Vaginismus psychology

Although there is no discomfort such as vaginismus, any abnormality or infection in the genital organs, pain and pain occur in attempts to have intercourse; Involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, including the vagina, resulting in tightness of the vagina, making sexual intercourse difficult or having sexual intercourse in a very painful way.

Our brain’s response to feelings of anxiety and fear is a flight or fight response. This response occurs automatically and does not change according to the stimulus. The only thing our brain considers here is what emotion is. Emotions of anxiety and fear are usually reactions in situations that endanger the organism, and the brain has to make quick decisions in order to survive. He does not say, “Wait, let me see, what is the fear, let me evaluate it first, maybe there is no danger”. This mechanism in the brain is very valuable and necessary for an organism to survive. However, this mechanism can sometimes complicate our lives through conditioning. Think about phobias, cat phobia… Cat is not a harming animal under normal conditions. However, a memory of the cat, a story he heard, or seeing someone else’s fearful reaction to the cat may reveal a behavior of escaping from the cat, along with a sense of anxiety and fear about the cat.

So what does this explanation have to do with vaginismus?

The culture one lives in teaches a lot of things. Sexuality is also influenced by culture. What that culture teaches about sexuality affects a person’s sex life. Now let’s think, why does a woman who marries lovingly and willingly feel anxiety and fear on the first night? Because the stories she heard before, she created an expectation of pain and suffering in that woman. When we get close to something hot, we immediately pull our hand away because we expect it to hurt. Exactly in this way, the expectation of pain and pain causes involuntary contractions in the muscles, and the woman closes her legs and causes reactions to push and move away from her partner. If a person hears stories of a bleeding woman who is bleeding, who is hardly brought to the hospital during her growing up period, or stories that do not reflect the truth about the spouses being locked in during sexual intercourse; If he is brought up in fear by his family, embarrassed or intimidated by his sexual questions, “are you going to be …… to us?” if it gets the reaction, our brain will perceive the event as being very scary, painful and painful or as something dirty that should be avoided; will naturally react to escape to protect himself; the muscles will contract involuntarily, making it difficult to have intercourse.

Sexual Loop

Another factor that causes vaginismus is not behaving in accordance with the sexual cycle during sexual activity. sexual cycle;

1. Sexual Desire

2. Sexual Arousal (Foreplay)

3. Sexual Coupling

4. Orgasm

5. Thaw

consists of stages. Sometimes sexual arousal precedes sexual desire, and sexual desire may occur after arousal. In cases of vaginismus that occur in the first night, pain and pain occur because the couples do not progress in accordance with this sexual cycle, and because the vagina is passed to the stage of intercourse before it is ready for sexual intercourse. Pain and pain occur due to sexual arousal that should last for 12-15 minutes, that is, the shorter duration of foreplay, as a result of not enough secretion in the vagina, less slipperiness and pain and pain due to friction. In this case, again, the woman pushes her husband and does not allow the union. In the subsequent trials, involuntary contractions make the relationship difficult, since a conditioning that will hurt occurs.

Apart from these, situations such as sexually traumatic events in childhood, the meanings attributed to the hymen, the desire of the society to see blood after the first night, and forced marriage can also cause vaginismus.

in vaginismus Solution

Vaginismus cases constitute the majority of women who seek help due to sexual dysfunction, and it is thought that one out of every 10 women in Turkey has vaginismus problems.

A woman with vaginismus is assisted with a cognitive and behavioral approach. In the cognitive approach, the meanings ascribed to sexuality are reframed by applying the method we call cognitive restructuring by considering the dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs in the mind about sexuality. In addition, the person is educated about the structure and function of the genitals, the changes that occur in the body and genitals during sexual intercourse.

In the behavioral approach, exploring the pelvic floor muscles by applying kegel exercises and teaching these muscles to voluntarily contract and relax; bringing the person to a relaxed state mentally and physically by teaching breathing relaxation and muscle relaxation techniques; Methods such as systematic desensitization of the vagina to any contact with finger exercise are applied.

If there is an underlying trauma, this trauma should also be addressed with therapeutic interventions. Vaginismus may disappear without dealing with the trauma, but the burden of the trauma will affect the person’s life in a way, and if it has caused vaginismus today, it may cause another psychosomatic problem tomorrow.

Vaginismus is a problem that is very easy and quick to solve when handled with an experienced sex therapist. The number of people who have experienced this problem for years but do not seek help is quite high. The support of couples who have this problem is necessary for a happy union. It is important for individuals who have concerns about sexuality before marriage to receive a sexual counseling service in order to prevent possible problems in the future.

Addressing the problems in the couple relationship is also necessary for the couple to have a healthy sexual life. Couples who know how to listen to each other, show interest in each other, spend quality time together, pay attention to each other’s wishes and expectations, and know how to express their wishes and expectations appropriately will undoubtedly have a happier sex life.

exp. Ps. Elif EKER

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