Even though pain during sexual activity is not very uncommon, it is sometimes misdiagnosed, ignored, or not even brought up. But this annoying condition may ruin a woman's life and perhaps lead to serious marital issues. In many situations, a little-known disorder termed vaginismus, which can be either primary or secondary, is what causes pain with vaginal penetration. Vaginismus is a taboo sexual health problem women don't talk about so we reached out to Dr. Preethika Shetty, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi to know more about this condition.
What is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is generally characterised by pain during vaginal penetration, including sexual activity, pelvic examinations, and the use of tampons. It is a disorder that is frequently misunderstood or misdiagnosed. The discomfort is accompanied by an involuntary contraction or spasm of the pelvic floor muscles and other tissues, which may be brought on by a physical deficiency, psychological issues, or a combination of the two.
Also Read: Green Or Grey Vaginal Discharge? Here's What It Says About Your Health
What are the signs or symptoms of vaginismus?
If you experience the following signs and symptoms, you might have vaginismus:
- Pain or discomfort during vaginal penetration
- Difficulty in having intercourse due to discomfort or spasms in the vaginal muscles
- Painful sexual activity
If you experience painful sex or pain when using a tampon, you should visit a doctor. These issues are not typical and must be addressed as soon as possible to ward off serious complications.
Also Read: Can Using a Tampon Affect Your Virginity? Myths & Benefits Of Using Tampons
Who might develop vaginismus?
The primary symptom of vaginismus, an often misunderstood or incorrectly diagnosed illness, is pain during vaginal penetration such as during sexual activity, and pelvic examinations.
- When a person has sex for the first time in their late teen years or early adulthood, vaginismus symptoms may occur. The issue can also aggravate when a woman performs a tampon insertion for the first time or undergoes pelvic checkup at a doctor.
- There are no set risk factors for vaginismus as this can occur to different women with our without sexual issues.
- Some women experience vaginismus as they age. Vaginismus condition may occur in a later age without any early signs or issues.
- Anytime there is vaginal penetration, spasms or pain may happen or you could only have them occasionally, such as during sex or pelvic examinations or using tampons.
- The discomfort is accompanied by an involuntary contraction or spasm of the pelvic floor muscles and other tissues, which may be brought on by a physical deficiency, psychological issues, or a combination of the two.
In India, it is extremely challenging for many women/couples with fertility issues to seek direct treatment for vaginismus. There is a lack of public understanding about the condition, embarrassment, and a fear of judgement which refrains people from talking about their problem, let alone seek treatment.
Due to underlying embarrassment and perceived lack of understanding by medical professionals, pregnant women with vaginismus run the risk of not being followed up on during their pregnancy. In order to ensure that pregnant women with vaginismus receive sufficient medical treatment throughout their pregnancy, obstetricians should approach them with caution and attention.