where does it come from and how to end it?

“When my first boyfriend wanted to penetrate me, I realized that it was blocking. I was in great pain and he told me it was as if he was walking into a wall. »

It is with these words that Sara recounts her first time. She thinks first of all to have a malformation and decides to consult. That’s when her gynecologist told her the diagnosis: she suffers from vaginismus.

Vaginismus is a pathology that affects thousands of women, but which can fortunately be reduced or even completely disappear.

vaginismus: definition and symptoms

Vaginismus is characterized by a involuntary muscle reflex of the muscles that surround the entrance to the vagina. Specifically, the muscles tense when approaching an object (whether a finger, a tampon or a penis), which makes penetration impossible or very painful.

However, as gynecologist Danielle Gaudry explains, to make a diagnosis, it is necessary to check whether this impossible penetration is not linked to another problem:

“An extremely resistant hymen, or even a little perforated, will make the first penetrations impossible. It is also necessary to determine if it is not simply vaginal dryness which prevents the report, I think in particular of the menopausal women. These cases are not related to vaginismus, which I remind you is a contraction of the muscles of the vagina. »

It remains important to note that vaginismus is never due to an anatomical problem. Its origin is psychological.

the causes of primary vaginismus and secondary vaginismus

Two types of vaginismus exist. the primary vaginismus which has always been there. Which means penetration was never possible for those affected.

the secondary vaginismus happens later in life, often following a traumatic event. Gynecologist Danielle Gaudry then cites the possibility of a vaginismus following sexual assault, or after a period of repeated infections or in rare cases, following a childbirth that went wrong.

Sara, who had primary vaginismus, testifies:

“I come from a fairly conservative culture on the subject of sexuality, where it is repeated that a girl must remain ‘pure’. When I kissed my first boyfriend, there was a great conflict between the image I had with those around me, the lack of self-confidence and this guilt-inducing desire to be like everyone else.

Another element of great importance was my relationship with my genitalia. I had early and painful periods, and growing up, anything to do with my vagina scared and almost disgusted me. »

Fortunately, solutions exist for those who wish to put an end to their vaginismus.

solutions to cure vaginismus

People affected by vaginismus are not doomed to live with it forever. Rehabilitation is possible, with the follow-up of a sexologist and/or a gynecologist.

Dr. Gaudry explains that it is generally more of a self-treatment. Indeed, there is a risk that vaginismus will get worse if someone else approaches the vagina.

We then prescribe lubricating creams to the patient and she is offered to begin by passing her finger over the opening of her vagina. Gradually, through relaxation exercises, it will have to be inserted at the vaginal level what are called candles. It looks like sex toys with progressive sizes.

Another alternative exists, even if it remains very rare and unknown: Botox injection into the vagina. Indeed, its effect is to weaken muscle strength. It prevents the muscles from contracting and therefore allows painless penetration for 4 months. If during this period of time, the patients have sexual intercourse, they are in theory treated because they will no longer have any apprehension about it. However, evidence on this subject remains rare.

In any case, it is advisable to have a psycho-sexual support. Hypnosis or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help affected women healing of vaginismus.

get out of vaginismus, a long fight

Unfortunately, even if these solutions exist, they are not always enough, as Dr. Gaudry explains:

“It can give good results, but the woman must be very motivated, because she is the one who will determine when she will, if I may say so, let go. So if she does not really feel the need, she may not go through with this rehabilitation. Some women do not particularly want to undergo or experience penetration. Besides, as long as they think it’s going to be sudden, it’s not going to work. »

For Sara, the end was happy. After five years of wandering, she asked her gynecologist to give her a vaginal ultrasound, determined to find out what was wrong. She lived this experience like a trigger.

“The doctor took it very slowly and, in the end, it went in without pain. He told me that everything was perfect and I felt very reassured and above all fulfilled and proud. I felt rid of a big problem. I was 29 and two months later I had penetrative sex, the first of my life, and everything went well. »

Sara then adds:

“What struck me the most during all those years when penetration was impossible was that I lived in several countries and none of the boys I met, regardless of culture and origin, knew about vaginismus.

I want to talk about this pathology to women, but also to their partners! »

If curing vaginismus can be a long road strewn with pitfalls, raising awareness about this subject is already a very small start.

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where does it come from and how to end it?

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