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Overview – Vaginismus is an involuntary spasm of the muscles around the vagina. The spasms close the vagina and can prevent sexual activity and medical examination. It is a very uncommon condition. Women with vaginismus often become anxious about sexual intercourse. This does not mean they cannot become sexually aroused. Many women with this problem can have orgasms when the clitoris is stimulated

Causes/Risk Factors

Vaginismus has several likely causes. Some causes include:

  •  Past sexual trauma or abuse
  •  Psychological fear
  •  A response that develops due to physical pain
  •  Intercourse
    Sometimes no cause can be foundSymptoms

    The main symptoms of vaginismus are:

  •  Difficult vaginal penetration during sex
  •  Impossible vaginal penetration
  •  Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse or a pelvic examDiagnosis

    A pelvic examination can confirm the diagnosis. A full medical history and complete physical exam are needed to look for other causes of pain with sexual intercourse.


    The treatment of vaginismus involves a combination of the following:

  •  Physical therapy
  •  Sex education
  •  Counselling
  •  Exercises such as pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation

Vaginal dilation exercises using plastic dilators

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