What Is Vaginismus?
Nearly two in 1,000 women are currently living with vaginismus. Yet, they often suffer from the painful condition in silence as a result of embarrassment and even shame.
Board certified plastic surgeon Doctor Jaime Schwartz knows many of these sufferers don't know that treatment is fairly simple, doesn't cause much downtime, and is permanent. Doctor Jaime Schwartz is a leading expert in treating vaginismus. To find out more about the causes and treatments for this condition, continue reading.
This article is a full guide on everything you need to know about living with vaginismus.
What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a painful condition caused by extremely tight pelvic floor muscles. There are four different types of vaginismus. They each have their own causes and symptoms.
This is a lifelong condition. It's usually discovered when a woman tries to insert a tampon for the first time or undergo a gynecological exam.
Secondary vaginismus occurs in women who've had normal sex lives and vaginal functioning in the past. In many instances, a woman will experience this after an infection, menopause, certain medical issues, or even childbirth.
This form of vaginismus is always present. There is no real trigger.
This will only present itself in certain situations. And is most likely to occur when you're stressed or nervous. Gynecological exams are an example.
What Are the Triggers and Causes?
There are several causes for vaginismus. The causes can be physical, mental, or even emotional. Here are some examples of when vaginismus is brought on by a physical problem.
Infections and Medical Causes
A variety of infections and other medical problems can cause vaginismus including yeast and urinary tract infections, STDs, eczema, psoriasis, and lichen planus.
Pelvic trauma, be it a result of surgery or a physical attack like sexual abuse can cause vaginismus in women.
The anxiety that stems from things like guilt, unhealthy emotions toward sex, or bad experiences from the past are known to trigger this disorder. The issues might also be a signal of a problem within your relationship.
Fear and Anticipation
If you've previously suffered and had to heal from pelvic trauma, the fear of not being completely healed can tighten your muscles and decrease the ability to have intercourse. Fear can also stem from an expectation of pain, becoming pregnant, or being torn.
Symptoms: How to Tell if You Have Vaginismus
Most women with vaginismus don't know they have it until they try to perform an act and realize there's tightness or restricted access.
The symptoms experienced with this disorder vary from person to person. The symptoms depend on your overall health, the type of vaginismus you have, and what's triggering it.
Some common symptoms include:
- Tightness, pain, burning, or stinging during intercourse
- Pain while inserting tampons
- Impossible penetration that feels like something is blocking the vaginal canal
- Painful gynecological exams
- Muscle spasms during intercourse
Because the pain and other symptoms vary from patient to patient, you should talk with our doctor if you suspect you might have vaginismus. These symptoms can also be telltale signs of a more serious illness or STD.
Can Vaginismus be Treated and Cured?
Yes, vaginismus can be treated and cured. Doctor Jaime Schwartz’s patients typically go on to enjoy full and healthy lives after this problem has been addressed.
The first step in diagnosing the disorder is for a doctor to perform a pelvic examination. This will help rule out or determine causes like infections. In the event that there is an infection or another medical problem, your doctor will have to work toward treating it before moving forward.
It's likely you'll have to take medication under these circumstances. Pelvic floor strengthening and control exercises are also usually prescribed in conjunction with medication.
To perform these exercises, you will have to contract and then relax your pelvic floor muscles repeatedly. These are also known as Kegels.
Additionally, if your vaginismus is a result of an emotional trauma or anxiety, therapy, and other emotional exercises will need to be part of your treatment plan in order to heal.
Treatment with Botox
Botox has become popular over the years because of its anti-aging benefits. It's often injected into a patient's face by a dermatologist to reduce things like crow's feet and smile lines. But that isn't all it's used for.
Botox is also used to treat ailments such as crossed eyes (strabismus), migraines, and of course, vaginismus.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz created a treatment plan for vaginismus that won't interfere with other treatments you might be receiving from other doctors or therapists. During the treatment, Botox is injected into your pelvic floor muscles in order to relax this area.
This is where the end of the pain cycle begins. The majority of women will be completely pain-free in a week or so.
The amount of Botox that's administered will depend on the severity of your vaginismus and the number of muscles it affects. If smaller muscles are the cause your doctor will inject smaller amounts of Botox. Whereas larger muscles will require more of the solution.
Within 10 days of your treatment, you will need to have physical therapy and you can start to use a dilator. Although Botox only remains in your body for about four months, most women don't need repeated visits. In fact, they report having improved sex lives after the initial treatment.
The cost of this procedure depends on a few different things, including how much Botox is required to treat your condition. You can expect to see a bill between the amounts of $5,000 and $7,000.
This is an outpatient procedure, so you won't have to worry about paying for an extended hospital stay. Your recovery will take about a week. Most patients are able to resume sexual intercourse roughly 10 days after their procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a Board Certified Plastic Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon. Women travel from all over the world to receive his treatment and break their pain cycles.
If you're ready to begin treating your vaginismus today, call to schedule a personalized consultation.
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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.