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Graded Penetration Exercises for Vaginismus

January 27, 2011

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus [vaj-uh-niz-muh s] is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. Learn more »

  1. Have a look at your vulva with a mirror in good light after a bath or shower.
  2. Gently hold apart the outer vaginal lips (labia majora,) and try to identify the clitoris, urethral opening, vaginal opening and inner lips, (labia minora). Notice the difference in texture, colour and sensitivity.
  3. Allow your partner to be with you when you feel comfortable doing this alone.
  4. Try inserting one finger, if painful concentrate on breathing and relaxing. See if you can feel the pelvic floor muscles contract and relax. Try massaging the tender mound of muscle at the back of the vagina. Think of it as a knot of muscle similar to in your neck or shoulder.
  5. Guide your partner to do the same when you feel able and relaxed.
  6. Try inserting 2 of your fingers or a small vibrator. Use plenty of lubricant unless you are sufficiently sexually aroused. Expect it to feel tight and uncomfortable but notice how you can control the muscles and make it more comfortable.
  7. Guide your partner to do the same when you feel able and relaxed. Try to incorporate penetration into sexual play. The vagina actually opens and lengthens as you become sexually aroused making penetration easier and more pleasurable.
  8. When attempting penile penetration for the first time make sure you are aroused and well lubricated. Kneel astride your partner, facing his head and lining up your knees with his nipples; this achieves the right angle in most couples. Use one hand to splay open the vulva and use the other to guide your partner’s penis. Contract your vaginal muscles strongly for a few seconds and, at the moment of relaxation, lower yourself onto his penis guiding him in with your hand. If penetration is successful then don’t move at all but simply enjoy the sensation and offer each other congratulations. If you are a virgin, a certain amount of discomfort should be expected. Once you feel comfortable try contacting your vaginal muscles gently or rocking very slightly back and forwards; don’t attempt to move up and down on the penis until you can accomplish these movements without pain.
  9. Your partner mustn’t thrust against you but offer encouragement and be patient! Once sexual intercourse has been achieved in this position, you can experiment with other positions, and with male penetration and thrusting. You should always feel in control however, as unpredictable activity can cause anxiety, apprehension and vaginal tension.
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