Q. What is vaginismus?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 17, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I got married before 18 months. But, I am still a virgin. I am not able to take it inside. I do not know whether it is due to fear or what. I badly need to be out of it. Please help.



Welcome to

  • You are likely to be suffering from vaginismus. Please follow up with detailed history.

Revert back with detailed history to an obstetrician and gynaecologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

What is vaginismus? And how can I tackle with this? Please guide.



Welcome back to

  • Vaginismus is persistent involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted.
  • It can disrupt or completely stop your sex life and can lead to distress, a loss of confidence and relationship problems. It may even prevent you starting a family.
  • Factors that play a part in the development of vaginismus includes small vagina, negative sexual thoughts such as thinking sex will be painful and cause damage, previous sexual abuse, painful first intercourse, relationship problems and fear of pregnancy.
  • Vaginismus can also be due to infection in the vulva or the vagina like vulvitis or vaginitis and painful conditions of the vagina and surrounding area such as vulvodynia.
  • Vulvodynia is the sensation of vulval burning, soreness or pain in the absence of any obvious skin condition or infection.
  • Symptoms may be constant, unprovoked vulvodynia, or only occur with touch, inserting a tampon or penetrative sex, which is provoked vulvodynia. Provoked vulvodynia can lead to vaginismus.
  • Vaginismus can be treated. However, the treatment depends on the cause. If there is an obvious physical cause such as an infection, it can be treated with appropriate medication.
  • If the cause is psychological, sex therapy may be recommended. This may include counseling, brief dynamic psychoanalysis or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as treatments such as vaginal trainers and relaxation techniques.
  • Vaginal trainers can be used at home to help you get used to having something inserted into your vagina. They are usually made of plastic and in four graduated sizes that allow gentle progression of treatment.
  • Please tell me if there is any fear to sex or pain anticipation or there is an innate thought of displeasure which disallows you penetration. I have mentioned the causes above and you may tell me what hinders the act.

Revert back with the answer to an obstetrician and gynaecologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

Immediately after marriage I had fear. But, now I am fully prepared and also I try with full energy. But, it causes extreme pain and feels like there is no space in vagina for entrance of penis. Because of this, there is a lot of stress too.



Welcome back to

  • If there is pain on penetration and accompanied stress which indirectly prevents vaginal muscle relaxation.
  • The answer to this is use of vaginal trainers with to start with local Lignocaine jelly applied around the introitus to numb the area and also accompanied pelvic floor exercises which shall help relax the vaginal muscles.
  • Vaginal trainers can be used to help you relax the muscles in your vagina by gradually getting you used to having something inserted into it. These are a set of four smooth, plastic penis-shaped objects in different sizes, which can be used in the privacy of your own home.
  • The smallest trainer is inserted first, using a lubricant if needed. Once you feel comfortable inserting the smallest one, you can move on to the second size and so on.
  • It is important to go at your own pace, and it does not matter how long it takes whether it is days, weeks or months.
  • When you are able to tolerate the larger trainer without any pain or feelings of anxiety, you and your partner may want to try having sex.
  • Vaginal trainers are not used to stretch a vagina that is too narrow. Women with vaginismus have normal sized vagina. The trainers are simply a method of teaching the vagina to accept penetration without automatically closing.
  • If you prefer, you can try fingers instead of vaginal trainers.
  • Also pelvic floor exercises, such as squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles, that can help you gain control over the muscles causing the vagina to close involuntarily. These exercises are usually recommended while using vaginal trainers.
  • I would suggest you to apply Lignocaine jelly 1% locally around the vaginal opening and allow the area to get numb in next five to seven minutes. Then you may try inserting your own gloved clean finger inside the vagina and try taking deeper breaths.
  • Try holding the finger inside and allow muscles to contract as long as they want over the finger and then with deep breathing continued the vagina shall accommodate the finger in next five to seven minutes.
  • Repeat the procedure with single finger for four to five days thrice a day before you may add on another finger next week. You may try this in privacy or you may ask your partner's help.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online -->

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