A disorder that causes the muscles surrounding the outer part of the vagina opening to involuntarily spasm is called vaginismus. This makes sexual intercourse difficult or impossible. Attempting sexual penetration may bring pain, humiliation, feelings of inadequacy or fear of having sex. A gynecological exam or using a tampon may be difficult for a woman with this condition.
Childhood sexual abuse, rape or a painful first sexual experience are common psychological causes of vaginismus (resistance to remembering painful events). Negative messages about sex, or premarital sex, a belief that one’s vagina is too small, fear or guilt about intercourse, fear of intimacy, fear of pregnancy and a woman unconsciously expressing anger towards her partner can also be causes of this condition.
Treating vaginismus includes educating both partners about the condition and receiving therapy for the underlying emotional issues involved.
Relationship counseling may be needed to address the marital stress that often accompanies this disorder. A treatment program aimed at eliminating the vaginismus reflex with dilators can be very successful in relieving this condition.
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|Carol Boulware, MFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist – #MFT11632
ABS Certified Sex Therapist #1466
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
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Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
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Los Angeles, California 90401
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