Pronounced: Vaj-i-niz-musEn Español (Spanish Version)
Vaginismus is an uncontrolled, involuntary spasm of the muscles that surround the vagina. These spasms cause sexual intercourse to be painful. It is a complex disorder. It is both a psychological and physical condition.
Vaginismus is not common. Less than 2% of women in the United States are affected. It can cause severe physical and psychological pain. If you suspect you have this condition, talk to your doctor.
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Vaginismus is usually a response to past sexual trauma or other painful events. The fear of pain can start a painful muscle spasm. Sex is then associated with fear and pain. Sometimes no obvious cause can be found.
There are two forms of vaginismus, primary and secondary. Primary vaginismus is diagnosed in women who have never had successful sexual intercourse due to pain or the anticipation of pain. Secondary vaginismus is diagnosed if a woman has had a successful experience without painful intercourse in the past.
Last reviewedDecember 2013by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.