Vaginismus is a condition that leads to the muscles around your vagina tightening, meaning that it is either very painful or impossible for a woman to be penetrated, even if you are aroused and happy to have sex. This condition can be very distressing for both you and your partner.
The tightening of the vagina is involuntary, which means you are not doing this consciously.
However, sex therapy is very effective at addressing vaginismus and it can often be completely eradicated, although treatment can often take a few months.
This condition is usually anxiety-based, although you may not be aware of what you are anxious about. It may be something that has always been there, since you started to become a sexual adult or it may be that it developed after an event, such as childbirth.
Vaginismus is not uncommon but it is rare to hear people talk about it. If you have vaginismus you are not as different as you might think.
For a first-hand account of living with and recovering from vaginismus, read this blog.
Vulvodynia is a condition in which women feel burning pain when their vulva is touched. It is caused by the hypersensitivity of nerve endings in the vulva. It can be painful anywhere in the vulva, including near the clitoris or the entrance to the vagina. It can be difficult for GP's and other health professionals to diagnose, as it cannot be seen. However, trained sex therapists are usually a good source of initial assessment.