Are you experiencing pain when trying to insert a tampon, or involuntary tightening when trying to go through a pelvic exam?
26 January 2021| Last updated on 3 February 2021
If so, what you are feeling may be a condition called vaginismus.
For some of us, talking about our bodies and intimate area can get awkward. As easy as it may be to sweep such topics under the carpet, hiding them and hoping you will never have to turn the corners can be a frustrating and isolating feeling. But it shouldn't have to be.
If you are living with vaginismus, or you suspect you might because you are experiencing involuntary tightening and pain down south, know that you are not alone as there are many women who have felt and thought similarly.
The good news is that vaginismus is easy to diagnose and can be successfully treated over time.
What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina that occurs against your will. The spasms make the vagina very narrow and can prevent coitus and medical exams.
Whenever penetration is attempted, your vaginal muscles tighten up on their own. You have no control over it. Occasionally, you can get vaginismus even if you have previously had painless penetrative intercourse.
It is a common condition that can have a huge impact on women, their partners and relationships, yet some women can feel embarrassed which can deter them from seeking help.
Undiagnosed vaginismus can significantly impact self-esteem, and lead to anxiety or depression.
How do you know you have vaginismus?
Below are the common signs of vaginismus:
- You find it hard inserting a tampon.
- You struggle with penetration during intercourse.
- You feel burning or stinging pain during intercourse.
Causes of vaginismus
Vaginismus is a sexual problem. It has several possible causes, including:
- Painful Intercourse
- A response that develops due to physical pain
- Ongoing urine or vaginal infection
- Past physical trauma or abuse
- Mental health factors
Sometimes, however, no cause can be found.
Exams and tests for vaginismus in Dubai
A pelvic exam can confirm the diagnosis. A medical history and complete physical exam are needed to look for other causes.
What vaginismus treatments are on offer in Dubai?
Mediclinic Parkview Hospital in Dubai has the following treatments for vaginismus.
- Psychosexual therapy - A type of talking therapy that aims to help you understand and change your feelings about intercourse and your body.
- Pelvic floor exercises and vaginal trainers - Squeezing and releasing exercises to gain control of the vaginal muscles and vaginal dilaters.
The rationale for the use of pelvic floor physiotherapy in the treatment of vaginismus is that it will aid in developing awareness and control of the vaginal musculature as well as restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain and overcome vaginal penetration anxiety
What about botox?
If you have tried the above options for vaginismus or other pelvic floor dysfunction without success then vaginal botox injections may be a good treatment option.
Botox is effective in treating women with pelvic muscle spasm and vaginismus by relaxing the spastic vagina muscles that are obstructing penetration. This procedure is well known for its effect in relaxing muscles and treating chronic pain conditions.
Botox injections is a simple procedure done under local anesthesia so you will not feel any pain.
It usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling relief. Maximum relief is generally seen around 4 weeks after injection.
Women who suspect they may have vaginismus should seek help from specialized doctor or pelvic floor physiotherapists who have experience with this condition. As mentioned before, vaginismus is easy to diagnose and can be treated successfully.