Treatment FAQs

How successful is vaginismus treatment?

Many studies have shown treatment success rates approaching nearly 100%. The self-help approach is based on extensive research into the causes and treatment of vaginismus and includes a step-by-step process with easy-to-follow, practical treatment solutions. This approach has been used successfully by thousands of women and medical professionals. Though there are some failures, these are usually attributed to couples dropping out or not completing treatment. For couples who complete treatment, outcomes are nearly always positive and successful, with full resolution.

How long does treatment take?

Successful resolution of vaginismus in reasonable time is the normal outcome of vaginismus treatment.

Vaginismus can normally be treated and fully overcome in a reasonable time frame. Motivated women without significant complications usually find that a month is adequate to resolve their sexual pain or penetration problems.

Research has shown that even two-week time frames are potentially realistic where there is an intense “full-time” effort, professional assistance, and no significant complications. Masters & Johnson were original pioneers of the two-week intensive therapy window concept for successfully treating conditions such as vaginismus.

Will sex ever feel good?

Pain-free, pleasurable intercourse is achievable for most women overcoming vaginismus, as vaginismus has high treatment success rates. Pleasure is not really achievable when pain is present. Eliminating the pain is a necessary first-step in the process of receiving sexual pleasure.

Sometimes, it is hard to imagine sex as pleasurable when tightness, pain, burning, or impossible penetration is experienced. Every story of recovery is different, but most often there will be a transitional phase as couples first transition to intercourse without pain and then on to intercourse with growing pleasure.

Note that it is important that couples practice intercourse regularly following vaginismus treatment. This gives the woman’s mind and body the necessary opportunity to develop entrenched muscle memories.

Maintaining regular intercourse also helps couples fine-tune their sexual experience to improve and enhance the ongoing experience of pleasure.

Is there any further support?

Virtual Support Group
Our new virtual support group is is a safe place for women and couples to receive practical information, solid advice, and encouragement from experts in vaginismus and marriage, as well as other people going through the self-help program.
Any person who subscribes to the support group can openly participate. Some members may silently watch others for encouragement, while others become active participants in the many encouraging and informative topics.
The primary goal of the group is to provide a network of support for women who are actively working to overcome vaginismus.
Examples of topics covered in our group include questions specific to each step of the self-help program, relationship issues, emotional issues, pregnancy, personal stories, gynecological exams, age-related issues, and many other vaginismus-related focuses.
Private Facebook Community
The private Facebook community is a place for women and couples to connect on a more personal level. Women from around the world can talk about their lives or ask questions about treatment. We find that even online, as women begin to open up about their problem, they become more positive about the condition of vaginismus because they no longer feel as isolated.
Live Chat and Phone Support
Where other support methods are insufficient, we provide phone-based guidance and support.
Email Support
We strive for the highest possible quality email support. Couples can email us anytime with any questions, concerns, or feedback.
In keeping with our mission, we do not charge for any of these support methods and provide free ongoing help for those going through vaginismus treatment to the best of our abilities.

Is there a difference between the treatment for primary and secondary vaginismus?

Treatment differs only slightly, depending upon the type and causes. There are only minor differences in the treatment of primary and secondary vaginismus. Women undergoing treatment for secondary vaginismus may find they can bypass certain sections, especially those dealing with emotional triggers, and possibly shorten overall treatment duration.
With secondary vaginismus, the treatment focus is mainly on learning conscious control of the vaginal muscles to eliminate tightness, although other steps are involved. There are usually fewer emotional triggers and so less necessity to work through psychological or emotional issues, unless the circumstances that preceded the vaginismus included experiences of that nature (such as rape or other sexual trauma).

Should i stop trying to have intercourse during vaginismus treatment?

Failed intercourse attempts further complicates treatment. During the initial steps of the vaginismus treatment process, we recommend that couples discontinue penetrative intercourse attempts. When intercourse is attempted prematurely, resulting in pain and discomfort, it may further entrench the limbic system’s negative reaction toward penetration. In addition, there may be increased emotional anxieties, fear of more pain, feelings of disappointment, physical complications or other setbacks.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage couples to continue showing affection toward one another while the program is completed to maintain closeness. Some couples report that these times have built greater intimacy and ultimately enhanced their lovemaking as they learned other ways to pleasure each other.

Is it too late for vaginismus treatment?

Success is the normal outcome of treatment regardless of the number of years the condition has been present. Vaginismus has high treatment success rates, even after long periods of time. Many women overcome vaginismus surprisingly quickly once treatment begins, even after decades of struggling with vaginismus. The process is generally the same whether a woman has suffered for one year or forty years, with usually only minor variations for age-related complications.

Does the self-help approach only work for mild or marginal cases of vaginismus?  Will it work for severe cases as well?

Countless numbers of women with acute, severe vaginismus (such as where the women are unable to insert anything into their vaginal opening—not a finger, tampon, or even something as small as a cotton swab) completely overcome their condition by simply working through program steps at home.
Note also, that the apparent severity of vaginismus does not correlate with how long treatment will take. The motivation level and consistency in effort are much more important factors in how quickly treatment is completed and intercourse is restored.

Do you recommend working with treatment professionals such as physicians, therapists, psychologists, counselors, or others?

Treatment professionals may be helpful in working through challenging areas of vaginismus treatment.

While the vaginismus self-help program was designed to be used with or without ongoing professional assistance, areas of difficulty may certainly be easier to get through when working with an experienced specialist. Since every person’s specific needs and medical histories vary, specialists can often be helpful in the process of overcoming vaginismus.

Can Vaginismus reoccur once it's successfully treated?

The process of overcoming vaginismus is generally permanent. Learned abilities are lifelong and prevent reoccurrence. The process of overcoming vaginismus normally instills life-long skills that provide permanent pain-free resolution. The body’s tendency to involuntarily tighten the pelvic floor is overcome, and if any vaginismus symptoms ever reoccur, they are typically easily resolved with the skills learned through successfully completing treatment.

Can you overcome vaginismus if you're single?

Fortunately, vaginismus treatment can be completed while single, up to the point of being fully ready to transition to intercourse. Although vaginismus is not considered fully resolved until pain-free sexual intercourse actually takes place, women can complete all the exercises that bring them to the point of readiness. They can go through the program on their own without any partner.

As a vaginismus treatment professional, how does the hope and her program help my patients?

Our program provides a comprehensive framework for treating vaginismus that’s helpful for treatment professionals and their patients.

The program assists busy medical professionals and specialists by providing a reference for the programming and delivery of individualized treatment, including home exercises.
It includes a completestep-by-step animated video series covering all major facets of self-treatment.

The program provides an understanding ofsuccessful treatment methodology widely in acceptance and practiced among treatment specialists.

The program includes a detailed understanding of the vaginismus condition fully addressingphysical and emotional issues where applicable. In particular, the emotional inventories allow women to work through these areas at their own pace and comfort in a more detailed fashion than busy professionals may be able to coordinate.

Treatment methodology is enhanced with empathy, understanding, and key insights gleaned from the experience of actual couples who have experienced and overcome vaginismus.
Treatment exercisesare supplemented with detailed illustrations and strategies to further aid understanding.

The information can assist untreated women in coordinating and obtaining a diagnosis and in moving forward with treatment solutions.

The program includes technical and emotional help in our virtual support group and private Facebook page.
For questions about how our sexual pain products can assist health professionals with treatment and patient care, contact us directly for more information or assistance.

I can't even look at myself "down there" and i feel queasy just considering penetration or any type of vaginal insertion.  How can I make it through treatment? 

The human mind has amazing capability to influence our physical being. Fears are generally diminished and overcome with knowledge and a proactive approach to one’s health. Anxiety related to one’s body often stems from lack of knowledge, inadequate sex education, religious/cultural prohibitions against accepting one’s body and sexuality, painful past experiences, and poor self-body image.
It is important that during the treatment process these issues are confronted and dealt with appropriately. Knowledge, combined with a step-by-step process of self-exploration and working through unhealthy emotions, helps women become more comfortable with their bodies and work toward attainable solutions for their condition.