Vaginismus is an involuntary spasm of vaginal muscle and tightening of the vagina which makes intercourse or any kind of vaginal penetration painful or impossible. Women suffering from vaginismus might be also struggling with infertility.
Women with vaginismus do not consciously control the spasm of muscle. The vaginismus muscle reflex is like the response of the eye shutting when an object comes towards it. There is no reason to feel shame about it or keep the pain private.
What fertility treatment can help women who have vaginismus to get pregnant?
Treatment of vaginismus is a multistage process. Sometimes the couple cannot have successful intercourse for a while. If you are mentally exhausted, want to skip it for now and try to get pregnant, we can provide other fertility services to help you.
Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) is the most common initial treatment.
Intra-vaginal insemination could be performed in some cases.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) could be saved as the 2nd tier treatment if pregnancy is not achieved after several cycles of IUI treatment.
Everyone’s pain tolerance to transvaginal ultrasound probes is different. We typically let women try the initial insertion of the transvaginal ultrasound probe by themselves, if they would like to, and the doctor will take over the probe once the probe penetrates deep enough.
Trans-abdominal ultrasound could be another option to monitor the follicular and egg growth if trans-vaginal ultrasound is not tolerated.
We use a thin and small size speculum during IUI treatment. If you can’t tolerate the speculum at all, the IUI or IVF procedure can be performed under light sedation anesthesia. If intra-vaginal insemination is to be performed, the catheter is very thin (3mm in diameter) and anesthesia is usually not needed.