There is little in the scientific literature documenting the specific causes of vaginismus yet women with vaginismus appear to share certain aspects of a common history. In an unpublished review of internal data derived from the evaluation of more than 500 women with vaginismus, it became obvious that certain types of past history were noted to be in common.

Causes of Primary Vaginismus and Secondary Vaginismus

When the past history of primary vaginismus women (always had penetration difficulties, also known as “lifelong vaginismus”) was compared to women with secondary vaginismus (those who developed vaginismus later in life after having penetration without pain) differences were noted between the two groups. Primary vaginismus women were noted to more likely have a history of strict sexual upbringing (57% vs. 36%), strict religious upbringing (57.3% vs. 40.8) and parental teaching related to delaying intercourse (66.1% vs. 38.8%).  Additional variables included fear of sex, fear of first sexual encounter likely to report a history of genital trauma including accidental physical injury, radiation, childbirth or as a result of sexual abuse. 

So often women asked me “Why me?” Though we cannot always be certain of the causes of vaginismus, by understanding that women with vaginismus share certain aspects of a common past history, one can better understand that vaginismus can occur in women for reasons that are not always clear.

When Sex Seems Impossible, a book by Dr. Peter T. Pacik

The personal stories of women struggling with vaginismus were published in the book “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus & How You Can Achieve Intimacy” by Peter T. Pacik, MD, FACS which can be purchased both in paperback and Kindle through Amazon. This helps women understand that many causes may be responsible for the development of vaginismus. Effective treatment is available to help overcome vaginismus.