Find Hope And Healing
Vaginismus is a condition that is extremely painful, feels secretive, creates major relational stress, and covers couples with shame. But we don’t have to tell you that. You live that reality every single day.
If you have vaginismus and you’re reading this, then you must be looking for solutions. We want you to know that there is help available. You don’t have suffer with private pain for the rest of your life.
With gentle work, it really is possible for you to experience intercourse, sexual intimacy, and to heal from vaginismus – just like the many other women whom we’ve had the honour of helping.
We know it takes courage to seek care for vaginismus, but please be brave. Get the care you need today – and most importantly, keep holding on to hope.
Vaginismus is a genito pelvic/penetration pain disorder (GPPPD) where the pelvic floor muscles involuntarily contract and spasm in response to any attempt at vaginal or anal penetration.
As a result, penetrative intercourse, pap tests, gynecological examinations, or tampon use can be extremely painful and even impossible. Many clients feel like they are “hitting a brick wall”.
Vaginismus can be classified as primary (where penetration has never been possible), or secondary (where penetration was possible at one point but is no longer possible).
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of vaginismus. They include:
- no known reason
- pelvic or perineal injury
- trauma (childhood, sexual, childbirth)
- negative cognitions or beliefs towards sex, genitalia, etc
- conscious or unconsious fear or avoidance of the genital area
- shame regarding genital, sexuality, etc.
- and other factors
Ultimately vaginismus is a body response to what your brain interprets as a threat (even if you feel perfectly safe and are in a healthy relationship). Your pelvic floor muscles are essentially saying “no” in an attempt to protect you from something your brain believes may cause you harm.
This is why it’s so important when it comes to overcoming vaginismus, that we consider not just your pelvic floor muscles, but also what is controlling them. We must examine the brain, central nervous system, and limbic system and focus treatment at that level as well as the body below.
Treatments for vaginismus can vary depending on which care provider you are with. They include:
- pelvic floor physiotherapy
- psychotherapy or counselling
- sex therapy
- botox injections into the pelvic floor
- dilator training
- a combination
We 100% support a multidisciplinary approach to overcoming vaginismus. We’ve found that our clients usually do the best when they are supported in multiple ways; for example, sex therapy or couples counselling can help clients address the relational realities that are impacted by vaginismus. And this translates to healing more fully from the condition.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy helps women with vaginismus overcome pain and muscle spasm by:
1) Improving position, texture, range of motion, elasticity, tone, mobility, and function of pelvic floor muscles, connective tissue, and myofascia.
2) Down-regulating the sensitive nervous system, remapping the brain, and retraining the system from a top down approach.
3) Providing education and training on how to use products such as dilators, therapy wands, lube, and more.
4) Providing education on sex and sexuality in relation to pelvic health and rehabilitation.
Our Vaginismus Programs
We start by getting to know you and understanding your experiences with vaginismus so far. We want to know how it has impacted your life and what you have already tried. We’ll ask questions about your pelvic and sexual health, and look at your overall health picture as well.
We would like to know how your body and pelvic floor are functioning, so we offer a gentle evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles. That being said, some women take one or more visits to get comfortable with the idea of a pelvic floor examination. That is completely fine with us; we will work at your pace.
Our vaginismus programs include custom recommendations, gentle hands on help, practical advice, step by step home exercise protocols, email support, accountability, educational resources, product recommendations, letters to your healthcare team, and more.
All that we offer is designed to help overcome vaginismus pain and heal from within.
Our vaginismus programs can help you especially if you...
Have patience with yourself, are can let go of shame, take the pressure off, and show yourself kindness and grace
You are open to working within a bio-psycho-social-emotional framework for healing
Have tried other strategies for overcoming vaginismus but haven’t yet explored pelvic floor physiotherapy