Imagine it's your wedding night and due to personal beliefs or preferences you have waited until this night to be intimate with your new husband for the first time.
Now imagine the big moment arrives and it doesn't work! Like literally doesn't work, your husband can't insert his penis into you.
You panic and strange thoughts start going through your mind. "Are we doing it wrong?", "Is there something wrong with me?", "Is he too big?" (most likely not, although he will claim that one)
Unfortunately the most likely cause of this predicament is Vaginismus and it's not as uncommon as you may think.
Vaginismus is an uncontrollable tightening or spasm of the vaginal muscles/pelvic floor when insertion is attempted. This can be the insertion of a penis or tampon for example. We are not sure about the exact cause of this contition, but for whatever reason, your body interprets an attempt to enter your vagina as a threat. Your vagina is iterally afraid of your husbands' penis and won't let him in! (Again cue the size related comedy)
Except for the obvious issue with vaginismus it can also cause discomfort in your lower abdominals and lower back, not to mention the psychological trauma and interpersonal complications it can cause.
Vaginismus can sometimes be preceded by a traumatic event, but quite often there is no obvious cause and it can happen at any stage of adult life.
At this point you may think there is no hope for you and you may as well take your vow of celibacy now, but all hope is not lost.
Pelvic health Physiotherapy can, through various different techniques, "train" your muscles to react differently to stimulus. We do this by attacking the problem from two angles:
1. Peripherally - we work on the pelvic floor itself to help the muscles relax.
2. Centrally - we work to create new neural pathways so that your brain recognises the "stimulus" for what it is, rather that perceiving it as a threat, thus not eliciting a spams response
In some cases we will work with other practitioners with regard to counsilling or other types of therapy, where a more multidisciplinary approach is required.
We find in most cases, especially if treatment is started early, we are able to make meaningful improvements for women with Vaginismus and enable them to have a normal sex life.
If you would like to find out more about this condition, visit our page on "Pelvic Pain Syndromes" on our website.