When Sex Becomes Uncomfortable

Vaginismus

This is an issue that often stays behind the bedroom doors. For some women this is a problem that causes them to stay away from men and avoid having a relationship. If a female can become involved with a guy, this problem can destroy their relationship.

So what it is?

Vaginismus affects the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening. These muscles will spasm involuntary usually just before sex. This is pretty much due to the female being subconsciously reluctant to have sex.

Why does this happen

It is basically due to a psychological problem, usually related to some kind of trauma to do with sex. It can also be related to a stern upbringing within the family unit that there is something morally wrong about sex. It can be due to a past sexual assault, such as rape, sexual harassment, or childhood sexual abuse. There can be other reasons for this, but it is usually along these lines.

So what can you do about it?

This is pretty serious stuff. Some women become so fearful of this reaction that they may stop any involvement with men. This is the sort of problem that needs some kind of therapy. When I say therapist, I'm not talking about psychiatry (these are doctors who can prescribe medication). You will most likely be referred to a psychologist (these cannot prescribe medication, but instead use various non-invasive techniques, such as psychotherapy, which basically means talking the issue through).

If you have vaginismus and have a supportive partner, there are various exercises you and he can do, but they must be done with incredible care and understanding.

Start by making the right environment, dim the lights, or use a candle. Make sure you are extremely relaxed and in a comfortable environment. Now if you don't have a partner you can still do this. Your partner should commence by inserting one finger into your vagina. Use a vaginal lubricant, this will make it easier. If you find your muscles spasming again, stop. Just try not to make a big thing about what you are doing, as the more you think about it the more of a 'big deal' it becomes. If you try this a few times, and it's not getting any better, perhaps therapy would be the best option to help you overcome your fears of sexual intimacy.

There is nothing to be ashamed about in seeking professional help as people turn to therapy for all sorts of things, such as general anxiety, sleep disorders, fear of spiders and the list goes on.

Vaginismus is something no woman should live with. It is a condition that is curable; you just need to persevere, and give yourself lots of self-love, and not blame yourself for the condition. Think of the wonderful experiences ahead of you when you have a relationship. Making love to someone is something no woman should miss out on.

- Louise Ganey (RN)
 

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