Vaginismus can be experienced by women at any age or time in life. It has two major classifications; primary vaginismus and secondary vaginismus. The medical community typically uses these terms to indicate the time of onset. The labels assist the medical community and researchers in diagnosis and classification. For the individual woman, the distinction between the two types tends to be of less importance. Whether primary or secondary, both are highly treatable.
When a woman has never been able to have pain-free intercourse due to this muscle spasm, her condition is known as primary vaginismus. Some women with primary vaginismus are unable to wear tampons and/or complete pelvic exams. Many couples are unable to consummate their relationship due to primary vaginismus.
Vaginismus can also develop later in life, even after many years of pleasurable intercourse. This type of condition, known as secondary vaginismus, is usually precipitated by a medical condition, traumatic event, childbirth, surgery, or life-change (menopause). The initial pain problem may have been addressed medically, healed, or been managed, and yet the woman continues to experience ongoing troubles with sexual pain. The severity of secondary vaginismus may escalate to the level that penetration becomes very painful or impossible. Some women with secondary vaginismus may also experience difficulty with gynecological exams or tampon insertion.
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