What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is when the muscles of a woman’s vagina squeeze or spasm when something is entering it,
like a tampon or a penis. It can range from mildly uncomfortable to quite painful.
What you should know
There are two main types of vaginismus.
This is when a woman has had pain every time something entered her vagina, including a penis (called
penetrative sex), or when she’s never been able to insert anything into her vagina. It’s also called
This is when a woman has had sex without pain before, but then it becomes difficult or impossible.
It is also called acquired vaginismus.
Painful sex (dyspareunia) is often the first sign of vaginismus. The pain happens only with
penetration. It usually goes away after withdrawal, but not always.
Some women describe it as a burning or a feeling like the penis is "hitting a wall."
Many women who have vaginismus also feel discomfort when inserting a tampon or having a pelvic exam
at their doctor’s office.
Other symptoms of vaginismus include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Not being able to have penetrative sex or insert a tampon at all
- Fear of pain or sex
- Loss of sexual desire