant
  • A general fear of penetration and pain – if this happens before the first time a woman has sex, it is considered lifelong vaginismus

Get medical and psychological support to treat vaginismus

The good news is that vaginismus can be successfully treated. We encourage you to visit a gynaecologist and psychologist who can help you work through the causes of your condition. You might have to see a few different professionals until you find the right fit for you, but don’t give up. With the right team, you’ll be able to gently unpack some of the thoughts and feelings behind the condition and create a plan to overcome it.

Get comfortable

Taking time to relax and gently explore your sexual body can make you feel more comfortable about using tampons, your partner’s penis or having pelvic exams. Getting jiggy with yourself in a safe and comfortable space, helps you learn what feels good for you and calms some of the stress you may be feeling.

Take your time. We have lubricants and vaginal moisturisers for vaginismus to help you get slowly comfortable with your body and work up to very light penetration. They’re natural, nurturing and made from the highest quality ingredients to help you feel good about using a tampon, toy, your partner’s penis, or vaginal dilators.  

When it comes to sex, you might be wondering how to not have pain during intercourse. We suggest communicating with your partner and explaining you want to take sex slowly. Put on the slow tunes and ask them first to focus on the outside of your vagina before moving to penetration. There’s no rush. 

Have you been suggested vaginal dilation therapy?

Vaginal dilation therapy’s purpose is to help relax the vaginal walls and tissue. Known as desensitization therapy, dilators can be used as a tool to learn vaginal relaxation exercises that can decrease your pain - relaxing your pelvic floor and desensitising your vulvar and vaginal area making it easier (and less painful) to have sex and use tampons.

Think of your vagina and pelvic floor like someone who is really stressed out and holding their shoulders up to their ears all the time. We need to slowly let those muscles relax again. Even when your thoughts are calm, your body may still tense. Dilators help your body to understand that everything is safe. And they allow your body to become used to, and comfortable with, stimulus and penetration.

We LOVE the silicone dilators from Soul Source. We’ve tried many (many) dilators and these are our number one choice for vaginismus. They come in a variety of sizes, are made with 100% medical grade silicone and were even made by a sex therapist and gynaecologist. Who better than to design a product like this?