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Vaginismus



Definition


Vaginismus is a set of contractions of the muscles around the vagina, causing intense pain and making it impossible to penetrate the latter. There are two types of vaginismus: primary vaginismus, which takes place after the first time one has sexual intercourse, and secondary vaginismus, which takes place after several encounters. Usually, no anatomical cause is found and it is an involuntary contraction mechanism. Psychological reasons can be cited such as a rape, a painful first sexual encounter, violent or clumsy sexual relations, depression, etc.

Symptoms


==Symptoms== of vaginismus include:
  • contraction of the vaginal muscles;
  • closing of the vagina.

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of vaginismus is made upon the description of symptoms and sexual difficulties by the patient, supplemented by a physical examination and a psychological evaluation. The gynecologist examines the vagina of the patient to rule out other diseases such as infections, vaginal dryness or other causes that may be responsible for pain during intercourse, called dyspareunia, and which could cause vaginismus by reflex mechanism, in anticipation of these pains.

Treatment


Vaginismus is treated in most cases by a psychosexual therapy and couples therapy. Relaxation exercises will help to better control the contractions of the vagina.

Prevention


There is no way to prevent vaginismus. Nevertheless, self-acceptance and a thorough knowledge of one's intimate anatomy can render sexuality more serene.
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