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Can Vaginismus Be Cured?

We find out how vaginismus can be cured, and take a look at the most effective vaginismus treatments – find out how to reclaim your sex life.

Research shows that between 5-17% of women have a vaginismus, but figures are, in fact, thought to be much higher as many women may experience symptoms but not seek help. Vaginismus is a condition that greatly impacts one’s life. Can vaginismus be cured? Although it may feel like there is no hope, the good news is that there are a range of treatments that can help you regain your confidence and your sex life.

What is vaginismus and how does it affect me?

Simply put, vaginismus is a medical condition affecting women, in which the muscles around the vagina (the pelvic floor muscles) contract involuntarily. This makes vaginal penetration unpleasant, and sometimes even impossible. This doesn’t just affect sex; it can also impact the ability to use tampons and have important gynaecological examinations like smear tests.

Vaginismus is known to have a significant detrimental impact on the sex lives of women who suffer with the condition. Many women report feelings of distress, shame and inadequacy due to vaginismus, which can be destructive to their emotional wellbeing. Additionally, it may lead to an aversion to sexual activities altogether, creating additional pressure in relationships and making sexual intimacy with a partner difficult.

How to recognise if I have vaginismus

Have you been worried that you could have vaginismus? Here is a list of symptoms to look out for:

  • Difficulty inserting tampons, fingers, or having penetrative sex
  • Feelings of pain, burning sensations, or tightness during attempted penetration
  • Involuntary muscle spasms occurring around the vaginal region

In addition to the symptoms, we also need to talk about what causes vaginismus in the first place. The most commonly reported causes of vaginismus are:

  • Past traumatic experience
  • Fear of pain during sex
  • Negative associations with sex

Please note that these symptoms and causes may vary between individuals as no two medical cases are the same. If you are someone who is experiencing any of the above, it may be time to visit your GP or a private gynaecologist for a proper diagnosis.

Is vaginismus curable? Treatments for vaginismus

Can you regain control over your sex life again? Yes! Thankfully, it’s possible to get effective treatment for painful sex. Thanks to recent advancements in medical research, there now exist the following treatment options for vaginismus:

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talking therapy that focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and emotions. It seeks to alter these thoughts through counselling and activities, resulting in positive behavioural changes and a different mindset. CBT helps you to learn coping skills which can help you to overcome fear and anxiety in intimate situations.

Pelvic floor therapy: This specialised physical therapy focuses on the pelvic floor muscles, which may tense unintentionally during sex. Pelvic floor treatment seeks to reduce muscle tension and enhances control through personalised exercises and relaxation techniques. You are guided by a qualified pelvic floor therapist who can help gradually retrain the muscles for more comfortable penetration.

Botox treatment: It sounds unusual, but Botox injections can be utilised as a medical intervention for vaginismus. This treatment is highly effective. Botox relaxes the pelvic floor muscles, making penetration easier. To maximise its effectiveness, this treatment is typically paired with dilators and counselling.

Dilators: Vaginal dilators are a desensitisation instrument that promotes comfort and confidence during intercourse. These are small cylindrical devices that gently stretch the vaginal muscles. This gradual introduction of dilators, beginning with the smallest size, allows your body to get used to penetration over time.

Usually a combination of these therapies will be used for maximum effect. It is important to remember that your treatment journey may differ, as your medical practitioner will suggest therapies best suited to you based on your individual case history.

Vaginismus can be cured

Vaginismus is a condition that can affect any woman, even those who have had a happy sex life in the past. It is critical to observe any early signs of vaginismus and seek to treat it effectively, before it impacts your wellbeing. Treatment can help you restore intimacy and allow you to regain your confidence. Talking with your partner and doctor openly can work in your favour, allowing them to provide you with right support and care.

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