The Psychological Side of Vaginismus
“I feel broken.” While no two patients are the same, that refrain is one of the most common we hear at Maze from those who struggle with vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a condition experienced by individuals with female sex organs and is marked by an involuntary tightness of the vagina during penetration. There are different stages in life during which vaginismus might arise, and it can range from somewhat mild to severe.
Those who have symptoms of vaginismus often have a difficult time seeking and getting an appropriate diagnosis; that’s because most gynecologists receive scant little training on sexual pain. Patients are often told “it’s all in your head” and that if they just “have a glass of wine and relax” the problem will solve itself. As if this isn’t problematic enough, vaginismus patients often feel terribly isolated in their experience because it’s not a condition discussed in the mainstream or even amongst friends. Circle back to that “I feel broken” piece; add in dismissal from care providers; incorporate some self-blame or guilt about disappointing current and potential partners and you’ve got yourself a giant combo platter of physical pain and psycho-emotional strife.
While some of our patients present with depressive symptoms, anxiety is more often their number one complaint. When we’re emotionally stressed, our bodies hold on to that stress. This holding can create physiological inflexibility, so when we do the math – we see it’s a vicious cycle.
But here’s the amazing news – vaginismus is highly treatable! At Maze, we offer a treatment plan that includes equal parts medical and behavioral care so that every patient is supported both physically and emotionally.
If you’re experiencing what you think might be vaginismus and if you haven’t been able to find the care that’s right for you, please call us to schedule a free ten-minute consult call. We’ll answer your questions and help you determine how to best seek diagnosis, treatment and healing.
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