“Vaginismus” is vaginal resistance to penetration, usually painful, and historically presumed to be muscular in nature—the vagina clamping shut, a kind of cramp. It’s hard to imagine a more hopelessly distorted topic in all of pain medicine. Pain + sex + sexism = near total medical/scientific failure. There’s barely any research, and many doctors have never even heard of it, let alone know how to help (or even respond respectfully).
And many women have never heard of it. Even women who live with it.
I studied chronic pain intensely for over a decade before I even learned that vaginismus was a thing. Incredible. We must do better.
And this is why we need Vaginismus Awareness Day. Which is today, Sep 15. This was started in 2015 by Sh! Womenstore, a British sex toy shop with a focus on sex education and outreach. Sh! says, “Studies tell us that at least 2 in 1,000 women & vulva-owners experience Vaginismus once in their lifetime. We think this figure is far higher.” I bet they are right about that, but let’s find out more objectively: take their vaginismus survey!
I just posted several upgrades to my own vaginismus article. Seemed like a good day for it!