What is Vaginismus?

VAGINISMUS is a body’s automatic reaction characterized by involuntary muscle spasms of the pelvic floor muscles in response to some or all kinds of penetration. This can cause sexual dysfunction and discomfort during gynaecological examinations. It is a common medical condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. It is not a choice or lack of desire for sexual intercourse.

Types of Vaginismus:

  1. Primary: This happens when the person has never been able to engage in sexual intercourse or penetration of any kind, including tampons.
  2. Secondary: This happens when a person who has been previously engaging in sexual intercourse finds it difficult to do so any longer because of muscle spasms and pain. This can be caused by factors such as childbirth, infections, or trauma.

Causes of Vaginismus:

There can be several physical or psychological factors that can cause vaginismus

Physical factors:

  • Infections: Genital infections such as yeast infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause discomfort and pain during intercourse
  • Childbirth: If you had complications during childbirth such as tearing or episiotomy, the trauma from that can lead to secondary vaginismus
  • Surgery or medical procedures: If you had surgery or any other procedure in the pelvic region, it can lead to vaginismus especially if it was painful
  • Menopause: Menopause leads to changes in hormones that can lead to vaginal dryness and discomfort. In some cases it can cause vaginismus

Psychological and Other factors:

  • Anxiety: If you have anxiety or fear related to sexual activities caused by factors such as cultural or religious beliefs, it can cause a fear of pain and contribute to vaginismus
  • Past Trauma: Negative sexual experiences in the past such as sexual abuse or assault can lead to vaginismus as the body responds to such trauma through involuntary muscle contractions to protect itself
  • Relationship Issues: Troubled relationship with a partner can lead to anxiety about intercourse and thus cause involuntary pelvic spasms
  • Lack of sexual education: Being unsure or lacking information about what to expect during intercourse can lead to your body automatically spasm. There may be shame or guilt associated which can potentially lead to vaginismus

Symptoms of Vaginismus

  • Avoidance of or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Avoidance of or inability to have pelvic exams due to pain or fear of pain
  • Pain while inserting tampons
  • Pain or inability to get cervical smear testing
  • Emotional distress that can affect self esteem


If you feel any of the above symptoms and suspect that you might have vaginismus, book an appointment with Dr Geeta Arora, or your local gynaecologist. Vaginismus is a serious medical condition that needs professional help. Your doctor will undertake an evaluation that may include:

  • Examining detailed medical history to identify potential causes of the condition
  • A physical pelvic examination might be necessary to assess any physical issues or infections
  • Discussion of past sexual experiences or concerns
  • Some additional tests may be recommended in order to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms

This medical assessment will enable your doctor to provide you with personalised treatment.

Treatment Options

Non Surgical Injectable Treatment:

Special injectable treatments are available that helps paralyse the pelvic muscles temporarily. This prevents them from involuntarily contracting when penetrated. This treatment provides instant relief from vaginismus and is even helpful in the most severe cases.

Your doctor will administer small injections directly into the pelvic floor muscles to prevent the spasms. It is an in-clinic procedure that takes only 10 minutes to complete. Your doctor will decide the number of injections and dosage depending on your condition.

Post Procedure Care

After your treatment, you might experience some discomfort, spotting, or little bleeding. This is normal and temporary, so do not worry about it.

You doctor might recommend that you avoid sexual intercourse or exercise for sometime after the procedure. Do follow post-care instructions carefully.

You should see results within 24 hours. If you still have some discomfort, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider.


In some cases when vaginismus is due to anxiety, some medications might be prescribed by your doctor to help alleviate those symptoms. These are an important part of the treatment, however, this is often used together with injectables.


If the cause for vaginismus is psychological, then conselling such as cognitive behavioral therapy or sex therapy can be very helpful in treating vaginismus. It helps you slowly let go of the anxiety around intercourse and helps develop coping strategies.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Physical therapy can also help improve vaginismus. Through specialized physical therapists, you can get help in gaining control of the muscles in your pelvic area. This approach is gradual and can help in managing pain.

Gradual Desensitisation

This is a step by step approach in which individuals can start with inserting non threatening objects such as fingers or small dilators and slowly work their way up to sexual intercourse. This method helps them regain control over their muscle spasms and can improve sexual activity.

Surgical Intervention

In very rare cases when none of the above has proven helpful, the candidate might be recommended a surgical option. In this procedure, your doctor will remove any remnants of hymen or any scar tissue that might be causing the condition.

Final Notes on Vaginismus

Sexual dysfunction can cause strain on relationships so it is important that you maintain an open line of communication with your partner. It is important to know that this is a serious medical issue and not something to be ashamed of. Talking to your partner about your fears can help reduce the anxiety about intercourse.

Scheduling an appointment is the first step towards improving your sexual well-being. If you experience any of the symptoms it is advisable to get checked for vaginismus or in order to rule out any other underlying medical condition.

Vaginismus treatments are quick and safe and can help relieve a lot of stress.

If you feel that you need to speak to Dr Geeta Arora regarding vaginismus, book an appointment today. Send us a whatsapp message at +91-9811221366 for a quick response.

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