When it comes to sexual disorders, vaginismus can be exceptionally difficult for many women. It can be a frustrating case of having a willing mind and an uncooperative body whenever you try to engage in sexual activities. Thankfully, knowing how to have sex if you have vaginismus just involves knowing your body, respecting its condition, and being willing to try new methods and strategies for sex.
Vaginismus is a condition in which a woman's vaginal muscles contract when something enters her, as noted in WebMD. This can make sexual penetration difficult, if not impossible, in some circumstances. And as further explained by WebMD, vaginismus may be caused by sexual anxiety or even painful physical infections. Whatever the cause, women who suffer from vaginismus may deal with some serious sexual problems, and the condition can also put undue strain on sexual relationships.
Fortunately, there are ways for women with vaginismus to enjoy sex. Although the routes may vary depending on the cause of your condition — a woman with sexual anxiety may need very different treatment compared to a woman with PCOS — the end goal is the same: a safe and pleasurable sex life. Read on to see whether these tips can help out your situation.
1. Try Sex Therapy
Yes, therapists who specialize in sexual disorders are a thing, and as noted in Psychology Today, some therapists treat individuals suffering from vaginismus. You can check your area for a sex therapist who can help address your condition on an individual basis.
2. Enlist The Help Of Dilators
For many people, dilators are an important step in their vaginismus treatment. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, dilators may help vagina owners slowly get accustomed to having objects inserted. Dilators can start out small and work up from there, and you may even get to use them in the privacy of your own bedroom.
3. Educate Yourself
Some anxiety-based sexual problems may be caused by a lack of education, or in some cases a miseducation, about the realities of sexual functions. For instance, if your only sex education consisted of the idea that sex is evil and you should never do it, then it's understandable if you get to adulthood with some apprehensions about the act. As noted in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, women with vaginismus often have a lack of sex education, so learning more about sex (in a factual, non-judgmental way) may help them relax and enjoy their bodies more. Because no adult should have to deal with the aftereffects of crappy sex ed for the rest of their lives.
4. Master Those Kegel Exercises
Basically, for (almost) every sexual problem out there, Kegel exercises will be proposed as a possible solution. As noted by the University of California, Kegel exercises may help women with vaginismus learn how to totally relax and tighten pelvic floor muscles intentionally. And you can do these exercises any time and place.
5. Attempt Sensate Focus
So it may sound like a karate move, but trying out sensate focus may help out women with vaginismus, as noted in Net Doctor. The basic idea: you and your partner focus on cuddling and touching one another instead of sex, and then gradually work up from there.
6. Try Touching Exercises
Self touch can also be a powerful tool for women who deal with vaginismus. As explained in Merck Manual, spending a few minutes each day touching your vagina (or close to it) without pain can gradually help your body readjust to sexual touch. This therapy may be paired with dilators as well.
7. Look Into Medical Options
Medical options are available as well. According to the University of California, Santa Barbara, botox injections may help out women with severe vaginismus. You can check with your doctor to see whether this would be an appropriate treatment for your condition.
8. Consider Surgical Options
OK, so this isn't for everyone. But if your vaginismus is caused by physical symptoms, then surgery may be an option for you. For instance, if your vaginismus is caused by endometriosis or scar tissue that blocks the vagina, then surgical methods could be used to help your condition, as explained by the National Health Service. This is another individual decision best made with the help of a trusted medical care professional.
OK, so the least relaxing thing in the world is someone telling you to relax. But as noted in Healthline, learning relaxation techniques may help you feel more comfortable with intercourse. Whether you take up formal meditation or just learn to count to 10 and relax, a little chill-out time will likely help.