How to relax your vaginal muscles
Dr. Nitika Jain

Dr. Nitika Jain

Apr 03Vaginismus

How to relax your vaginal muscles

Vaginal muscles are just like any other muscle in the body, which contract and relax. If the vaginal muscles develop tightness or are continuously in a contracted state, the vaginal opening can become narrower, creating challenges with penetration for women.  It can even be difficult for women to insert their own finger,a tampon or menstrual cup, or go through a  gynaecological exam!


What causes vaginal muscle tension?

Vaginal muscle tension can happen due to a number of reasons, including both physical and psychological causes. 

  • Fear of insertion during intercourse can be a big reason for muscles around the vagina to tense up. This fear can be due to previous unpleasant sexual experiences, inadequate knowledge about our own body,  cultural factors, and the myth that intercourse is always painful.
  • Postpartum, women can be anxious when resuming intercourse. They might be fearful of changes in how they experience intercourse, especially after going through physical trauma of a vaginal or caesarean delivery.  
  • Conditions such as endometriosis, vulvodynia, vaginal infections, urinary tract infections can cause pain in the genital or pelvic/abdominal area. This can lead the muscles around the vagina to have a guarding response, creating more tension. 
  •  Vaginal muscles can contract and stay that way, in order to  compensate for weakness elsewhere in the body, like weak hip muscles and/or weak abdominal muscles. 
  • Prolonged sitting is known to slow down the circulation in the muscles and decrease flexibility. 
  • Hormonal changes during menopause can also cause vaginal dryness and decreased flexibility or increased tension in the area. 


Vaginal muscle tension interferes with the normal sexual function, takes away the  option of using insertable products during menstruation, and also makes the internal gynaecological exam difficult. It’s important to identify the cause of the tension, and more importantly work on releasing the tension, to decrease discomfort and challenges with penetration. 


How to relax the vaginal muscles?

Once the tension  in vaginal muscles is identified, the next step is to work on relaxing them. A Pelvic floor physiotherapist  is the ideal person to help identify tension areas, causes, and provide solutions. Here are some strategies to help relax the muscles around the vagina: 

  • Ensuring a correct breathing pattern is crucial.  With every inhalation the vaginal muscles should relax & lengthen and should come back to their normal resting state with the exhalation. A pelvic floor therapist will monitor the breathing pattern and subtle movement of vaginal muscles through observation and guide the person towards the correct pattern.
  • Various stretching exercises can help with opening up the vaginal area and hence relaxing the tense muscles.
  • Identifying weak musculature in the body and strengthening them will automatically help reduce tension in the vaginal muscles.
  • Addressing underlying psychological causes such as fear of penetration with the help of a mental health expert is important. This will help to alleviate the root cause of the tension. 
  • Calming down the nervous system through meditation and guided relaxation techniques.
  • Taking frequent  breaks from prolonged sitting and moving around throughout the day helps to improve circulation through the vaginal muscles and reduces the tension.
  • Using vaginal dilators to open up and relax the vaginal canal.
  • Manual therapy both internally and externally by a pelvic floor therapist can help release tension points in the muscles. The therapist should also teach the individual strategies on how to release tension points themselves. 



Many women report increased tension in the muscles surrounding the vagina, making penetration very challenging for them. Decreasing tension and relaxing the vaginal muscles is the most holistic way to address this. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy plays a very important role in educating females about their body, creating awareness around their pelvic floor, and making the mind muscle connection, which is essential to improve the flexibility of the vaginal muscles. This helps women experience pain free penetration! If you feel like you may be experiencing tension in the muscles around your vagina, make an appointment to see one of our expert pelvic health physiotherapists at Proactive for Her.