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Signs and Symptoms of Vaginismus

Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the muscles of the vagina, making penetration painful, difficult or impossible.  It is considered a disorder of sexual function.  Sometimes the cause can be past sexual trauma or emotional discomfort with sexual intercourse.  Sometimes no cause can be determined.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of vaginismus below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Vaginismus include:

  • Vaginal pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal spasms
  • A reflexive tightening reaction when the vagina is pressed or touched
  • Inability to tolerate sexual intercourse due to pain
  • Inability to tolerate the insertion of a tampon
  • Inability to tolerate a pelvic exam

In vaginismus, the walls of the vagina tighten reflexively, despite a woman’s desire for intercourse.  The problem may get progressively worse each time penetration is attempted.  Most women are able to become aroused and enjoy sexual activity that does not involve penetration.  Treatment is aimed at weakening the reflexive tightening of the vaginal muscles and the fear of pain that occurs.  Vaginismus is uncommon, and the number of women that have this condition is unknown.

Diagnosis of Vaginismus

A diagnosis of vaginismus is based on a woman’s medical history and a pelvic examination, if possible.  A pelvic examination is important to rule out other medical causes of painful intercourse.  Vaginismus is the diagnosis given if no other abnormality can be found.

Books for Women with Signs and Symptoms of Vaginismus

Completely Overcome Vaginismus: The Practical Approach to Pain-Free Intercourse, Book 1 and 2
Mark & Lisa Carter
When Sex Seems Impossible: Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy
Peter T. Pacik

When a Woman’s Body Says No to Sex: Understanding and Overcoming Vaginismus (Penguin health books)
Linda Valins
Vaginismus Medical Guide
Qontro Medical Guides

Vaginismus Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Vaginismus . com

Vaginismus cure information including vaginismus books, vaginismus treatment kits, vaginal dilators, and a professional self-help program.

  • Sex Without Pain . com

All about painful sex, dyspareunia, and vulvodynia.

  • WD

Vaginismus information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • Vaginismus Awareness Network

A women-led, non-profit site to raise awareness on vaginismus, understand its causes, give tips on self-treatment, break myths causing painful sex or difficult insertions, and offer facts and opinions to women, their partners and gynecologists, to stop the suffering and exploitation linked with tis misunderstood condition.

  • Treat Vaginismus . com

Learn more about vaginismus treatment options to start to treat your vaginismus today.

  • Vaginismus Private Forum

Vaginismus Private Forum. Welcome to the Community Center where we offer women the opportunity to become involved in our very active on-line private forum.

Medical Resources

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Vagi-Wave

    Website that offers products for vaginismus treatment, not only to do with the sexual side but one that also focuses on the more serious side, that being cervical cancer screening assistance aka smears/paps. and review site