Pain during sex due to vaginismus: what can you do about it?

If a woman feels pain during intercourse or during an internal examination because the vaginal muscles contract involuntarily, this is called vaginismus. This can have various causes, with the fear of sex being a common problem. This can have a major impact on the relationship. Penetration is sometimes no longer possible, which is important for many men. There is often also shame, which prevents the woman from going to the doctor. What does vaginismus mean and how can you get rid of it?

What vaginismus means

When the penis tries to enter the woman, the vaginal muscles contract hard, making penetration very painful. There is usually some form of vaginismus when the woman has sex for the first time, because it is usually painful the first time. If penetration is painful, some women will develop a fear of sex. These women will consciously or unconsciously react vaginistically when they have sex. Vaginismus may also be present during an internal examination if an instrument needs to be inserted or if the woman needs to insert a tampon. Other causes may include a hymen, infection, scar tissue or chapped skin.

Fear of pain during sex

The cause of vaginismus is the voluntary or involuntary contraction of the muscles in the vagina due to fear of pain. The fear may have arisen from previous experiences. This can especially affect girls who do not have much sexual experience. Some women even avoid a relationship because of this. There are also couples who have a satisfying sexual relationship, but without penetration.

The influence on the relationship

For men, a partner with vaginismus is usually a problem. They will adapt, but they usually desire penetration. You can try to work on this together. Some men even think they can help their girlfriend get rid of vaginismus. If she wants to please him and tries, but it doesn’t work, it can cause frustration in the relationship. Irritations, feelings of guilt and reproaches can arise from this. There are even men who get erectile dysfunction as a result. It can lead to significant sexual problems.

What to do about it?

If penetration has occurred, the woman may suffer from pain and irritation in the vagina for days. The woman often does not dare to go to the doctor with this complaint out of shame. There is no shame and there is no need to be ashamed of this. With professional help you can get rid of the annoying problem, allowing you to enjoy sex again.


If you prefer to try to get rid of vaginismus yourself first, there are a number of things you can try. Take all the time for this. First of all, you should stop trying to go through the pain and still have intercourse. If you have a friend, he should be able to understand this. It is important to avoid pain, because pain is counterproductive.

Insert an object

Practice on your own at first. Make sure you are relaxed and try to insert a wet little finger with a short nail. First hold it against the opening and feel how the vaginal muscles contract. If possible, try to gently bring the little finger inward a little. It shouldn’t hurt. If the little finger is too thick, take a thinner object. If it doesn’t work, stop this exercise and try again at another time. If it goes well, you can do this with your partner and have fun with it. Don’t force anything and don’t try to have intercourse too quickly.

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles

The muscles around your anus and vagina form a structure that is part of the pelvic floor muscles. You can train these muscles and learn to control them. You can do this while urinating and stopping every now and then. When you go to pee again, try to push firmly. Once you have mastered the feeling of these muscles, you can also practice just sitting on a chair. Practice this every day, about twenty times in a row. If you feel that you know approximately how the muscles work, you can continue with the exercises to get to know your vagina.
So you don’t have to do the exercises all at once. Build it up slowly, at your own pace and take as much time as you think you need. Even if this takes months. Eventually you will notice progress and you may be able to have sexual intercourse with your boyfriend.

read more

  • No desire for sex due to depressive feelings
  • Itching in pubic area in women: vulvovaginitis
  • Vaginal inflammation: causes and symptoms
  • Vaginal discharge: what can you do about it?
  • Relationship problems due to lack of intimacy
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