10 Vaginismus Myths You Should Stop Believing Now


Discover the facts behind some of the most common myths about vaginismus—your body’s surprising way of protecting itself.


First, what’s vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily spasm, making sexual intercourse difficult or painful due to a fear of penetration. This often stems from psychological factors. For example, if we were raised to view sex as dirty, shameful, or painful, we might internalize these beliefs, leading to a fear of the act itself. Even if you have positive feelings towards your partner, these deep-seated fears can cause your body to tense up during penetration, making sex extremely uncomfortable.

If you want to learn more about the types, causes, and treatments of vaginismus, explore this resource

In our conservative societies, where many of us have been raised to fear sex or to view it negatively, vaginismus is a common sexual concern for women. Couple that with the lack of education and conversation around sex and the result is a multitude of rarely challenged myths and misconceptions. Here are 10 of the most common ones.

Myth 1: Vaginismus is a purely physical condition.

Truth: Vaginismus involves both physical and psychological factors. It manifests as involuntary muscle contractions, but its causes can include psychological factors such as anxiety, fear, lack of sex education, or past trauma.

Myth 2: If you’re experiencing vaginismus, you’re not really attracted to your partner.

Truth: Vaginismus has nothing to do with the level of attraction to a partner. It's a reflexive response that can occur regardless of your feelings or desire.

Myth 3: You can only experience vaginismus the first time you have sex.

Truth: Vaginismus can occur at any point, not just the first time. Some may experience it the first time they have sex, while others might develop it later due to various factors, such as trauma or changes in hormonal levels or life events such as childbirth or surgery.

Myth 4: Vaginismus means you have a low sex drive.

Truth: Vaginismus affects the ability to have penetrative sex comfortably and pain-free, not your sexual desire or libido. Many with vaginismus still have a strong desire for sexual activity.

Myth 5: Only sexually inexperienced women can have vaginismus.

Truth: Vaginismus can affect those who are sexually active and have had pleasurable sex in the past just as much as it can affect those who are exploring their sexuality for the first time.

Myth 6: You should just relax and your vaginismus will go away on its own.

Truth: Sure, relaxing techniques may help, but you will have to treat the underlying cause to resolve the symptoms of vaginismus. 

Myth 7: Vaginismus is not that common.

Truth: Unfortunately, vaginismus is one of the most frequent causes of non-consummated marriages, and of infertility, in Arab-Muslim societies.

Myth 8: You just need the right partner to cure vaginismus.

Truth: Finding a supportive partner can help in managing vaginismus, but it's not a cure. Again, you need to work on the underlying cause.

Myth 9: Vaginismus doesn’t re-occur after it’s treated.

Truth: Unfortunately, there's a possibility of recurrence, especially if triggered by stress, trauma, or new sexual health issues.

Myth 10: If you have vaginismus, you’ll always experience some pain during penetration.

Truth: With appropriate treatment, many women with vaginismus can achieve pain-free penetration.

A Final Note

If you're grappling with pain during sex but aren’t sure if it's vaginismus, explore this resource that delves into potential physiological and psychological factors that may contribute to painful intercourse. Remember, seeking support and understanding is a crucial step towards reclaiming control over your sexual health.

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