What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is an involuntary contraction or spasm of the muscles in the vagina. This condition leads to both physical and psychological pain in women with no vaginal abnormalities.
Vaginismus often results in physical pain during sexual intercourse and pelvic exams where medical instruments are inserted into the vagina. It can also happen when using tampons and menstrual cups. The condition can be set off by psychological pain such as fear, anxiety, panic, and helplessness. There are still no surefire ways to prevent vaginismus.
What are the types of vaginismus?
The following are the four types of vaginismus you should know about:
Primary. This type of vaginismus is a lifelong condition wherein a woman finds it difficult to insert anything into her vagina. Pelvic or gynecologic exams can also be hard to deal with, as these tests require the insertion of medical tools inside the vagina. Most women notice this condition during their first attempt at penetrative sex. A woman with primary vaginismus has never achieved any kind of vaginal penetration successfully.
Secondary. This is when a woman experiences symptoms of vaginismus after having experienced vaginal penetration. The causes of this type of vaginismus can be traumatic childbirth, painful sexual history, or prior gynecologic surgery.
Global. Women who have global vaginismus have been experiencing vaginal tightness right from the start. But, what makes it different from other types is that global vaginismus makes a woman feel pain and discomfort whenever anything is about to enter her vagina.
Situational. This refers to the condition wherein a woman feels vaginal pain only under certain circumstances. For example, a woman with situational vaginismus can comfortably undergo a pelvic test but is experiencing excruciating vaginal pain whenever she tries to use a tampon.