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- What is Vaginismus ? -



Vaginismus is the defensive reaction a vagina has when she is afraid or in pain.
Vaginismus is pelvic muscles clamping shut in anticipation of pain, like the fist of the picture to your left.
Vaginismus is the medical condition which makes it painful or impossible for a woman to insert anything inside her.
Vaginismus is experiencing a brick wall or closed vaginal opening when trying to make love.
Vaginismus is a curse at first sight but a blessing in retrospect.


This is the new revisited medical definition of vaginismus:

"Vaginismus: The persistent or recurrent difficulties of the woman to allow vaginal entry of a penis, a finger, and/or any object, despite the womans expressed wish to do so. There is often (phobic) avoidance and anticipation/fear/experience of pain, along with variable involuntary pelvic muscle contraction. Structural or other physical abnormalities must be ruled out/addressed." (From Revised Definitions of Womens Sexual Dysfunction by Basson, Leiblum, Brotto et al. page 6 )

Vaginismus has been very much a misdiagnosed and misunderstood, little studied women's problem, its psychiatric DEFINITION was unhelpful and it has thankfully been scientifically criticised for its many flaws. You can find both the official psychiatric definition and its limitations in the following article: Limitations of official diagnostic criteria and in our critical literature review .

If you want to find out if your SYMPTOMS or your partner's symptoms spell out Vaginismus, see our symptoms check-list where you can also take a SELF-DIAGNOSIS test. Also, in that article you'll find the CLASSIFICATION of the different types of Vaginismus.
FInally, and most importantly, make sure you read and learn what vaginismus IS NOT. There are many false myths about it which you can read under MISCONCEPTIONS


Here is a link to a website showing a drawing of vaginismus in action , where you can see what happens when the muscles clamp inside the vagina. A woman with vaginismus could be literally walking tight all day, and never feel "loose" down there. Just check yourself right now or catch yourself off-guard: can you feel that your vagina is tight or relaxed?

Once you should feel that what you have may in fact be vaginismus, feel free to roam about the website for practical advice and some food for thought. Even if right now you may feel quite bad about this, remember you're lucky cause you are one of the few women who now know the name of what they experience and who have reached a place with plenty of tools to self-treat it at home through the systematic desensitization technique (a.k.a. Dilating) or to even see vaginismus as something pretty cool or functional for you, so in a way you are already quite lucky...


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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.