Vaginismus is the recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina that interferes with intercourse.
This condition can present with or without pain and can be situational (only present at specific times, places or in certain conditions).
When attempting intercourse, there is an involuntary tightness of the vagina, The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or 'will' the tightness to occur; it is an involuntary pelvic response. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem.
In some cases vaginismus tightness may begin to cause burning, pain, or stinging during intercourse. In other cases, penetration may be difficult or completely impossible. Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsumated relationships. The tightness can be so restrictive that the opening to the vagina is 'closed off' altogether and the man is unable to insert his penis. The pain of vaginismus ends when the sexual attempt stops, and usually intercourse must be halted due to pain or discomfort.
Dyspareunia is a recurrent pattern of genital pain which can be experienced by a male or a female before, during or after penetration. In women this can often be confused with Vaginismus. There are numerous possible causes of genital pain in men and women.
If you are expeiencing pain I would recommend a visit to your GP to check whether there is a physical reason for your discomfort. Once the possibility of a physical origin has been eliminated, a Psychosexual Therapist can then explore and help you with the psychological, or relational factors that may be playing a part in these very uncomfortable conditions.
Please contact me to discuss this further.