If you’ve ever tried having sex only to have it ruined by a searing pain in your vagina, then you might be suffering from a condition called vaginismus or vaginism. It’s when your muscles in that area involuntarily contract whenever penetration is attempted, and it becomes too painful to continue.
It can also occur whenever a tampon or vibrator—pretty much anything that needs to be inserted—touches the vaginal area. Though the condition has been linked to history of sexual abuse or trauma, medical professionals are unable to pinpoint an exact or direct cause.
Women who have vaginismus find it extremely difficult to experience sexual pleasure, and on some days, are unable to even get out of bed because of the pain. Lara, a producer at BuzzFeed, has had vaginismus for about 10 years now, and has spoken to several doctors about it. Recently, she decided to meet with plastic surgeons to see how effective botox is when it comes to alleviating some of the pain she experiences due to vaginismus.
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