Muscle spasms in the vagina, or vaginismus, occur without the woman’s awareness or control, causing extreme tightness at the vaginal opening. Vaginismus.com states women suffering from vaginal muscle spasms cannot participate in sexual intercourse because the penis will not penetrate the vagina. Both physical and mental issues can lead to this disorder. The awareness of pain, actual or potential, in the vaginal area can unintentionally cause the surrounding muscles to tighten.
While sometimes no direct cause may be identified, Vaginismus.com states fear, anxiety and commitment concerns have been associated with vaginal muscle spasms. Other known reasons involve traumatic sexual experiences, history of sexual abuse or inadequate knowledge regarding sex.
Urinary Tract Infections
The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse states women suffering from urinary tract infections often experience discomfort around the pubic area along with burning and pain while emptying the bladder. Urinary tract infections, according to Vaginismus.com, cause the opening of the urethra, or tube leading out of the bladder, to swell and become tender.
The accumulation of endometrial material outside the endometrium or endometriosis can lead to abnormal structural changes within the vagina, according to MayoClinic.com. Endometriosis causes painful menstrual cycles and ovulation for women, pain during intercourse, pelvic pain during bowel movements and urination and can scar fallopian tubes and inhibit egg fertilization.
As women age, hormone levels begin to fluctuate, points out the National Institute on Aging. This change in hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, can cause dryness in the vagina, increase a woman’s chance of vaginal or urinary infections and eventually lead to menopause or the absence of menstruation. Menopause can occur naturally or be surgically induced by the removal of the ovaries. Menopause affects each woman differently and occasionally results in a lack of sexual interest.
Women’s Cancer Network reports vaginal cancer may go undetected, with women not exhibiting any symptoms until the cancerous cells have spread. Cancer of the vagina causes pain during intercourse, pain in the pelvis, including when voiding, constipation and abnormal bleeding. Tumors present in the vaginal canal can also cause pain as well as obstruction.