Causes of Vaginismus

There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding the causes of Vaginismus...

Vaginismus is often a multi-faceted condition and it's important to really understand all the factors that cause it,  including psychological, emotional, physical and relationship factors. A lack of understanding of vaginismus may well prevent women from overcoming the condition - and deter them from seeking help. A key factor in resolving vaginismus is having the understanding of what is causing it to occur in the first place.

vaginismus causes

Although vaginismus manifests itself as a physical response, it is caused by psychological factors...

Your vagina is responding to your current thoughts and beliefs about penetration

So many of the women that I have treated for vaginismus initially attributed the symptom to a physical abnormality, believing that there must be something wrong with their vagina: too narrow, too shallow or their hymen was preventing penetration.

The reality is that vaginas are stretchy and elastic – when the minds that control them are calm and relaxed! I have worked with many women who have spent months or even years struggling with dilators, physical and relaxation exercises. Some have used botox to try and relax the muscles, others have had surgery on their vaginas...and still the vaginismus remains.

Our minds are remarkably powerful and our beliefs and mindset can have an incredible impact upon our body. Simply with the power of our imagination we have the ability to create a whole host of physical sensations: we can make our heart race by thinking of a frightening situation; we can create a headache by feeling stressed.


Video about the REAL causes of Vaginismus

The physical manifestations of vaginismus are clear: penetration difficulties, pain, a 'wall' preventing entry, etc.

However, these are very much the 'end result' symptoms of having vaginismus. This video describes the key factors that CAUSE vaginismus: The psychological and emotional factors that often go overlooked because they are less obvious.

3 common causes of vaginismus...

vaginismus causes

Negative beliefs/feelings
about your vagina

• When you imagine having sex or any form of penetration, do you ‘catastrophise’ and imagine it hurting and being unsuccessful?

• Perhaps you believe your vagina is too narrow or an impenetrable wall.

•If you are imagining pain and failure, it makes perfect sense as to why you might tense up.

• Feelings of squeamishness or disgust towards your vagina

vaginismus causes

Feeling hopeless and helpless

• When enjoyable penetration seems so unlikely, it can be easy to avoid even attempting it.

• Women can go for months or years avoiding any form of penetration. This can lead to feelings of alienation from their body and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

• These feelings can 'spread' into other areas of your relationship, such as giving or receiving affection.

vaginismus causes

Your feelings towards your partner / relationship dynamics

• Feeling self conscious, inhibited or judged by your sexual partner is likely to lead to anxiety/stress in the bedroom. If you are emotionally closing down, then your body may do the same.

• Fear of disappointing him will lead to you putting undue pressure on yourself.

• Feelings of resentment

• Worry that they may judge you for being an inadequate lover

Cara challenges two unhelpful, yet common myths about the causes of vaginismus...

1. Your vagina is NOT spasming, you are simply tensing it.
2. You do NOT have a physical injury. Your vagina is perfectly normal!

Below is a selection of physical symptoms that are created by our mind. How many have you experienced?

we can make our heart race by thinking of a frightening situation

we can create a headache by worrying

we can blush or stutter when we feel embarrassed

our thoughts and worries can prevent us from sleeping

Other symptoms that can be psychosomatic include IBS, migraines, panic attacks, fatigue, teeth grinding, aches and pains, etc.

By the same token, simply the dread and fear of penetration can have a very real and physical impact upon how your body responds to that very thing.

Our mindset has a HUGE impact our body's responses. Being aware of the mindset that causes vaginismus is the first major step towards resolving the problem.

The Cure your Vaginismus and Thrive Programme will teach you how to change your beliefs and mindset to achieve enjoyable penetration.

vaginismus causes
vaginismus causes
vaginismus causes

Lisa - past client

“I started working with a sexual psychotherapist just a few weeks before I started working with Cara. This was unhelpful because she pinpointed the cause of my problem to my childhood. I now realise that she had very little understanding of vaginismus and if I kept seeing her would have probably caused more damage. Thankfully I met Cara who steered me in the right direction and I am now so unbelievably thankful that I did.”

Resolve the causes of Vaginismus with The Thrive Programme

It's not your fault that you are struggling with vaginismus - most of us have never been taught the invaluable knowledge of how our minds work and how to have good mental health.

Effective treatment of vaginismus lies in gaining the knowledge to understand how your current beliefs and mindset are creating the condition (nothing scary or overly complicated!) and having the tools to change them.

This is achieved through the remarkable and life-changing Thrive Programme for Vaginismus, where you will learn how to take back control over your thinking and how your body responds.


As embarrassed or uncomfortable as you many feel, it is advised to seek a medical professional’s opinion if you think that your vaginismus may be caused by a physical issue. Occasionally, vaginismus has a physical cause, such as a yeast infection. Being able to eliminate this possibility will help you to focus your search for a cure in the correct direction.