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Vaginismus 101

As a result of inadequate information as well as poor training among doctors, vaginismus is generally poorly understood even though it was described as early as the 1500’s and given its name in 1861.

Women with vaginismus note difficulty with vaginal penetration and this includes attempts at using a tampon, having a pelvic exam, insertion of fingers and attempted intercourse. As such, vaginismus is defined as a genital pelvic pain/penetration disorder. Vaginismus can affect women of any age from early teens to menopause.  A woman with vaginismus is unable to have comfortable vaginal penetration despite a desire to do so. Vaginismus causes difficulty during teenage years when a tampon cannot be inserted. Later, vaginismus is disruptive to relationships when the woman is not able to tolerate finger or penile penetration. This results in shame and embarrassment and has destroyed many honeymoons.

Understanding and Treating Vaginismus

Determining the severity of her vaginismus is one of the most important things a woman with vaginismus can do, and it will help her decide what treatment plan is appropriate for her. In my one-hour video titled “Understanding and Treating Vaginismus,” I elaborate on the concept of self-evaluation, self-treatment with vaginal dilators and other treatment options. This one-hour video also covers vaginismus background information, vaginismus symptoms, vaginismus treatments and how to use vaginal dilators. This film is based on my many years of experience evaluating women with sexual pain and treating vaginismus.

To understand more about vaginismus, it is suggested that women and their partners read the book “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can achieve Intimacy by Peter T. Pacik, MD, FACS available on Amazon in paper back or Kindle.

This book highlights stories from women who suffered with vaginismus and the different types of vaginismus treatments attempted. It profiles the difficulties women and their partners have in attempting to understand why the woman is unable to function sexually and why treatments may be ineffective. The book includes success stories and vaginismus treatments that are effective. This vaginismus book is both interesting because of the real-life stories as well as educational because it brings vaginismus information and vaginismus treatment options up to date.

– Peter T. Pacik, MD, FACS


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