Vagi-what?? Chances are, if you’ve found yourself on this blog, you’ve already heard the word vaginismus, but in case you haven’t, here’s the shortform definition from vaginismus.com:
What is vaginismus? Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse.
Based on my personal experience, the description that I’ve found the most accurate is a “panic attack in the vagina” (this quote is taken from TLC’s show “Strange Sex – Secret Pain”).
But what about that other long, scary term, vulvar vestibulitis? What the heck is that?
What is vulvar vestibulitis? Also known as vulvodynia, this can be defined as chronic vulvar discomfort with complaints of burning and superficial irritation (thank you, medilexicon.com). In plain English, vulvar vestibulitis is pain in the vulva area (vagina), and more specifically in the “vestibule” of the vagina (the entrance).
In the case of both vaginismus and vulvar vestibulitis, the level of discomfort or pain can vary, and the causes are also varied. For more information on either of these conditions, check out the Resources page.