Vaginismus and Vulvodynia


SYMPTOMS

Painful intercourse (dyspareunia), described as burning, stinging or tightness causing pain

Penetration is difficult or impossible

Long-term sexual pain with or without a known cause

Pain during tampon insertion

Pain during gynecological examination


Vaginismus is a condition in which there is involuntary spasm of the outer third of the vagina that can interfere with having sex, gynecological examinations, inserting tampons, and can result in marked distress and interpersonal difficulty straining relationships. Some women experience a total vaginismus with inability to tolerate penetration of any sorts and some women have partial vaginismus with ability to allow penetration however is painful and difficult.

Vulvodynia: considered a cluster of symptoms also known as ‘burning vulva syndrome’ with these symptoms lasting more than 3 months. Women experience severe pain to touch, pressure at the vestibule or even to attempt to vaginal penetration. This symptom can also be reproduced by certain infections or sexually transmitted diseases which will then require further investigation from your physician.

Role of Physical therapist:
Education about the anatomy and help the patient understand causative environmental elements that can cause the condition and which ones should be eliminated.
- Exercises for the pelvic girdle for abdominal and core strengthening
- Relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles
- Internal and external soft tissue mobilization to promote flexibility and improve tolerance to touch
- Surface Biofeedback
- External Electrical stimulation
- Use of vaginal dilators as and when appropriate

Your therapist will discuss with you and prepare a program that will best suit you with or without inclusion of any above mentioned approach upto your tolerance only.