How Is Vaginismus Treated?
Vaginismus affects women not only because of physical triggers but also emotional ones. Certainly, infections (such as yeast infection or urinary tract infection), surgery, childbirth, menopause, etc., play a huge role in causing vaginismus. However, emotional trauma, sexual inhibition, fear of intercourse or pregnancy, and abusive childhood also are significant factors contributing to vaginismus in women.
Women diagnosed with vaginismus require psychological therapy and counseling along with appropriate exercises that will relax the muscles of the pelvic floor and help them experience vaginal penetration with ease. Therefore, treatment of vaginismus requires a thorough understanding of the medical history of the patient.
Treatment Options for Vaginismus
Vaginismus is a treatable condition and with a little medical assistance, the patient can be fully recovered. Doctors check the complete medical history of the affected patients and also perform pelvic examinations to understand the severity of the condition. Following are the treatment methods used to treat vaginismus:
Counseling and Sex Therapy
Women attend a few counseling sessions alone or with their partners where they are counseled about sexual disorders. Sessions, where doctors help patients tackle their mental fear for responding better to vaginal penetration, are also conducted. Women are thoroughly educated about female anatomy, muscles of the pelvic floor, and what happens during sexual intercourse. Patients are given good insight into vaginismus and the type of treatment they require based on the severity of the disorder.
Doctors suggest the use of vaginal dilators under their supervision. A vaginal dilator is a cone-shaped structure inserted into the vagina of a woman to relax the vaginal muscles and make them flexible. These dilators, when inserted into the vagina, grow progressively bigger and help relax the muscles of the vagina and accommodate a large object easily. This makes women accustomed to vaginal penetration, helping them experience intercourse, use tampons and undergo medical examinations when required without much pain.
Touching to Reduce the Sensitivity to Insertion
Women can practice touching the area as close as possible to the vaginal opening regularly without causing pain and move closer each day until they can. Later, they can even touch the vaginal lips before inserting their finger inside the vaginal canal. This way, the muscles can get accustomed to objects entering the vagina, making vaginal penetration easier.
Kegel exercises are designed specifically for relaxing the pelvic floor muscles and make them flexible. These exercises control the tightening and loosening up of muscles around rectum, vagina, and bladder.
Steps to Follow While Attempting Kegel Exercises
While attempting kegel exercises for the first time, it is important to take assistance from your counselor or doctor. You can do these exercises at home once you learn how to do them. For doing kegel exercises you need to squeeze the same muscles in such a way that you use them for stopping the flow of urine while urinating, and then repeat the below-given steps:
- Squeeze the muscles
- Hold them for about two to ten seconds
- Relax the muscles
You can do these exercises around 20 at a time. Later, you can increase the count until you are able to do them. These kegel exercises can help relax the muscles.