Vaginismus is characterized by painful contractions that make any vaginal penetration feel painful or uncomfortable. It is due to a combination of physical and non-physical stressors that elicit the body to anticipate pain. There are two main forms of vaginismus:
- Primary vaginismus is a lifetime condition where pain has always been present during any attempt at vaginal penetration.
- Secondary vaginismus is vaginal tightness or pain with penetration that has occurred after normal sexual function.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jaime Schwartz has developed a specialized treatment plan for vaginismus that can be used alongside the care you might already be receiving. The treatment utilizes neuromodulators injected into the pelvic floor muscles to relax the area and break the pain cycle.
We’ve seen a 97% success rate following this procedure, and most women go on to experience normal vaginal penetration and sex lives after just one treatment.
Schedule a free, personalized consultation in Beverly Hills, CA to learn how Dr. Schwartz's unique, neuromodulator-based treatment can help you break the pain cycle.
what is vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a condition characterized by painful and uncontrollable contractions of the vaginal muscles. Women who suffer from this physical and psychological disorder may experience discomfort, burning, or pain during sexual intercourse, gynecological exams, or while inserting tampons. They may also experience anxiety that causes them to withdraw from these situations.
Imagine you have a chronic tight neck or shoulder muscle. This would cause pain, not only when you touch the muscle but also if you attempt to touch the surrounding areas. Vaginismus works in a similar way. Vaginismus is due to the involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor muscles, mainly the Pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group.
Most women may be unaware of vaginismus or that they may have extremely tight pelvic floor muscles leading to pain known as dyspareunia. Dyspareunia is persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs before, during, or after intercourse. Some common causes could be inadequate lubrication, rough sex, trauma, or negative feelings about their partner. However, it is thought that anywhere from 5 – 15% of women who present with dyspareunia may have vaginismus. It also believed that vaginismus may be a primary cause of sexless and unconsummated marriages.
Since vaginismus is not commonly diagnosed, women seeking help from physicians have been told to just "relax" before having sex rather than addressing the root of the problem. This is why Dr. Schwartz developed a technique for targeting the pelvic floor muscles. Women from all over the world have undergone long-lasting vaginismus treatment by Dr. Schwartz. We help break the pain cycle for good.
CAUSES OF VAGINISMUS
Vaginismus can happen at any point in life. Some discover it early on when trying to place tampons or undergo gynecological exams. Others notice it years later, after beginning a sexual relationship with a partner.
Vaginismus may be caused by physical and/or non-physical stressors. It is also divided into primary and secondary vaginismus.
Primary vaginismus is a lifetime condition where pain has always been present during any attempt at vaginal penetration. It is often experienced during a woman’s first attempt at tampon placement or vaginal intercourse. This is the main cause of sexless, unconsummated marriages.
Secondary vaginismus involves vaginal tightness or pain in a woman who has had a previous normal sexual function. This can be due to infection, menopause, a traumatic event, development of a medical condition, relationship issues, surgery, or childbirth.
EXAMPLES OF PHYSICAL CAUSES OF VAGINISMUS:
Urinary tract infections or urination problems, yeast infections, sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, genital or pelvic tumors, cysts, cancer, vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, pelvic inflammatory disease, lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, eczema, psoriasis, vaginal prolapse, etc.
Pain from normal or difficult vaginal deliveries and complications, C-sections, miscarriages, etc.
Menopause and hormonal changes, vaginal dryness, inadequate lubrication, vaginal atrophy, etc.
Temporary pain or discomfort resulting from inadequate vaginal lubrication.
Pelvic surgery, difficult pelvic examination, or other pelvic trauma.
Physical attack, rape, sexual or physical abuse, or assault.
Some prescription medications may cause pelvic pain.
EXAMPLES OF NON-PHYSICAL CAUSES OF VAGINISMUS:
Fear or anticipation of intercourse pain, fear of not being completely physically healed after pelvic trauma, fear of tissue damage i.e. being torn, fear of getting pregnant, concern that a pelvic medical problem may occur, etc.
ANXIETY OR STRESS
General anxiety, performance pressures, previous unpleasant sexual experiences, negativity toward sex, guilt, emotional traumas, or other unhealthy sexual emotions.
Abuse, emotional detachment, fear of commitment, distress, anxiety about being vulnerable, losing control, etc.
Past emotional or sexual abuse, the witness of violence or abuse, repressed memories.
Overly rigid parenting, unbalanced religious teaching i.e. sex is bad, exposure to shocking sexual imagery, inadequate sex education.
Vaginismus may be a diagnosis of exclusion where there may not be an identifiable cause, physical or non-physical.
Vaginismus is typically due to a combination of physical and nonphysical stressors that elicit the body to anticipate pain.
CYCLE OF PAIN
1. The body anticipates pain
2. Involuntary pelvic muscle tightening
3. Painful sex or impossible penetration
4. Pain intensity reinforces the muscle tightening reflex
5. The body reacts by “bracing”
6. Avoiding intimate situations, which can lead to a lack of desire
Neuromodulators are used by Dr. Schwartz to break the pain cycle between anticipating pain and not being able to tighten the pelvic floor muscles. This allows for normal, pain-free sex, which decreases fears and anxieties over time.
signature Vaginismus treatment
Dr. Schwartz has developed a unique treatment plan for women showing symptoms of vaginismus. Our treatment requires injecting advanced neuromodulators into the pelvic floor muscles. This relaxes the area and breaks the pain cycle. Patients can continue to see their primary care doctors and other specialists as usual. Approximately ten days after the initial treatment, you can begin using dilators in conjunction with physical therapy. We've seen more than a 97% success rate with neuromodulator treatment. Most women who see Dr. Schwartz experience pain-free vaginal penetration after just one treatment.
Vaginismus Treatment Reviews
"I came to Dr. Schwartz for botox to treat vaginismus, and my experience was phenomenal. Vaginismus is pain during any kind of vaginal penetration. After 6 years of pain and frustration, there was finally a solution that could help me. A year after the procedure, I am now able to have painless sex, painless pap smears, and I can use tampons. Not to mention all of the staff was incredibly nice and helped calm my nerves during the experience. This procedure changed my life. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz!"- M. / Healthgrades / Mar 04, 2018
"I came to Dr. Schwartz for botox to treat vaginismus, and my experience was phenomenal. Vaginismus is one of those issues that no one talks about, so I had no idea what it was for the longest time. For years, any kind of penetration was extremely painful for me (sex, tampons, pap smears, everything hurt), and my gynecologist couldn't seem to figure out how to help me. My boyfriend and I were frustrated with the lack of solutions for this problem, despite the many online forums that show how many people suffer from vaginismus. We tried a set of dilators meant to train the pelvic floor muscles, but even after a year, we had made little progress. And then, I came across a buzzfeed video. It was about a young woman who went to Dr. Schwartz to treat vaginismus. I suddenly had real hope that I could find a solution! We drove to his business from 4 hours away for this procedure, with all the fears and hopes that came with it. I was nervous that it would hurt, or worse, that it wouldn't work. They treated me so kindly and calmed all my fears by explaining exactly what they would do, and by telling me they were so happy I was having this done because I shouldn't have to live with that kind of pain. They used numbing gel and gave me gas, so I barely felt it, and it was over fairly quickly. I was a little sore the next few days, but then I felt normal again. About a month later, I had painless penetrative sex for the first time. At around the six month mark, when the botox is said to start to wear off, I was afraid I would have pain again, but I think my body had learned how to use the muscles properly, and I had learned not to reflexively fear the pain. It is now almost a year after the procedure, and I can say that I now experience no pain during sex, and I have had a successful pap smear! This procedure changed my life. I only wish someone had told me about Dr. Schwartz sooner. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz!"- M.W. / Yelp / Mar 03, 2018
"30 Year Old Needed Botox for Vaginismus - I had a very positive experience with Dr. Schwartz. I was very anxious about the procedure but his calm and caring disposition put me at ease right away. He wasn't in a rush at all to have the procedure done. He took his time to explain the procedure thoroughly and answered all my questions with patience. The ancillary staff were amazing as well. They held my hand during the procedure and took time before and after to check in on me and make sure I was doing well."- S. / RealSelf / May 20, 2017
"Botox for vaginismus- No more pain! This procedure changed my life! - I came to Dr. Schwartz for botox to treat vaginismus, and my experience was phenomenal. Vaginismus is one of those issues that no one talks about, so I had no idea what it was for the longest time. For years, any kind of penetration was extremely painful for me (sex, tampons, pap smears, everything hurt), and my gynecologist couldn't seem to figure out how to help me. My boyfriend and I were..."- M. / RealSelf / Mar 03, 2018
"botox for vaginismus - I've been dealing with vaginismus since 2012, and I quite honestly didn't even know it was called that until this procedure with Dr. Schwartz was featured on Buzzfeed. My previous gynecologist had merely told me it was a muscle spasm and that I needed physical therapy (which helped but did not work). My good friend had known I was dealing with it and sent me the video as soon as she saw it. I..."- C. / RealSelf / Apr 17, 2018
how long does botox last?
BOTOX remains active in the body for up to four months, but by six months, any lingering effects of the drug will disappear. Most vaginismus clients achieve pain-free intercourse by this point and will continue to experience pain-free intercourse in the future.
how fast will BOTOX start working?
Once BOTOX is injected into the vaginal walls, it takes about a week for patients to realize the full effect. Dr. Schwartz instructs clients receiving BOTOX for vaginismus to begin trying dilators ten days after treatment. If successful, he then recommends trying sexual intercourse.
Single or Multiple Sessions?
In most cases, a single BOTOX treatment can effectively treat vaginismus symptoms.
BOTOX is most known for softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the face. This injectable works by weakening or stopping the muscle from contracting. BOTOX is administered into the vaginal muscles based on the severity of your condition and the number of muscles affected. Larger muscles require larger doses while smaller muscles require smaller doses.
In The Media
Dr. Schwartz has helped countless women patients ease the pain of vaginismus with simple BOTOX injections. Watch videos and read articles covering our experience by clicking here.
Plan Your Procedure
- Starting Price
- From $5,150
- Recovery Time
- 5-7 days
- Procedure Recovery Location
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