Vaginismus - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a sexual dysfunction where the vaginal muscles involuntarily tighten or spasm, making penetration, which may or may not be sexual in nature, difficult or painful. It’s treatable with therapy and exercises given by any of the best sexologists in Pune.

Facts & Figures

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 35% of women worldwide experience some form of sexual dysfunction, with vaginismus being a major contributor.
  • A 2020 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests 0.5% to 16% women predominantly experience vaginismus at some point in their lives.
  • Study shows that vaginismus is more common in younger women in the 18-24 age range.
  • The stigma surrounding sexual health can contribute to under-reporting and inaccurate data, making it challenging to obtain precise global estimates.

What are the types of Vaginismus?
There are 2 types of vaginismus:

Primary or Lifelong Vaginismus
This type occurs in women who have never been able to tolerate vaginal penetration, including tampons or fingers. They may have never had any experience with sexual activity due to the discomfort or pain associated with penetration.

Secondary Vaginismus or Acquired Vaginismus
This type develops in women who previously tolerated vaginal penetration but can no longer do so. It can be triggered by various factors like childbirth, surgery, trauma, or even emotional stress.

What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of vaginismus is the involuntary tightening of the vaginal wall muscles during attempted penetration. This can range from mild discomfort to intense pain. This pain is often described as a burning or stinging sensation. The severity can vary, with some women experiencing complete blockage of the vaginal canal, while others may perhaps encounter difficulties only with specific objects like tampons or during gynaecological exams. Additionally, women with vaginismus often experience:

  • Anxiety or fear related to sex or penetration.
  • Loss of sexual desire.
  • Relationship difficulties due to sexual dissatisfaction.
  • Depression and feelings of inadequacy.


A gynaecologist or sex therapist will usually perform a physical examination to diagnose vaginismus.

A pelvic exam is normally part of this examination, though internal penetration is avoided to reduce discomfort. In order to identify the underlying causes of vaginismus, the medical professional may also inquire about your sexual history, emotional health, and medical history.

Is Vaginismus treatable?

Yes, vaginismus is treatable, and most women find significant improvement with therapy. Treatment options available at the best sexologist doctors for females in Pune often combine physical and psychological approaches.

  • Pelvic floor muscle therapy: This involves learning to identify and relax the pelvic floor muscles through exercises like Kegels. This helps regain control over the involuntary muscle contractions.
  • Sensate focus exercises: These exercises focus on non-genital touching and sensual exploration to build comfort and reduce anxiety around intimacy.
  • Vaginal dilators: These are smooth cylinders used to gradually desensitise the vaginal muscles and increase tolerance for penetration.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT helps address negative thoughts and anxieties associated with sex, replacing them with healthier coping mechanisms. This can significantly reduce fear and improve sexual function.


Vaginismus, while challenging, doesn't define your relationship with intimacy. Seeking professional help from experienced sexologists like those available at Nakshatra here in Pune can empower you to understand the underlying causes, manage symptoms, and rediscover fulfilling sexual experiences. Nakshatra Clinic is run by Dr. Ramit Kamate and he is one of the best female infertility treatment doctors in Pune. Book an appointment today and start your journey towards healing.