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Vaginismus after Hysterectomy
From the Pelvic Floor Articles List
What is vaginismus?
A hysterectomy can trigger dyspareunia, which is painful intercourse. One form of dyspareunia is vaginismus, which is an involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor muscle group. Vaginismus can have a range of symptoms from impossible penetration to intercourse with discomfort, pain or burning. It is a combination of physical and non-physical triggers as your body anticipates pain. If left untreated the cycle of fear of pain may cause you to entirely avoid intimacy.
The cycle leading to vaginismus can be described as follows:
- You may be fearful or anxious about intercourse.
- Your fear and anxiety triggers involuntary muscle tightening.
- The tightness causes pain.
- The pain causes you to become more fearful and anxious.
- The next time you attempt intercourse the fear and anxiety from the previous pain causes you to tighten and brace more so the next encounter may be more painful than the last experience.
A uro-gynecologist or other gynecologist experienced in vaginal pain may be able to diagnosis vaginismus. They may prescribe Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. This therapy should be conducted by a therapist trained in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
This content was written by a member of HysterSisters.com as a non-medical professional based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
11-01-2009 - 09:10 AM
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