5 most common beliefs among women dealing with vaginismus
Team Proactive for her

Team Proactive for her

May 02Vaginismus

5 most common beliefs among women dealing with vaginismus

What is vaginismus and why does it happen?

Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles of the vagina involuntarily contract upon any kind of penetration. This contraction makes penetration during intercourse extremely painful and uncomfortable. 

Vaginismus can look like: 

  • Pain or discomfort during penetration
  • Involuntary muscle contractions during or before intercourse
  • Feeling of tension or clenching in pelvic region
  • Lack of interest in sex or foreplay
  • Avoidance of emotional or physical intimacy

Vaginismus primarily has psychological roots with physical symptoms, and often results from fear of penetration, and at times from the taboos associated with sex and intimacy. Additionally, women with vaginismus frequently experience contractions and tension in their pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. 

Misconceptions about vaginismus

Vaginismus as a women’s sexual health condition had been largely ignored up until recently. Due to lack of information on women’s bodies and sexual well-being, a lot of women grew up with misconceptions and misinformed beliefs about their bodies and sexual health. 

Here are some myths that we frequently encounter among women dealing with vaginismus: 

1. ‘I just need to force myself to get through penetration’

A lot of women with vaginismus believe that the condition can heal if they just try harder to accept penetration. This is at times also given as well-intentioned advice, but can have painful consequences. Pushing through the pain can only make the condition worse for the individual. Since vaginismus is a condition that involves both the mind and the body, addressing the psychological and physical roots of vaginismus is necessary for effective treatment. 


2. ‘Sex is actually not painless. Women just have to live with the pain’

The misconception that sex is meant to be painful has been all around us. This usually may come from personal anecdotes from other women talking about their painful experiences or even viewing violent scenes in the media. It may also happen that we grow up with these notions and may hear them from friends or relatives. 

In reality, sex does not have to be painful for women, and can in fact be very pleasurable and gratifying! With the right approach and practice, sex can be enjoyable, pleasurable, and painless for both partners. 

Healthy sexual practices involve:

Safety and Comfort: Creating a safe and comfortable environment is essential for pleasurable sex. This includes emotional safety, clear communication with your partner about desires and boundaries, and ensuring physical comfort during intimacy.

Foreplay and arousal: Adequate foreplay and arousal is necessary to enjoy sexual intercourse. Foreplay assists with relaxing the vaginal muscles, increases natural lubrication, and enhances arousal, making penetration smoother and more comfortable.

Open Communication: Open and honest communication with your partner about preferences, concerns, and any discomfort experienced during sex is important and helps both partners feel safe and comfortable during intimacy.


3. ‘There is something wrong with me. I am alone is this struggle’

There is little awareness of vaginismus in our society, as well as the increased taboo surrounding women’s bodies and sexual wellbeing. Due to this, a lot of women end up not being able to discuss or disclose their struggles with others. This often leads us to believe that we are alone in our struggle, and that there may be something wrong with us. However, it appears that a lot of women experience difficulties with sexual wellbeing, especially in areas where there is poor sex-education. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with vaginismus or any other sexual health issue, it is important to remember that you are not alone, and there are resources and professionals available to guide you towards healing.


4. ‘Penetration is the only form of intimacy. A couple may not be truly satisfied without it’

Women dealing with vaginismus often tend to carry a lot of guilt for not being able to engage in sexual intercourse. They may believe that penetration is the best or only form of sexual intimacy, and that the couple may be unsatisfied without it. 

However, it is important to remember that while penetrative intercourse is pleasurable and satisfying, it is not the only form of sexual intimacy. Partners can engage in other forms of sex, including mutual pleasure and masturbation, which can equally be pleasurable and satisfying. By shifting the focus from penetration to shared pleasure and intimacy, partners can form a deeper connection and understanding of each other's physical and sexual needs. 

5. ‘Vaginismus can be healed quickly if I rush through the dilators’

The eagerness to heal a painful condition like vaginismus can often make us want to rush through the healing process. At times, women healing with vaginismus may feel impatient with the time it takes to heal, and may just want to rush through the dilation practice. While the eagerness to heal is understandable, it is important to remember that a condition as deep-seated in the mind as vaginismus can not be healed by rushing the process. Comfort and safety are gradually learnt by the mind and body during the healing journey, and it is important to allow ourselves enough time to heal. 

6. ‘I have tried to heal vaginismus, but a, facing a lot of obstacles. I should just quit’

We completely understand that healing vaginismus can be gradual and not always easy. When on the road to healing, a lot of women may encounter obstacles and find it harder to keep going on certain days. However, it is important to remember that healing is non-linear. This means that there will be good days, but also days of obstacles and difficulty. While facing obstacles during healing, it helps to allow yourself time to overcome the obstacles, being gentle on yourself, and reminding yourself that comfort is built through consistency. With gradual and consistent practice, healing vaginismus is definitely possible. 


Is healing from vaginismus possible?

Vaginismus healing is definitely possible and is often done through intensive work in therapy and vaginal training with dilators. 

At Proactive For Her we run a comprehensive vaginismus healing program which has successfully healed 350+ women who are now able to experience painless and pleasurable sexual intercourse. The program involves personal therapy, body-based work, as well as psychoeducation and sex-education to help women reconnect with their body and heal vaginismus. We also offer 1:1 pelvic health physiotherapy sessions both in the clinic and online, in order to help address physical symptoms associated with fear and pain with penetration. If you are experiencing any signs of painful intercourse, sign up for a screening consultation to find out the best way to seek professional support from our team at Proactive For Her that specialises in healing vaginismus.