Advances in the Treatment of Vaginismus
Perhaps the most exciting recent development in the field of vaginismus treatment is the recognition of this condition by an increasing number of health care professionals. Our comprehensive treatment program is the only one in the United States that has received the coveted FDA approval to continue studies using Botox to overcome vaginismus. This has given women a new medical approach to effectively treat vaginismus before or after other treatments have failed.
In 2010, Dr. Pacik published a book titled “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy.” This book is a must read for vaginismus sufferers. This vaginismus book shares stories from a diversity of patients, and takes the reader through the entire process from diagnosis to treatment to achieving true intimacy with their partners.
Vaginismus is a female condition in which intercourse is either painful or impossible. It appears to have both a psychological cause (fear of penetration) as well as a physiologic cause (spasm of the vaginal muscles). Vaginismus is uncontrolled and involuntary and is the most common reason for unconsummated marriages. Vaginismus affects approximately 1-7 % of the world population. The actual incidence may be higher because women tend to remain silent about their problem and often their own doctors are not aware of the condition.
The medical term vaginismus was first described by Dr. J. Marion Sims in 1861 in a presentation to the Obstetrical Society of London. Here he described his inability to treat a married virgin who was unable to consummate after a quarter of a century of marriage. Continue reading →
When reading about vaginismus, a number of medical terms may be used which need to be understood such as vulvodynia and vestibulodynia. These conditions may be associated with vaginismus, but more often they are a misdiagnosis in patients with vaginismus. It is also important to understand the differences between primary vaginismus in which a woman has always had pain with intercourse, or has never achieved intercourse, and secondary vaginismus, which occurs later in life. Continue reading →
The causes of vaginismus are largely unknown. However, sexual molestation, strict sexual or religious upbringing (no sex before marriage) and fears generated by friends speaking about first-time pain are some of the non-physical causes of vaginismus; yet, many women who are able to have pain-free intercourse also have a similar history.
Vaginal trauma, yeast infection, childbirth, menopause or radiation for cancer are some of the possible physical causes of vaginismus in women who were able to have normal intercourse and are now unable to (secondary vaginismus) because of the onset of painful intercourse. Continue reading →
The most common symptom of vaginismus is either painful intercourse or the complete inability to have intercourse. Often patients describe penile penetration as "hitting a brick wall". This history is highly suggestive of vaginismus and is associated with spasm of the entry muscle. Some patients with the severe form of vaginismus are unable to tolerate any form of penetration, be it tampon, finger, GYN exam or intercourse. Symptoms of vaginismus often include a description of burning and sometimes this burning during and after intercourse may last for hours and even days. Continue reading →
Mild levels of vaginismus may respond to a number of treatments. In contrast, patients suffering from severe vaginismus may have a history of failed therapies, a story all too common for many women who endure this condition.
Lamont described a classification system for vaginismus which helps stratify the severity of this condition, and allows health care professionals to better understand the types of treatment that may be successful. Continue reading →
Perhaps the most important resource used in the evaluation of the vaginismus patient is the detailed Vaginismus patient questionnaire. Most of my patients find a GYN exam to be very difficult if not impossible. Patients with the more severe grades … Continue reading →
The Man in Your Life
Men are also affected by vaginismus, often experiencing feelings of rejection and the disappointment of not being able to consummate their marriages, enjoy intimacy with their partners, or father children with their loved one. Both partners may feel “less than,” and communication often suffers to the degree a large proportion of vaginimus couples break up, or resign themselves to living together like roommates or siblings. As a result of concerns about hurting their loved one, some men may develop sexual dysfunction as a result of vaginismus.
A 90-Percent Success Rate
I have spent years developing and refining my treatment protocol for severe vaginismus, working in close concert with a diversity of patients. To date, my success rate is well over 90 percent. A number of my patients are now raising their children, and most are enjoying the full scope of their sexuality. While some of my patients make astounding progress others continue to struggle with their own issues of low libido, continued anxiety and fear of penile penetration and relationship issues. Treatment will allow women to achieve intercourse, but at times further professional counseling is needed to overcome associated problems.
Considerable information about vaginismus can be found in my book “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy.” I consider this a “must read” for women and their families to better understand the full scope of vaginismus.
VaginismusMD.com has been designed to be educational. We learn from each other and your input is welcome on the forum. In this way we will make vaginismus as well-known as erectile dysfunction, and tear down the walls of silence and ignorance that surround this condition. Order the book…