What Is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition whereby women experience persistent difficulty with achieving vaginal penetration.

This is characterized by involuntary tightening and spasming of the vagina due to involuntary contraction of the pelvic muscles.

These involuntary muscle spasms occur when vaginal penetration is attempted in various situations, including during sexual intercourse, digital penetration, insertion of a tampon or a gynaecological examination.

Causes Of Vaginismus

Vaginismus is more common than we think it is. It is an under-diagnosed and under-reported female sexual problem that can affect up to 10% of women worldwide.

Vaginismus is often associated with or caused by anxiety disorders and fear.

This may be due to factors like:

Women suffering from vaginismus may feel alone or ashamed about their condition and often hesitate to seek treatment. Most women only seek help when they are trying to conceive.

It is important to understand that vaginismus is a very treatable medical problem.

Couple having problems

Types of Vaginismus

Vaginismus is typically classified as either primary or secondary.

Primary Vaginismus:

This is defined when a woman has never been able to achieve vaginal penetration or successful pain-free intercourse due to this involuntary muscle spasm. Some women with primary vaginismus are unable to wear tampons or undergo vagina examination. Many couples are also unable to consummate their relationship due to primary vaginismus.

Secondary Vaginismus

Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman is first able to have successful vaginal penetration, but later develops difficulty doing so years later. This is often precipitated or triggered by major life events such as :

Symptoms Of Vaginismus

Symptoms and severity of Vaginismus varies according to the individual woman.

Some of the symptoms suggestive of vaginismus include:

It is important to understand that vaginismus is a very treatable medical problem.

Think you're suffering from Vaginismus?


Diagnosis of vaginismus requires an experienced women’s health doctor.

Vaginismus is diagnosed through a thorough history taking which includes your sexual history, and a careful pelvic examination.

Your doctor may also perform certain investigations to ensure that there are no underlying medical conditions that cause your symptoms.

Treatment Of Vaginismus

vaginal dilator set

Vaginal Dilators and Pelvic Floor Exercise

Vaginal dilators play an important role in the treatment journey of vaginismus.

Vaginal dilators are tubes that come in varying sizes and resemble the shape of an actual penis.

You will be taught by our doctor on the techniques required to use them correctly and successfully.

This is an important step in the treatment process and will require patience and persistence.


Botox is not only used to erase wrinkles on our faces, but can also be used to relax the relevant pelvic muscles that spasm when penetration is attempted.

With botox, the vaginal muscles are relaxed which helps to reduce the involuntary spasms when penetration is attempted.

Topical Creams

Topical medication can be used in conjunction with the above methods to help relieve some of the pain or discomfort. This will help alleviate some fear and anxiety experienced by the women.

Sex Therapy

Psychosexual and relationship counselling is an important step to take during this journey, as vaginismus often has a major psychological component behind it.

Counselling can help women overcome their anxiety and fear, or cope with past trauma to overcome vaginismus.

This is an extremely crucial step in a successful treatment process.

At Ezra Clinic, we provide a safe environment for women to seek help for any sexual issues they may be facing. We specialize in treating female sexual health conditions like Vaginismus.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have Vaginismus?

If you are experiencing difficulties with sexual intercourse due to pain or problems faced during penetration, you could be suffering from Vaginismus.

Vaginismus may also manifest in other ways, such as the inability to insert a tampon, or difficulty with pelvic examinations in the medical setting.

If you are facing similar challenges, it is best to arrange for a consult early on to get treated.

Does vaginismus only occur in women who have never had sex?
No, it can affect women who have previously never had issues with intercourse before. Secondary vaginismus can occur in women after a particular traumatic or life changing event.
How long does it take to treat vaginismus?
Every patient’s journey is unique and women also present with varying severity of vaginismus. Successful treatment also largely depends on how cooperative and motivated the woman is. Some women may successfully get treated in a few months, while others take much longer.
Where can I get treated for Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is an extremely undiagnosed condition in Singapore and not many doctors are experienced with treating this condition.

It is important to visit a specialized women’s health clinic like Ezra Clinic that has a special focus in treating women with vaginismus.

Dr Michelle has successfully treated several women with vaginismus issues, with many of them going on to successfully consummate their marriage or conceive.

Think you're suffering from Vaginismus?


Dr Michelle Chia

Medical Director

After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Michelle's journey allowed her to train in Women's Health and Aesthetic Medicine. Her experience has led her to be featured on multiple media platforms including Radio Stations and prominent Magazines like Her World, Women's Weekly and CLEO. Her work has also received recognition both locally and internationally in several Medical Conferences.

Ezra Clinic is a Women’s Health, Wellness and Aesthetic Clinic that is conveniently located at the top floor of Royal Square Medical Suites in Novena, Singapore’s Medical Health Hub.

Helmed by Dr Michelle Chia, Ezra Clinic is your chosen one stop clinic for all your Women’s Health and Wellness needs.


    101 Irrawaddy Road #21-09, Royal Square Medical Centre, Singapore 329565

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