Common Vaginismus Symptoms

  • Burning or stinging with tightness during sex
  • Difficult or impossible penetration, entry pain, uncomfortable insertion of penis
  • Unconsummated marriage
  • Ongoing sexual discomfort or pain following childbirth, yeast/urinary infections, STDs, hysterectomy, cancer, surgeries, rape, menopause, or other pelvic issues
  • Ongoing sexual pain of unknown origin, with no apparent cause
  • Difficulty inserting tampons or undergoing pelvic/gynecological exams
  • Spasms in other body muscle groups (legs, lower back, etc.) and/or halted breathing during attempts at intercourse
  • Avoidance of sex due to pain and/or failure

Any Age


Sexual pain may affect women of any age, both sexually inexperienced and experienced.

Examples of the effects of vaginismus

Tightness & Pain

Penetration may be possible, but the woman experiences periods of involuntary tightness causing burning, discomfort, or pain.

Impossible Penetration

As intercourse is attempted, the vaginal muscles involuntarily tighten closing off the vaginal entrance, preventing penetration.

Tampon Insertion Problem

A young woman, otherwise normal and healthy, may be unable to insert a tampon despite every effort.

Can you relate?

“Sex has never been comfortable for me.”
“I experience burning pain upon penetration attempts.”
“I’m still a virgin even though we’ve tried many times - it’s like he hits a wall.”
“Sex used to be great, but now I close up—it burns and stings.”
“When he starts to move, it feels uncomfortable, and we have to stop.”
“I seem to ‘tighten’ up down there even when I really want to have sex.”
“Why won’t my tampon go in?”
“The doctor says there’s nothing wrong with me. So why does it still hurt?”
“It always felt tight and uncomfortable. I never realized it was vaginismus.”

Unconsummated marriage & impossible penetration

  • Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsummated relationships where it is a female issue and not the man’s erectile dysfunction.
  • Couples often describe their attempts at intercourse as there being a “wall” where the vaginal opening should be. It is baffling to some women as to how this condition originated in them if they had no prior sexual contact or pelvic problems.
  • Intercourse is impossible and painful insertion attempts reinforce the vaginismus response. The conditioned reflex continues to happen every time there is potential for vaginal penetration.

Don’t lose hope. There are solutions!


Untreated vaginismus hinders the physical and emotional needs met through sexual intimacy.