15th Mar, 2016
Welcome back to the Sex Clinic!!!
Last clinic, we started discussing painful sex and today we would be focusing on Vaginismus as a cause. We would also be sharing practical ways of overcoming this condition.
- Vaginismus is simply involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles which typically happens right before sexual intercourse.
- They can make sexual intercourse impossible or very painful as penetration is difficult.
- Women who suffer from vaginismus do not have any challenge with sexual arousal.
- Vaginismus is said to be primary when vaginal penetration has never been achieved.
- It is termed secondary when penetration is no longer possible after initial vaginal penetration. This is most times due to gynecologic surgery, radiation.
- Postmenopausal changes leads to a fall in estrogen level in the body, which stops this group of women from secreting natural lubricants, thus they experience painful intercourse. This can be taken care of by the use of over the counter lubricants.
- It is however possible for some women to have these contractions at other times, such as when trying to insert a tampon or when touched near the vaginal area.
- There is no clear cut reason for vaginismus.
- Emotional factors, past painful intercourse/sexual abuse can however contribute.
- The good news is vaginismus is a treatable condition, treatment is multidimensional, and includes education, counseling and exercises.
- Education involves taking time to have a good knowledge of the anatomy of the perineal muscles, sexual arousal and intercourse.
- It will be good if you and your partner can see a specialist who specializes in sexual disorders. You can be thought about relaxation techniques and exercise which would help you feel more comfortable with intercourse.
- You also don’t have to register in the gym to exercise your pelvic floor muscles. It can be done anywhere, and at any time of the day.
- You can easily locate this group of muscles when urinating. That moment when you stop the urine flow midway, the group of muscles that you feel contracting to stop the urine flow are called the pelvic floor muscles. You may feel them tighten and move up.
- Practicing these exercises helps you regain control of when your muscles contract and relax. You may want to follow these steps:
- Complete 10 cycles 3 times a day
- Steps 1 to 3 makes a cycle
- Relax your muscles, and count to 10;
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles, and count up to 10;
This is called Kegel’s exercise.
To successfully strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, be sure not to engage the muscles of your abdomen, thigh or buttocks when exercising.
Your doctor/sex therapist may also recommend the use of vaginal dilators. These are a set of cone-shaped plastics that gets progressively bigger. These can be used by your partner to help stretch the vaginal muscles and make it more flexible. After completing the course of treatment, you and your partner can try to have intercourse again. Please do not use dilators without recommendation or supervision by a professional.
Painful sexual intercourse can take a toll on relationships and has even been implicated in infertility, telling your partner about your feeling and fears go a long way to help. Using lubricant or adopting certain sexual positions can make intercourse less uncomfortable.
Lastly, do not be shy to open up to a doctor or sex therapist.
Stay connected to the Sex Clinic for more sex related issues!!!