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VAGINISMUS: DEFINITION, CAUSES AND TREATMENT


Definition:
According to Wikipedia, “Vaginismus, sometimes called vaginism and genito-pelvic pain disorder, is a condition that affects a woman’s ability to engage in vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse, manual penetration, insertion of tampons or menstrual cups, and the penetration involved in gynecological examinations (pap tests)”.

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Types of Vaginismus:

Vaginismus can be experienced by women at any age or time in life. There are two major classifications:
* Primary vaginismus and
*Secondary vaginismus.
The medical community typically uses these terms to indicate the time of onset. These labels assist the professionals and researchers in diagnosis and classification. For the individual woman, the distinction between the two types tend to be of low significance. The good news is that both are highly treatable.
Primary Vaginismus:

Primary vaginismus usually refers to the experience of vaginismus with first-time intercourse attempts. Usually, primary vaginismus will be discovered when a woman attempts to have sex for the very first time. The spouse/partner is unable to achieve penetration and it is like he “bumps into a wall” where there should be the opening to the vagina, making entry impossible or extremely difficult. Primary vaginismus is a common cause of many sexless, unconsummated marriages. Some women with primary vaginismus will also experience problems with tampon insertion or having gynecological exams.
Primary vaginismus is often idiopathic.

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Secondary Vaginismus:

Secondary vaginismus usually refers to the experience of developing vaginismus a little later in life, after a period of pain-free intercourse. Medical conditions such as yeast infections, cancer, trauma (such as rape) or thinning of the vaginal walls due to menopause can trigger the vaginismus condition. Vaginismus should be considered when a woman continues to experience ongoing sexual pain after her medical problem has been treated and healed. A woman’s ability to experience orgasms can also be affected as a sudden pain spasm may abruptly terminate the arousal buildup toward orgasm (we would all agree that this can be a nuisance). Some women with secondary vaginismus may also experience difficulty with gynecological exams or tampon insertion due to involuntary tightness.
Variations in the Classifications:

Note that these definitions can be a bit restrictive in some cases. For example, some women are able to tolerate years of uncomfortable but bearable intercourse with gradually increasing pain and discomfort that eventually becomes so pronounced that sex is no longer bearable. Women may also experience years of intermittent difficulty with entry or movement and have to constantly be on their guard to try to control and relax their pelvic area when it suddenly “acts up.”
Vaginismus has a wide range of manifestations, from impossible penetration, to intercourse with discomfort, pain or burning, all resulting from involuntary pelvic tightness.
Other Classifications:

Beyond the above basic classifications, physicians and specialists may use other medical terms referring to vaginismus such as:
Apareunia is a general term that refers to a condition where one is unable to have sexual intercourse. Vaginismus is one type of apareunia (if it is completely preventing penetrative intercourse).

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Causes:

Some common triggers for Vaginismus include:
*Fear of pain associated with penetration, particularly the popular misconception of “breaking” the hymen upon the first attempt at penetration, or the idea that vaginal penetration will inevitably hurt the first time it occurs.
*Chronic pain conditions and harm-avoidance behaviour.
any physically invasive trauma (not necessarily involving or even near the genitals)
*Generalized anxiety
*Stress
*Negative emotional reaction towards sexual stimulation, e.g. disgust both at a deliberate level and also at a more implicit level.
*Strict conservative moral education, which also can elicit negative emotions.
Etiology:
The pain experienced during vaginismus is caused by the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles – specifically the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group – leading to generalized muscle spasm and temporary cessation of breathing. Most times this is involuntary and psychological.
Treatment:
Vaginismus is highly treatable. Successful vaginismus treatment does not require drugs, surgery, hypnosis, nor any other complex invasive technique. It is mostly psychological in nature. Effective treatment approaches combine pelvic floor control exercises, insertion or dilation training, pain elimination techniques, transition steps, and exercises designed to help women identify, express and resolve any contributing emotional components.
Sex Therapy & Counseling:
Education typically involves learning about your anatomy and what happens during sexual arousal and intercourse. You’ll get information about the muscles involved in vaginismus too. This can help you understand how the parts of the body work and how your body is responding. Counseling may involve you alone or with your partner. Working with a counselor who specializes in sexual disorders may be helpful. Relaxation techniques and hypnosis may also promote relaxation and help you feel more comfortable with intercourse.
Vaginal Dilators:
Your doctor or professional may recommend learning to use vaginal dilators under the supervision of a professional.
Place the cone-shaped dilators in your vagina. The dilators will get progressively bigger. This helps the vaginal muscles stretch and become flexible. To increase intimacy, have your partner help you insert the dilators. After completing the course of treatment with a set of dilators, you and your partner can try to have intercourse again.

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Kegel Exercises:
To perform Kegel exercises, repeatedly tighten and relax your pelvic floor muscles, which control your vagina, rectum, and bladder. You can locate these muscles when you’re urinating. After you begin to urinate, stop the stream. You’re using your pelvic floor muscles to do this. You may feel them tighten and move. These muscles move as a group, so they all contract and relax at the same time.
Practicing these exercises helps you control when your muscles contract and relax. Follow these steps:
  1. Empty your bladder.
  2. Contract your pelvic floor muscles, and count to 10.
  3. Relax your muscles, and count to 10.
  4. Repeat this cycle 10 times, three times a day.
  5. To successfully strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, don’t engage the muscles of your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs when doing these exercises.
After a few days, insert one finger, up to about the first knuckle joint, inside the vagina while doing the exercises. It’s a good idea to clip your fingernails first and use a lubricating jelly. Or do the exercises in a bathtub, where water is a natural lubricant. Start with one finger and work your way up to three. You’ll feel the vagina’s muscles contracting around your finger, and you can always take your finger out if you’re not comfortable.
This approach is called progressive desensitization and the idea is to get comfortable with insertion.
Sources:

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Uncategorized

WORKING OUT FOR THE BEDROOM 2

Even More Tips for Better Sex!

If pushups, crunches, and deadlifts aren’t your idea of a sweaty good time, you’ve still got plenty of exercise options to help keep things steamy.

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Pick your pleasure. 

Rather walk, swim, or jog? How about Pilates or yoga ? Maybe you prefer biking or skiing? Great, because Paul Frediani, fitness coach and co-author of Sex Flex: The Way to Enhanced Intimacy and Pleasure , says barring any health problems, cardiovascular exercise of any kind is a great way to stimulate your sex life, now trust me, enjoying the stuff you do helps relieves you of the stress of the activity, makes you look forward to it and enhances it’s benefits.
But you’ll want to avoid the weekend warrior syndrome to get the most bang for your exercise buck. Aim for a 30-minute workout five times a week. Get your blood pumping regularly and the payoff is simple: endurance, more strength to hold positions, and the flexibility to hold them in comfort. Now that’s sexy. *wink*

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Bonus: Better Erections!
Wowza!

You may already be sold on the benefits of exercise, but here’s a bonus at no extra charge. Exercise may help beat erectile dysfunction. One study showed that, for men over 50, being physically active means a 30% lower risk of erectile dysfunction as compared to men who are sedentary. Studies also show a strong link between
obesity and ED.
In addition, people who exercise often have a better body image than people who don’t. This can help them feel more sexually appealing. “One study found that 80% of men and 60% of females who exercised two to three times a week felt their sexual desirability was above average,” Weil says.

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Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!

If you’re not lasting as long as you’d like in bed, you might need some practice. While sex is the best way to practice for sex, masturbation can also help you improve your longevity.
However, how you masturbate could have detrimental effects. If you rush through it, you could inadvertently decrease the time you last with your partner. The secret is making it last, just like you want to when you’re not alone.

Certain foods can also help you increase blood flow.

These foods include:
Onions and garlic: 

These foods may not be great for your breath, but they can help your blood circulation.

Bananas: 

This potassium-rich fruit can help lower your blood pressure, which can benefit your important sexual parts and boost sexual performance.

Chilies and peppers:

All-natural spicy foods help your blood flow by reducing hypertension and inflammation.

Here are some more foods that can help you achieve better blood flow:

Omega-3 acids: 

This type of fat increases blood flow. You can find it in salmon, tuna, avocados, and olive oil.

Vitamin B-1: 

This vitamin helps signals in your nervous system move quicker, including signals from your brain to your penis. It’s found in pork, peanuts, and kidney beans.

Eggs: 

High in other B vitamins, eggs help balance hormone levels. This can decrease stress that often inhibits an erection.

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Sources:

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/male-sexual-performance.Accessed 27th July, 2016.

http://www.askmen.com/dating/love_tip_250/287b_love_tip.html

http://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercises-better-sex. Accessed 27th July, 2016.

Hamilton, L.D., Rellini, A.H., & Meston, C.M. “Cortisol, sexual arousal, and affect in response to sexual stimuli” Journal of Sexual Medicine 5 (2008): 2111-18.Accessed 27th July, 2016.

Ojanlatva, A., et al. “Sexual activity and perceived health among FinnisAccessed 27th July, 2016.h middle-aged women.” Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 4 (2006).Accessed 27th July, 2016.

McNamara, E., Alfred-Thomas, J., & Freedland, S.J., “Exercise Correlates to Higher Sexual Function Scores in a Cohort of Healthy Men” (paper presented at the 105 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, 31 May 2010).Accessed 27th July, 2016.

His and Her Heath. ” Smoking, Lack of Exercise Impacts Sexual and Urinary Function .” Accessed 27th July, 2016.

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