Vaginismus FAQs


Vaginismus
FAQ's




What is vaginismus?

Vaginismus (also known as vaginism) is a sexual problem affecting women. It causes penetration to be painful or impossible due to the tensing of the vaginal muscles. Sufferers may also experience anxiety and difficulty inserting tampons or undergoing gynecological examinations.

It is an emotional and psychological condition. The causes of it are psychological, although it manifests as a physical condition. This vaginal tightness may cause sexual discomfort or pain, burning or tearing sensations, and inability to have sex or insert any object into your vagina.

Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsummated relationships, and it can put relationships under great strain. It is extremely frustrating to be unable to physically engage in pleasurable sex and sufferers often feel abnormal and embarrassed about the condition. The anticipation of pain or sexual ‘failure’ further contributes to and reinforces the symptoms of vaginismus. This can lead to avoidance of penetration and a feeling of alienation from ones own body as the vagina becomes a no-go zone. This exacerbates feelings of failure, or general squeamishness about your vagina.

How common is vaginismus?

It’s impossible to know how many women suffer from this condition as there exists no centralised body that collates information on vaginismus. Many women suffer in silence and feel too embarrassed to tell their doctor. The water is further muddied by incorrect diagnoses from doctors and other specialists.

However, vaginismus is THE most common symptom that I treat. Hopefully you will find this reassuring as it can be easy to believe you’re the only one suffering from this problem! In fact, at the time of writing this page, over a half of my clients are vaginismus sufferers.

Diagnosis – How do I know if I have vaginismus?

You could visit your GP go to a sexual health clinic if you think you might have vaginismus. You may feel embarrassed about seeking help, but it is important to be able to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. If your GP suspects vaginismus, they may be able to refer you to a specialist, such as a gynaecologist. There are many specialists out there who have varying degrees of experience with vaginismus, but one who is a knowledgeable and astute will be able to correctly diagnose the problem.

Symptoms of vaginismus

It is likely that you have vaginismus if you experience some or all of the following:

  • You feel very anxious or fearful at the thought of penetration.
  • You feel alienated from your vagina.
  • You feel a sense of squeamishness or disgust towards your vagina.
  • You avoid penetration due to fear of pain or other negative emotions. This may include avoidance of tampons, sex or gynaecological examinations.
  • You feel as though there is a ‘wall’ or other obstacle inside your vagina preventing penetration or you imagine your vagina to be abnormally narrow.
  • You experience a burning or stinging pain and tightness of the vagina if penetration occurs. This can range from mild discomfort to extreme, unbearable pain.

Could my vaginismus and fear of sex be caused by a physical problem?

It can be easy to attribute vaginismus to a physical abnormality if you don't have the necessary insight and understanding as to how you are creating the muscle tension with some unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. Most vaginismus sufferers look ‘externally’ for why they have the symptom: believing it must be due to past experiences or that there must be something wrong with your body. It is these beliefs that make you feel powerless and helpless in overcoming the problem (because you can't neccessarily change these things). The key to resolving vaginismus is to look more ‘internally’, ie, how could my beliefs and thinking TODAY be causing the physical tightness and clenching - for that is where the true answer lays.

To read more about the REAL causes of vaginismus, click HERE.

Is it difficult to overcome Vaginismus?

Most of my vaginismus clients had tried other interventions before coming to see me, sometimes investing a great deal of time and effort. These range from psychosexual therapy, physiotherapy, Kegel exercises, Botox injections, all the way through to trying voodoo (quite literally!). However, these interventions do not fully educate women about vaginismus or address the REAL causes and components of the condition. It’s then understandable that when they fail, the woman is left feeling even more hopeless and the belief that vaginismus is very hard to overcome is reinforced.

Vaginismus is NOT difficult to overcome - as long as you focus your efforts in the correct direction. A good analogy for this is if you were to lose your car keys in the garden, you could search endlessly in the house but will never find them. It's not that they are difficult to find, but you have to search in the right place.

Who gets vaginismus?

I can only answer this question based upon the clients I have seen, but they are generally not women who have experienced past sexual trauma (despite what you may have read elsewhere). Occassionally I will work with a women who has been sexually abused as a child, but the vast majority of my clients are women with unremarkable sexual pasts. Most of my clients are bright, educated and professional women. Most are religious, although having a religious background isn't a direct cause of vaginismus. What these women do also have in common, however, tend to be the following:

  • Overthinkers / worriers
  • Perfectionists who can often put themselves under pressure (particularly about work/education/'performance' situations)
  • Dislike or avoid of out-of-control type situations
  • Fear of getting things wrong, fear failure, and judgement from others

It is your current thinking styles and responses that are the main contributory factors of vaginismus. Which is great, because you can change all of these! See how to here.

Booking your free initial consultation couldn’t be easier

To arrange a free consultation to discuss  or to book an appointment call 07740 781 573

If I’m with a client, you can leave a confidential message on my answerphone and I will return your call as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can email me at: info@caraostryn.co.uk

For those people who are too far away to attend my clinics, I do offer Skype sessions


Booking your
free consultation
couldn’t be easier

To arrange a free consultation to discuss  or to book an appointment call 07740 781 573

If I’m with a client, you can leave a confidential message on my answerphone and I will return your call as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can email me at: info@caraostryn.co.uk

For those people who are too far away to attend my clinics, I do offer Skype sessions