Vaginismus Overview

In vaginismus overview, the reader will be introduced to important concepts in the understanding and treatment of vaginismus.

Advances in the Treatment of Vaginismus

Exciting advances in the treatment of vaginismus include understanding the importance of stratifying the severity of vaginismus and the use of the Botox treatment program. This program includes the use of Botox and progressive dilation under anesthesia as well as post treatment support. Our multimodal vaginismus treatment program is the only program in the United States that has received the coveted FDA approval for continued studies. As of September more than 390 patients have had treatment of vaginismus using this program with a continued high rate of success after only one treatment. This has given women a new medical approach to effectively treat vaginismus before or after other treatments have failed.

A valuable vaginismus overview to understand vaginismus and vaginismus treatment is Dr. Pacik’s book titled “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy”. This book is a must read for vaginismus sufferers. It provides an overview from a diverse group of vaginismus patients, and takes the reader through the process of vaginismus diagnosis, vaginismus symptoms, treatment of vaginismus and achieving true intimacy with their partners. It is also of value to read this book prior to the complimentary phone call from Dr. Pacik after the questionnaire has been completed. By using the VaginismusMD contact us form, the office will send you a questionnaire to complete. This will give Dr. Pacik the needed information to evaluate your history and determine if you are a candidate for vaginismus treatment. The book is available from either our website or from Amazon.com as both the book and a Kindle version.

What is Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a female condition in which intercourse is either very painful or impossible. Vaginismus is defined by the DSM 5 as a pelvic pain/penetration disorder that makes women unable to tolerate most forms of penetration, including tampons, digits, gynecological exams and intercourse. It appears to have both a psychological cause (fear and anxiety 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 25 years of marriage.  Read more about what vaginismus is.

Types of Vaginismus

When reading vaginismus overview, a number of medical terms may be used that need to be understood, such as vulvodynia and vestibulodynia. These conditions may be associated with vaginismus, but more often they are misdiagnosed 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. Read more about types of vaginismus.

Causes of Vaginismus

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.) Read more about causes of vaginismus.

Symptoms of Vaginismus

The most common symptoms of vaginismus include painful intercourse or the complete inability to have intercourse, inability to tolerate a gynecological exam and inability to use tampons. Patients often describe penetration as “hitting a brick wall”. This description is highly suggestive of vaginismus and is associated with spasm of the entry muscle, unlike women with vulvodynia or vestibulodynia who do not have this complaint. This is elaborated in Ch 3 (pp17-24) in Dr. Pacik’s book “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & how you can Achieve Intimacy” available on Amazon.com. Some patients with the severe form of vaginismus are unable to tolerate any form of penetration, be it tampon, digit, gynecological exam or intercourse. Symptoms of vaginismus often include a description of burning during and after intercourse that may last for several hours or days. Any muscle in the body that is stretched beyond its normal stretch capability causes burning. Read more about symptoms of vaginismus

Lamont-Pacik Classification

Mild cases 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 and Pacik 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. Read more about the Lamont-Pacik classification.

Botox Treatment for Painful Sex

Botox Treatment for Vaginismus OverviewVaginismus is a common form of painful sex and lends itself well to Botox treatment which includes progressive dilation under anesthesia and post procedure counseling and follow up even when treating the more severe forms of vaginismus. Some women have had unsuccessful vaginismus treatments for as long as 15 to 30 years. Research for the Botox multimodal treatment program to overcome vaginismus was approved by the FDA in 2010 and reported to clinicaltrials.gov. This Botox vaginismus treatment allows women to achieve a rapid vaginismus cure that persists in over a 90% of patients being able to achieve intercourse, use tampons and have pain free gynecology exams as reported by Dr. Pacik in published scientific articles. Even after the Botox is no longer effective (about four to five months) the results appear to persist and re-treatment is rare. Read more

The Man in Your Life

Men are also affected by vaginismus, often experiencing feelings of rejection and disappointment of not being able to consummate their marriages, and not being able to enjoy intimacy with their partners, or father children with their loved one. Both partners may feel “less than,” and communication often suffers, causing relationship problems or resulting in the couple resigning themselves to living together like roommates or siblings. As a result of concerns about hurting their loved ones, some men may develop sexual dysfunction as a result of vaginismus, such as inability to maintain an erection and premature ejaculation.

A 90-Percent Success Rate

I have spent years developing and refining my treatment protocol for severe vaginismus, working closely with a diverse number of patients. To date, my success rate is well over 90 percent and has been reported. 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 to learn more.

Vaginismus Overview Contact Us

If you have any questions about our Botox treatment for vaginismus and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form.