Lately, Adekunle has been confused, angry and frustrated. His wife, Darima has refused to have sex with him for over a month. She had continued to turn down his sexual advances despite the doctor’s confirmation that nothing is wrong with her after examining her physically. Darima has refused to put him into consideration, neglecting his feelings as if they were completely irrelevant. He is so tired of being rejected all the time. Is there anything wrong in desiring to have sex with the woman he loves? Is it wrong for him to desire the emotional connection that comes from having sex with his own wife? Could there be something wrong with him that keeps her from not wanting to have sex with him?
Adekunle was beginning to feel unwanted and unappreciated. Although he isn’t a perfect husband, he is doing his best and he also understands her pain. He can vividly remember his last sexual encounter with his wife. It was so difficult penetrating her and when he eventually did, Darima had let out a cry not out of pleasure but rather out of pain. He could barely look into her eyes for he knew how much it hurt her. The pain, he also felt, not just emotionally but physically too – his penis hurt even after two days. He understands that his wife is hurt but he is hurt too and he does not know what to do.
Adekunle, however, does not know that Darima’s refusal to have sex with him is due to the pain she experiences at every sexual intercourse attempt due to a condition called vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a condition where a woman’s vagina is tightened as a result of the involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor (vaginal muscle) causing discomfort, burning and pain; making penetration painful, difficult or impossible.
Its symptoms are burning pain which can be felt before, during or after penetration; and difficult or impossible penetration.
As the man approaches to insert his penis inside the vagina, the vagina muscles involuntarily tightens the vagina entrance making penetration impossible. At other times, penetration may be possible but the woman experiences involuntary tightness resulting to pain, discomfort and burning.
Vaginismus can be caused either by a physical factor (infections, childbirth, menopause, side-effects of certain medications, reduced vaginal lubrication and effects of certain surgeries), or emotional factor (fear, anxiety, traumatic experiences, childhood upbringing and relational issues with sexual partner).
In order to successfully treat vaginismus, it would be helpful to identify its cause. Treatment approach would usually involve both physical and psychological. The time it takes for the condition to be treated would depend on the individual. Once treatments have been received, vaginismus often resolves and the woman is able to have sex and enjoy it.