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Vaginismus & Feminism

(Page in Progress)

1. Vag. & Plastic Surgery: Vagina Tightening, Hymen reconstruction etc.

2. Religious Extremism & Vaginismus

3. Marital Rape, Arranged Marriages & Vaginismus

4. Illiteracy & Vaginismus

5. Female Genital Mutilation & Vaginismus

1. Vaginismus & Plastic Surgery: Vaginal Rejuvination, Hymen reconstruction

Women who had vaginismus and tight pelvic muscles for years or who had a hard time stretching their hymen to let anything in, may think it's insane for women without these problems to be willing to undergo operations to get a tight vagina and thick hymen.

Yet this is what's been happening. The new fad.
First of all, let's be clear: what these doctors do is NOT a VAGINAL rejuvination, it's a VULVA rejuvination!!

Will people ever get these names right?

Now that that's been clarified, let's talk numbers.
While the numbers may be relatively small compared with other surgeries, demand for such genital procedures is growing rapidly. The most popular of those are tightening of the vaginal muscles, or vaginoplasty, and reduction of the labia minora, called labiaplasty.

Vaginal rejuvenation prices may range between $4500 and $9000 in the United States.

Procedures like hymen reconstruction instead, (a.k.a. Hymenoplasty or Revirgination) are relatively rare and limited to a minority of women who often fear the effects of not conforming to religious or ethnic rules on virginity.

Some of these operations are deemed to help get more sexual pleasure for women, but there is no scientific study to back this up (unless they mean men's sexual pleasure...). The opposite is true though: as Dr. Thomas G. Stovall, president of the Society of Gynaecologic Surgeons, said:

"painful intercourse can result if the vaginal muscles are too snug".

We know what he is talking about: Vaginismus

Other possible risks from genital procedures are painful scarring or nerve damage that could result in loss of sensation or hypersensitivity.

So some women run the risk of developing vaginismus to look more pleasing or give more pleasure and we just wonder if they know what Vaginismus even is, that it exists and if they are warned about it beforehand by such doctors.

Also, are women told that they could quite easily get a tighter vagina by practicing some good-old-fashioned Kegel exercises?

Now, ok, other operations of this kind, such as Labiaplasty, do not deal with pelvic muscles or hymens so they are less likely to cause vaginismus as a side effect but these Doctors still profit from women's wish to feel "normal"and conform to what has now been decided to be a "pretty vagina", (Again, what they mean is a pretty "Vulva"), which of course should look: small, tight, shaved, small, symmetrical, pink, with a virginal small opening...

Nothing wrong with that kind of vagina,oops, VULVA, but it's not the only kind and all vulvas can look beautiful in their own way, there shouldn't be a prototype, plus, those prototypes of what is beautiful tend to change with fashion and it definitely is only all a matter of perception (See this Wikipedia article on ELONGATED LABIA which Khoisan women in some African tribes, grow as a sign of beauty). As one site quotes: "LABIAPLASTY will not only recreate more youthful and aesthetically pleasing external genital structures, but will also restore self-image and self-esteem!"

Why should self-esteem be linked with my labia in the first place??

If you don't like your vagina and vulva, then you don't. Period. Do we have to like her aesthetically to be happy? Can't we just love her as she is instead ?
If we had a daughter which isn't physically pleasing to our eye, would we have her undergo an operation so we can feel better ?

Well, I think of my vulva as a daughter, or a friend. I may not like what she looks like all the time, (and now that I have a standard of prettiness to compare her with, I would have to say it's probably not a particularly pretty one) but I love her, she's mine and she's there for me and she is healthy and strong and prevented me from getting in troubles many times, real trouble, she is smart and knows better..

I love her just the way she is, I would never put her through pain just because she isn't perfect or similar to what has been decided by current fashion to be pretty..

Plus, there are tons of better way to put all that money to good use, for instance by helping women whose vagina has been really badly torn by a rape, they could maybe do with such operations and may not be able to afford them, right?

Anyway, my new V-motto is:

It's more important to be able to say "I love my vulva" than "I like my vulva"...

Religious Extremism and Vaginismus

3. Marital Rape, Arranged Marriages & Vaginismus

None of the many studies mentioning the health effects of arranged marriages and marital rape ever mentions vaginismus, but most of them do mention painful sex of course or terrifying first-sex experiences and it is easy to figure that many of these young brides will develop vaginismus or may have it as a pre-existing condition before the wedding.

A painful first-time with a rough unloving husband who is basically no more than a stranger could lead to developing vaginismus as a defence mechanism to guard ourselves off his next advances. Unfortunately, where sex is deemed something due to married men, this will then only lead to marital rape if unstopped.

Viceversa, a woman may not have vaginismus to start with but after a forced first sexual experience with a man she may not like, she may quickly develop vaginismus.

So having vaginismus for a young woman in countries where arranged marriages are the norm or simply where her husband will feel entitled to sexual intercourse from her, vaginismus can be a sentence to be sexually abused. (and no, unfortunately vaginismus will not prevent rape, the muscles clamp shut but they are not made of steel..).

So more awareness of vaginismus in these countries could hopefully raise awareness of marital rapes in arranged marriages and prevent some of them. Education is the key, of young men especially, but most of all, more kindness, real love and compassion is what's needed of course...

From the W.H.O. Health report on women and sexual violence among married women:

"Where arranged marriage is the norm, few women exercise choice in whomthey will marry; forced sex is also experienced insettings in which partner choice among youngwomen is more prevalent. Indeed, evidence from theDHS and other surveys suggests that between 3 and23 per cent of married young women (aged 15-24) indeveloping countries such as Cambodia, Colombia,Haiti, India, Nepal, Nicaragua and Zambia have everexperienced non-consensual sex by a current orformer spouse."

"In studies in South Asia, a region known for early and arranged marriages in which decision-making tends to exclude the young woman, early marital experiences and notably sexual initiation are also reported to be forced for many.
Qualitative studies from Bangladesh, variousparts of India and Nepal highlight the vulnerability of newly married adolescent girls who undergo arranged marriage, and are neitherfamiliar with their husbands nor informed about sexual matters.
In-depth interviews with womenmarried in adolescence reiterate the point that early marital relations were coerced, traumatic and painful .
Testimonies from young women in South Asia reflect their fear and helplessnessduring such incidents. In one study in Gujarat,India, a woman said: “my husband insisted onondoing it every day…I would cry and tell him it was painful…still he would continue”. In another study in Uttar Pradesh, women reported similar experiencesof their wedding night. For example, one woman said: “It was a terrifying experience; when I tried to resist he pinned my arms above my head”. Another,married at 13 years, says: “Nobody would call this anormal sexual encounter. It can only correctly be labelled as ‘rape’ by her own man”.

" Recent research in developing countries suggests that a considerable number of young women may experience forced sex within marriage, but most women may be inhibitedfrom reporting these experiences due to shame,fear of reprisal or deep-rooted unequal gender norms."

Read here the entire 4-page W.H.O. report on FORCED SEXUAL RELATIONS among married young women in developing countries

4. Illiteracy & Vaginismus

5. Female Genital Mutilation & Vaginismus

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DISCLAIMER: This site is not designed to provide medical advice. All material is gathered from the experience of hundreds of women who experienced vaginismus but it is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on vaginismus-awareness-network.org carefully and confer with a health care professional specialized in vaginismus, as needed.