Can vaginismus be cured? Yes, it is treatable. Here's how.
Dr. Anuja Chandrana

Dr. Anuja Chandrana

Feb 05Vaginismus

Can vaginismus be cured? Yes, it is treatable. Here's how.

Have you attempted to have intercourse and felt like you’ve hit a wall down “there”, or pushed your partner away in fear of pain? Do your legs come together and block anything attempting to insert your vagina? These are some signs of a condition called Vaginismus. 


About Vaginismus

Vaginismus occurs when a person has difficulty allowing vaginal penetration of any object (finger, tampon, speculum, penis), despite wanting to do so. A person’s protective body response causes an involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, which causes it to close the entrance to the vagina. Functionally, it limits the ability to have intercourse, undergo pelvic exams, or insert a menstrual cup/tampon.

Vaginismus is categorised into two groups - primary or secondary. If you’ve never been able to have penetrative intercourse, or penetration of any kind despite wanting to, you most likely have Primary Vaginismus. If you’ve had pain free intercourse in the past, however are no longer able to, you likely have Secondary Vaginismus. 

There can be various reasons why you may have Primary Vaginismus, and they’re not always very obvious. Usually, the root cause is related to situations and beliefs that have influenced your life. These can include: fear, anxiety, shame, and bad touch.

If you used to be able to have pain free intercourse, and you’ve had hormonal changes, recurrent infections, muscle changes or pain, radiation affecting your pelvic floor and genitalia, chronic constipation, or given birth, you likely have Secondary Vaginismus. 


Can Vaginismus be Treated?

Yes it can! Vaginismus is 100% curable, but it won’t just go away on its own. Evidence shows that you need a well-rounded holistic approach of care, which involves a psychologist or psychiatrist, physiotherapy (to help with pelvic floor relaxation), and pleasure coach (because increasing pleasure decreases pain!). 

If you’re having difficulty with vaginal penetration and you’ve reported this to your gynaecologist, you might have been given some lubricant and told to “just relax”. You might have also been told that “it’s fine, pain is normal, just deal with it” or “it’s not about you, as long as he finishes, that’s enough”. None of these circumstances are correct! Many people don’t know how to “just relax!”, their pelvic floor. More importantly, intercourse should be pleasurable (not painful) for you as a woman! It’s just about your partner’s pleasure. In order to treat Vaginismus, it’s important to challenge these beliefs you might have been brought up with or learned. You also want to address the root cause of why you might not be able to relax, and find out what might be the source of your fear and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to see a mental health counsellor and a pelvic health physiotherapist who has experience and knowledge on Vaginismus. 


How Long Does it Take to Cure Vaginismus?:

At this point, you might be thinking to yourself - “Okay, I know there’s a cure, but how long does it take to cure vaginismus?”. The answer is - it really depends. The severity of your psychological history (which may involve fear, shame, and trauma), your activity level, the movement in your pelvic floor muscles, and if you’re experiencing any tension points that need more attention and time, can all affect the length of time it takes to cure vaginismus. 

The important part is that you stay consistent with your pelvic floor exercises and mental health practice. People who are consistent are likely to overcome vaginismus sooner. 


Take a psychological approach

Like we mentioned earlier, Vaginismus is a condition which stems from the mind and manifests physically in the body. Mentally, you need to be in the correct frame of mind in order for healing to occur. You’ll need to dive into your past to find insight into why you are experiencing pain, fear, or the “wall” when attempting penetrative intercourse. Stress and pressure around intercourse can affect your pleasure and arousal. If you’re not completely aroused prior to intercourse, this affects your ability to experience pain-free intercourse. Mental health experts and pleasure coaches are great at teaching you strategies to make your sex life more fun!  

Here are some qualities you should look for in an expert: 

  • Trauma informed
  • Non-judgmental
  • Evidence based

Click here for a list of all our trained experts. 


Use of vaginal dilators

Dilators can be extremely helpful in training your body to accept penetration, and send signals to the brain that penetration is not painful. Dilators are cylindrical shaped devices, which come in various sizes. They’re used to help open and stretch the tissues in the vaginal canal, and release pain points. Many times, patients are just given a set of dilators to practise on their own. This can be really overwhelming for someone who is already fearful or anxious about inserting even their own finger into their vagina, let alone a foreign object! People don’t know where to start inserting the dilators, what to do once they’re in, and report that the dilators caused more pain because they just pushed it in. That’s why it’s really important for a trained physiotherapist or medical professional to guide you if you’re getting started with dilation. 

The dilators we sell at Proactive for Her are silicone, which are softer and more flexible. This makes the dilation process less painful and intimidating. We also offer a free 30 minute FAQ session with every purchase of a dilator set, to help you navigate the process!

Exercise your pelvic floor

If you’re experiencing significant amounts of pain, a blocked or wall feeling, or muscle spasms, it’s likely that your pelvic floor muscles are tight and have tension points. In order to address this, you want to incorporate stretching exercises for your pelvic floor muscles, movement (like walking) to increase blood flow and oxygen to the area, and strengthening of the surrounding muscles. Consulting a physiotherapist so they can assess you and provide you with the correct exercises to get you started is really important! This will also help if you’re using dilators, as movement and stretching will help to decrease the pain and allow your muscles to relax. 

Click here for a list of our trained pelvic health physiotherapists. 


Find a women's support groups

A study in 2016 found that 55.5% of the women they assessed demonstrated some form of female sexual dysfunction, which can include pain. This shows that if you’re experiencing Vaginismus, you’re not alone! That’s why at Proactive for Her, we’ve created a women’s support group for the participants in our mutli-disciplinary, holistic, Vaginismus Program. This helps you feel less isolated, lonely, and judged about your condition. Support groups provide a platform where you can speak freely about your thoughts and feelings, and talk about topics you might not feel comfortable talking to anyone else about. 


Communicate with your partner

For anyone suffering from Vaginismus, it’s essential to be able to communicate with your partner about what you’re going through. For some people, their partner is someone they don’t know as well, so they might not feel comfortable initiating the conversation. In other instances, you might feel ashamed and frustrated that your body is keeping your partner out, and you don’t know how to explain this to your partner. In situations like this, you and your partner can benefit from a partner support expert to guide you and make communicating with each other easier.



If you’ve read through this post and find that you’re able to relate to this condition and suspect you might have Vaginismus, please reach out to us at Proactive for Her to set up your initial consultation and see if our unique and one of a kind Vaginismus Program is right for you!