Vaginismus (Vaginal Tightness) is a condition when vaginal tightness causes discomfort, burning and pain. It makes penetration difficult and often causes complete inability to engage in vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse, manual penetration, insertion of tampons or menstrual cups, and the penetration involved in gynaecological examinations (pap tests).

Symptoms of vaginismus may include:

  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia), such as  burning, stinging or tightness that cause pain
  • Difficult or impossible Penetration
  • Long-term sexual pain with or without a known cause
  • Pain during tampon insertion
  • Pain during gynaecological examination (PAP Smear)
  • General muscle spasm or breathing cessation during attempted intercourse.

(The symptoms of vaginismus vary person to person)

This condition is in fact far more common that women realised. The vaginal tightening is NOT deliberate nor is it an intentional act.

It happens involuntarily.

Women with this problem are unaware that their pelvic floor muscle, specifically their pubococcygeal muscles are spasming and tightening, out of their voluntary control.

Even if you have had comfortable penetrative sex in the past, vaginismus can STILL develop thereafter.

It can be triggered by events like childbirth, surgeries, vagina infections and menopause.

This can happen during attempts of vaginal entry, whether it’s during insertion of tampons, vaginal sexual intercourse or vaginal medical examination in the doctor’s room.

Even if you have had comfortable penetrative sex in the past, vaginismus can STILL develop thereafter.

It can be triggered by events like childbirth, surgeries, genital infections and menopause.

Many women feel intense shame from being unable to have intercourse and keep their pain and distress to themselves. Some women are unable to consummate their marriages.

Treatment for Vaginismus (Vaginal Tightness)

But Remember Vaginismus is TREATABLE. Full restoration of sexual intercourse can be achieved.

First, it is important to ensure that there are no physical conditions such as infections or inflammatory dermatitis or structural abnormality triggering the pain and preventing successful penetration.

A physical examination of the EXTERNAL genitals is necessary at your visit your doctor.

Vaginismus is treated by releasing the muscle tension in muscles of the pelvic floor, thighs, and abdomen. This can be done with the use of biofeedback devices such as these.

vaginal tightness pelvic-trainer-Biofeedback device

Biofeedback Device (Pelvic Trainer)

Biofeedback device (Pelvic Trainer)

The Biofeedback device is inserted into the vagina. The device emits a sound or a vibration to feedback to the user that there is over-tightening and this encourages the user to voluntarily relax her muscles.

Desensitization techniques are used to give the woman control over muscle tone and relaxation. Such desensitization activities include Kegel exercises, the pelvic floor drop technique (reverse Kegel), and the use of dilators.

Self-insertion of dilators of gradually increasing size in and out of the vagina puts a woman in control and allows her to learn that the vaginal muscle can be voluntarily controlled and penetration can be painless.

Dilators (Vaginismus)

Dilators (Vaginismus)


Dilators are NOT designed to enlarge the vaginal opening but to gradually desensitise the tense vaginal muscles.

Topical anaesthetic creams are used to numb to area during this process to allow for successful painless desensitisation.

Dilators are NOT designed to enlarge the vaginal opening, in fact they are design to desensitise these tense muscles.

Vaginismus cannot be treated in a single session in the doctor’s clinic. It involves a program where you work closely with your doctors using dilators and biofeedback devices.

Your doctors will also have you work with a women’s health physiotherapist for pelvic floor training to achieve successful pain-free penetration over a period of time.

Call our partner clinics at +65 6976 5023 or drop them an email at to book an appointment with their doctor today.

Need a Female Doctor?

Having Women’s Health concerns? Please visit or contact our partner clinics at their GP Plus Clinics in Singapore. They are open on weekends too.

For more information, please visit DTAP Clinic website, or email them at



  1. Foo bee bee
    Foo bee bee says:

    Good morning Dr. Rachel, I have encounter excruciating pain above my left breast whenever I sleep on my left side.. strangely no pain when I’m playing badminton & carrying heavy stuff.. please help as it has been a week. Thanks

  2. Zyan Nang
    Zyan Nang says:

    Hi Doctor, Thanks for your consulting.
    I’m 27 years old. I feel delayed period 2 months & 2 weeks ready although i taking the pills for delayed period. I’m not pregnant when i test the pregnancy test 2 times. But I have been having vagina itchy for a few weeks and only come the white yeast and get some smell. My previous menstruation also delayed 2 months. But now never come at all although i feel some pain inside my abdominal and i feel headache like before coming period. I just want to see the doctor and may i know the consultation charge.

    Thanks & Regards,