Vaginismus | Counseling | Therapy

Vaginismus

Alex , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

Do You Have Vaginismus? In the world of sex therapy Vaginismus is a disorder defined as painful spasms of muscles around the outer third of the vagina. Sometimes the muscles at the opening of the vagina tighten and narrow to such an extent that inserting a tampon or having intercourse is impossible. Additionally, vaginal dryness can cause vaginismus. Sometimes the change in estrogen levels during menopause can create this problem. Other times, the woman is not receiving enough stimulation to make her “wet.”

There are two primary tactics to curing vaginismus. One method is based on the idea of that increasing stimulation will trigger increased amounts of lubrication, which makes penetration more smoother, easier and more comfortable. The other tactic is to focus on developing your ability to relax the vaginal muscles because tight vaginal muscles cause pain.

Relaxing the vaginal muscles

Take several deep breaths and focus on relaxing the area around your genitals.
Locate your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle and practice making it go limp. To locate your PC muscle . . . the next time you are urinating, stop the urine mid-flow. The muscle that you used to stop the urine flow is the PC muscle. This exercise should be used only to identify your PC muscle. Stopping your urine mid-flow is not something that you should do routinely. Once you have completed urinating, continue practicing squeezing and releasing your PC muscle.
Exercises for the PC muscle:

Squeeze your PC muscle and hold for the count of 5, relax for the count of five. Repeat ten times.
Squeeze your PC muscle ten times fast, repeat 3 times, then relax it.
Squeeze your PC muscle ten times fast, repeat 3 times, then relax it.
Squeeze your PC muscle in intervals of long / short for a count of 10, repeat 3 times, then relax it.
Squeeze your PC muscle and hold as long as you can. Work your way up to 2 minutes. Then relax the muscle.
If you are a woman, squeeze your PC muscles while placing your finger just inside your vaginal canal, then relax it. Feel the difference. This is the same sensation that the penis will experience.

Learning how to control your PC muscles not only will decrease vaginismus, but if built up, will actually help you develop stronger orgasms. Those same muscles that are causing you to be ‘too tight’ for penetration, are also responsible for the contractions during orgasm!

Purchase 5 different sized dilators (or dildos/vibrators). They should range in size. Preferably, the smallest one should be the size of your pinky and the largest one, the size of a large penis. Then begin practicing inserting the dilators, smallest to largest. Using the smallest dilator, begin doing the following exercises. Once you master the first one, move on to the next. After completing all of the exercises, begin them all over again with a slightly larger dilator.

Focus on Vaginal Stimulation

Exercise 1) Stimulate your vagina (e.g. masturbate until the point of lubrication). Then, once aroused, slowly insert a dilator. Let the dilator rest inside of you. Practice squeezing/relaxing your PC muscles. Feel the difference in your muscles as you squeeze/release your PC muscle.
Exercise 2) Stimulate your vagina (e.g. masturbate until the point of lubrication). Then, once aroused, slowly move a dilator in and out of your vagina while doing your PC muscle exercises.
Exercise 3) Stimulate your vagina (e.g. masturbate until the point of lubrication). Focus on bringing yourself to orgasm while the dilator is resting inside of you.
Exercise 4) Stimulate your vagina (e.g. masturbate until the point of lubrication). Focus on bringing yourself to orgasm by using the dilator to stimulate yourself.
Exercise 5) Repeat exercise 1-5, using the next sized dilator.

Other contributing factors to vaginismus

  • Relationship problems can often cause a woman to ‘become dry.’ Thus improving the quality of the relationship may decrease the vaginismus.
  • Male sexual dysfunctions can be a primary cause of a woman developing vaginismus
  • Sometimes once you have had the experience of vaginismus, you may have learned to expect pain even when your body is responding appropriately. Thus, without your conscious awareness, your body might be going into the the "fight or flight" mode and you may be experiencing a tightening of your vaginal muscles to protect yourself - thus causing more pain.

If you have practiced all of the above tips, and you are still experiencing the muscles spasms in your vagina, then you may want to consider self schedule a sex therapy inperson or a sex therapy virtual therapy appointment at The Center for Growth Therapy Offices in PA, NJ, VA, GA, NM, FL. If you prefer to chat with a sex therapist before scheduling an appointment call 215 922 5683 x 100



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