Vaginismus is a condition characterized by involuntary contractions of the muscles around the opening of the vagina, which make penetration painful or even impossible. This condition is said to affect several women at some point in their lives and can have a significant impact on their sexual and emotional well-being. Let’s take a look at some exercises that can help treat vaginismus.
Causes and symptoms of vaginismus
Vaginismus can have various causes, including psychological, physical, or a combination of both. Psychological causes can include anxiety, fear of pain, past trauma or sexual abuse, or negative attitudes towards sex. Physical causes can include hormonal imbalances, infections, or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
The symptoms of vaginismus can range from mild discomfort during intercourse to severe pain, burning, or tearing sensations. Women with vaginismus may also experience anxiety, shame, guilt, and frustration about their sexual difficulties.
Also read: Vaginismus 101: What you need to know about this condition which makes sex painful
How to treat vaginismus with exercise?
1. Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve blood flow to the vaginal area. A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that pelvic floor muscle exercises, including Kegel exercises, improved sexual function in women with sexual dysfunction, including vaginismus.
To perform Kegel exercises, simply contract and relax the muscles that you use to stop urine flow. Start with a few repetitions of 10 seconds each, gradually increasing the duration and frequency of the contractions.
2. Pelvic floor drops
Pelvic floor drops involve relaxing and releasing the pelvic floor muscles, which can help to reduce tension and pain in the area. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that pelvic floor drops were effective in reducing pain and improving sexual function in women with vaginismus.
To do pelvic floor drops, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly, allowing your pelvic floor muscles to relax. Imagine that your pelvic floor muscles are dropping down and away from your body. Hold the relaxation for a few seconds, then inhale and repeat the exercise.
3. Child’s pose
Child’s pose is a yoga posture that involves sitting back on the heels with the knees apart and the forehead resting on the floor. This posture can help to stretch and release tension in the pelvic area. A study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that yoga, including child’s pose, can reduce the symptoms of vaginismus.
4. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation during sexual activity. Practice deep breathing exercises, inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. You can also try counting your breaths or visualizing a calming scene to help relax your mind and body.
Yoga can help improve flexibility, circulation, and relaxation in the pelvic area. Practice yoga poses that focus on stretching and opening the hips and pelvic region, such as the butterfly pose, the pigeon pose, or the child’s pose. Make sure to listen to your body and avoid any poses that feel uncomfortable or painful.
Also read: Painful intercourse? Try these 6 yoga poses to strengthen your pelvic floor
Overall, these studies suggest that the exercises can be effective in treating vaginismus. It is important to note that the effectiveness of these exercises may vary from person to person, and it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.