What it is, how it manifests, and can physical therapy can help.
Vaginismus is the involuntary narrowing, spasming, or contracting of the vaginal (pelvic floor) muscles which can make any sort of penetration difficult, whether that is a speculum at the doctor’s office, a tampon, or a penis. Often this condition interferes with allowing vaginal intercourse. The pelvic floor is made up of many muscles and when these muscles become tight they create a narrowing of the vaginal opening.
There can be many causes of vaginismus including habitual muscle clenching in various areas of the body, increased stress and up-regulation of the nervous system, anxieties around intimacy, or a history of physical, sexual, or psychological trauma.
Pelvic health physical therapy can help with this condition by teaching patients how to relax their pelvic floor muscles, providing education on dilator therapy to help gradually stretch the muscles, and by developing a home program for patient self-care.
Mendwell is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapy clinic serving patients in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Tigard. Our team of specialists are passionate about helping patients improve pelvic function, relieve pain, and get back to feeling their best. Reach out to learn how we can help.