What is it?

Vaginismus is an involunary or consistent contraction of the vaginal muscle, when vaginal penetration is attempted. It could also occur when a woman inserts a tampon or even touches the area near the vagina. It usually causes sexual dysfunction as it interferes with penetration, thus causing relationship problems. Primary vaginismus means that vaginal penetration has never been achieved, while secondary vaginismus refers to a situation when vaginal penetration was achieved but is no longer possible due to factors such as surgery, trauma or radiation. Vaginismus may also develop only after menopause due to lack of estrogen. Direct causes may be past sexual abuse, painful intercourse or emotional factors but not always the cause is found.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Vaginal spasm
- Vaginospasm

Signs & symptoms

Vaginismus symptoms include involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles, difficult or impossible penetration, inability to stop the muscle contractions, burning or stinging pain when inserting something to the vagina, fear of vaginal penetration, decrease sexual desire that is related to penetration.


Usually, a pelvic exam, if done gently, does not show any sign of vaginismus. Medical and sexual history is important to diagnose this condition.


Vaginismus treatment includes education, counseling, sexual therapy, and vaginal dilators under supervision.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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