Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

If You’re Experiencing Painful Sex, Vaginismus Might Be to Blame

If You’re Experiencing Painful Sex, Vaginismus Might Be to Blame

The social and cultural messages we receive around sex give the impression everyone’s “doing it” and it’s always fun and enjoyable. But for many people, having sexual intercourse is extremely painful or impossible. One of the leading causes of painful sex is vaginismus.

Vaginismus is an extremely common condition, that can have a huge impact on women, their partners and relationships. Yet many with it feel alone and without hope as it’s rarely talked about.

But women don’t need to live with it — it’s easy to diagnose and it’s treatable.

Painful Sex

Australian research shows about 20% of women and 2% of men experience painful sex.

Male sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction, have been in the public awareness since the advent of “the little blue pill” — Viagra. But sexual difficulties in women are missing from the story.

Without the push of pharmaceutical industries, awareness and knowledge about sexual difficulties in women (or people with vaginas who don’t identify as women) has not advanced in the same way as it has for men.

A recent study, which is not yet published, found, in 2019 57% of female patients who attended the Sexual Medicine and Therapy clinic (Monash Health) attended because of painful sex. 60% of them had Vaginismus. Almost half of these women had experienced this for more than five years, and it had occurred in around one in five of these women for ten or more years.

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus occurs when someone has persistent or recurrent difficulties in allowing vaginal entry of a penis, finger or any object, despite her wish to do so.

Some women experience fear, difficulties or pain from the first time they try to insert something into their vagina and instead of getting better, it can get worse over time. This is called “primary vaginismus”.

Others can be fine for years and develop pain at some later date. This is “secondary vaginismus”.

Vaginismus can be mild, moderate or severe. The pain is often described as burning, cramping, or a tight feeling. And for some, nothing can go into the vagina. Sufferers describe it as like hitting a brick wall.

The Impact of Vaginismus

Those with undiagnosed vaginismus can feel embarrassed or abnormal which can deter them from seeking help. And undiagnosed vaginismus can significantly impact self-esteem, and lead to anxiety or depression.

Those with vaginismus may avoid being sexual, as it can be a very painful experience. They also may avoid any intimacy for fear that it may lead to “sex”. This can significantly impact relationships, leading to distance and conflict.

It can also inhibit single people from forming relationships. They may avoid socialising, dating and meeting new partners, feeling burdened with a “shameful secret”.

Causes

When it comes to sex (and life), you can’t separate the mind and the body. Vaginismus is no exception. Underlying causes are extremely variable and often influenced by multiple factors.

Sometimes there is no obvious cause, but common factors in the development of primary vaginismus include:

  • fear or anxiety: about pain, pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Generalised anxiety or other anxiety disorders can also cause vaginismus
  • taboos: cultural or religious taboos around sex, or inner conflict about whether to be sexual or not
  • unaroused sex: having sex when you don’t really want to
  • history of abuse: a history of physical, emotional or sexual trauma or abuse
  • unrealistic expectations: of sex leading to fear of not being “good enough”.

Secondary vaginismus can occur due to any of the above or after anything that leads to painful sex, such as:

  • relationship problems: leading to lack of libido or arousal
  • infections or skin problems: vaginal infections, such as thrush and vulval dermatological (skin) problems or Vulvodynia can cause vaginismus
  • gynaecological problems: such as endometriosis, gynaecological (or breast) cancer and it’s treatment or pelvic surgery
  • pregnancy: vaginismus can occur after pregnancy, delivery or as a new parent.

A normal reaction to any anxiety and fear is a tightening of muscles, and vaginismus occurs when this happens in the pelvic floor muscles. A strong pelvic floor is important, but we also need to learn how to relax it, when we want to.

Getty

Diagnosis

Vaginismus can usually be diagnosed by taking a careful history and looking at which factors may be causing it.

Those who suspect they may have vaginismus should initially seek help from GPs, gynaecologists, pelvic floor physiotherapists, sexologists or psychotherapists who have experience with this condition.

Medical professionals who are experienced in treating the condition will do an examination in a gentle, empowering way, only when the woman is ready to, so she is not distressed or traumatised in any way.

Treatment

Women should be reassured tightness in the pelvic floor is an involuntary, protective response they can learn to overcome, with help.

A multidisciplinary approach of management has been shown to be most effective, this includes:

  • education about vaginismus, the pelvic floor and sex
  • medical management of any underlying physical conditions
  • psychological management of any underlying worries
  • pelvic floor physiotherapy can help women learn how to relax, generally and in the pelvic floor
  • learning about what is pleasurable, as unaroused sex is a common cause of painful sex.

Woman should also be empowered to feel free to choose if, when and how to be sexual. Many women are either coerced into sex or are compliant for the sake of their partner’s needs.

They need to be supported to recognise and express their own needs and wishes. Although women can continue to be sexual in any way they wish, it’s vital to stop doing anything that hurts, such as continuing to try to have penetrative sex, while vaginismus is being treated.The Conversation

This article on painful sex and vaginismus is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

The post If You’re Experiencing Painful Sex, Vaginismus Might Be to Blame appeared first on Lifehacker Australia.




Read also

Pregnant mom who disappeared on Thanksgiving found dead

Chrissy Teigen is calling to normalize infant formula after feeling 'shame' when she couldn't breastfeed

Iowan Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks Wins Recount in 2nd District – 14th Pick-up for GOP on Trump Coattails — More Proof of Biden Fraud



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here