Persistent difficulty and inability to let inside the private part (vagina) any foreign object such as male genital organ (penis), a finger or any other object, despite a woman’s expressed wish to do so. This is due to variable involuntary (without our wish/control) muscular contraction of pelvis (muscles near our private parts), avoidance and anticipation/fear/experience of pain.
The primary motive for consultation in females with vaginismus is often the desire to start a family and/or to save the relationship. The women often avoid having a gynecological examination. In addition to not being able to experience intercourse, women may experience the following symptoms: fear and anxiety about penetration, marked tensing or tightening of the pelvic floor muscles, as well as marked vulvar pain, either in anticipation of, during, or as a result of vaginal penetration attempts.
The pain is often described as a sharp pain or a burning sensation around the opening and inside of the vagina. Women often refer to this tensing as some sort of “blockage” or “wall” that prevents penetration. Women with vaginismus may also report that their anatomy is not normal or that they feel defective, e.g., “they are too small inside” or “[that] it doesn’t fit” and may experience shame and disgust regarding their genitals.