In this section, vaginismus and it's treatment methods in the Hera Women’s Health Center are explained with the question and answer method.
Who encounters vaginismus mostly?
Vaginismus is actually a problem that is encountered all around the world. There are many specialized centers working on this matter.
Because of certain culture specific reasons, vaginismus cases are more frequent in Turkey and Moslem population. When the personal histories of the women, who apply to Hera Women’s Health Center, are taken, it has been observed that:
► They were sexually abused in their childhood or teenage years
► They were treated strictly by their parents since their childhood ("syndrome of being a nice girl")
► Their mental personalities have not matured fully (immature personality type)
► They have been raised by their families or in environments under strict moral and religious values.
Yet some women, who suffer from vaginismus, consists of people who are raised in quite modern families without any strict education of moral or religious character and have high levels of education and culture. With these kinds of women there is no apparent reason detected at the first glance.
Although it seems like she has forgotten, certain fears are cast away into the subconscious and stored there. According to our studies conducted at the Hera Clinic, causes for the development of the vaginismus problem differ according to societies. For example, in the Western societies, the most frequent cause for vaginismus is considered past sexual abuses, whereas in our country (Turkey) cultural, moral and religious causes are more widely effective.
The point that should not be forgotten here is that vaginismus is not the mutual problem of only strict and normative societies, but it is a problem which is encountered widely at every social and cultural level of the society.
Patients, who receive treatment at our clinic, consist of many people that possess different cultural constitutions. Yet, it does not change the fact that everyone can encounter vaginismus problem, even if the person is a doctor moreover a gynecologist (thus we had many patients and couples who were both doctors and gynecologists).
How frequent is vaginismus in Turkey?
According to a research conducted by CETAD (Sexual Education Treatment and Research Association) in 2006 on 1500 people, every one person out of ten suffers from vaginismus problem. Thus, 10% of the people in our society are either not having any sexual intercourse with their spouses or suffering from pain during it.
It should not be forgotten that vaginismus is not just the problem of Muslim countries like ours. Vaginismus problem exists in all countries around the world (U.S.A, European countries, Australia etc…) and there many private centers working on this matter.
Can vaginismus be treated in a single session?
In most cases, vaginismus is a deeply rooted serious problem. Although, you face this problem during marriage, it is impossible to know exactly where it is rooted or when it started.
Negative inculcations and prejudices acquired since childhood about sexuality, first night and hymen, almost like a computer’s memory, instill themselves into the subconscious. Erasing these needless fears and instilling correct information and reforming the memory, take time. As you would not expect a child to run before crawl, it is time consuming for a person to overcome her deficiencies and fears and become psychologically ready. Only exceptional cases are light vaginismus patients who only have deficiency in knowledge and do not have much fear or contraction.
With patients who themselves or their spouses do not have much experience, by giving them the necessary information, the problem can even be solved in a single session. Other than that, vaginismus is a really serious and big problem that cannot be treated in a single session.
What is the first step in vaginismus treatment?
Our first step in our treatment, which lasts about an hour, consists of listening to the patient’s brief life story, parent structure, the way she has been brought up, information about her current marriage and her sexual experiences and to give detailed information about vaginismus.
After getting some information about the spouse (husband) as well, in order to make a definite diagnosis, a simple gynecological examination that only last for few minutes is conducted. With the gynecological examination which is very easy, painless and only last for a few minutes, a person’s external genitalia is assessed by visual observation, the magnitude of the contractions are considered and couples are informed about the situation.
Vaginismus is a problem that does not have a standard treatment program, but a one that necessitates a “personally tailored” treatment. Therefore, after taking the detailed personal accounts of the patients, together with a simple gynecological examination, treatments must be planned according to the causes and the level of contractions.
The executed gynecological examination is actually not a real gynecological examination, but it is just the visual observation of the external genitalia and it is necessary for determining the level of the contractions.
In our clinic Hera Women’s Health Center, we categorize vaginismus in four groups “from one positive to four positive” according to the level of contractions. In this categorization, one positive signifies light, two and three positive medium and four positive the most severe cases.
In our clinic, our patient and her spouse’s adaptation to the treatment, their patience and determination, execution of the simple home works regularly, would not change our 100% success rate in the treatment even in the severest cases. (The severeness of the problem may only affect the treatment program and maybe the duration of the treatment)
At our center, our patients never feel pain or an ache during “either the examination or the treatments”. Therefore, there is no need for you to fear the treatment or the examinations or to be embarrassed about them.
The gynecological assessment that we make of our patients at the first meeting only takes about a few seconds and consists of only a visual observation.
To whom should a woman suffering from a sexual relation problem consult?
In the case of a lack of a sexual relation or when it is a painful and distressing one, the first address you should consult to is a trusted gynecologist. The troubles in a sexual problem can be diagnosed definitely with a simple gynecological examination.
Although vaginismus is 90% a psychological problem, in 10% it is related to organic (anatomical and pathological reasons about that region) causes. The organic causes outside the psychological ones are:
► Vagina’s being atrophic (being quite smaller than normal)
► Insufficient or deficient lubrication in the vagina
► Septums in the vagina
► Vagina ending blind ("Mayer-Rokitansky-Kustner-Hauser syndrome")
► Hymen being thicker and higher edged than normal
“Dyspareunia” means “painful sexual intercourse”. Although vaginismus is a cause for dyspareunia, in this condition, usually there may be underlying diseases and in such a case, certain surgical and medicine treatments may provide definite solutions.
Such cases as, infections in the vagina and vulva region, previously had vaginal operations, not fully recovered cuts of the perineum region (episiotomy) during birth giving, tumors and in vulva vestibulitis, patients can benefit from surgical and medicine treatments.
Click for detailed information about dyspareunia >>
Who can give vaginismus treatments?
Vaginismus treatments can be given by gynecologist, psychologist or psychiatrist doctors who have taken “special educations” in sexual treatments. The important point in this is the knowledge, experience and educations in sexual therapies of the doctor who is going to apply the treatment.
As there is yet no specialty field such as “sexology” in our country (Turkey), a few specialists, who have educated themselves in this matter, are working in the trajectory of their own experiences. The point that should not be forgotten is that, in the right clinic and in the right way a treatment should be initiated. In the last four years, more than 350 patients benefitted from the treatments with a 100% success rate in our clinic.
Click for the scientific studies that we conducted about vaginismus treatments at our clinic >>
How are vaginismus treatments conducted at our center?
The treatments we apply to our patients at our center are not standard but “personally tailored” and entail combinations of cognitive, behavioral and hypnosis treatments (hypnotherapy).
For example, certain patients may benefit from hypnotherapy and their treatments are more hypnosis based. Some and usually the most of the patients are suitable for behavioral therapies and their treatments are more behavioral sexual therapy based.
After listening to the histories of the patients in the first meeting and then conducting a simple gynecological examination, people are informed about their own genital systems, their misconceptions and deficiencies in information are corrected. Later, with some easy and painless exercises (behavioral therapy) treatments are continued. Exercises are given to the patients as home work as well.
If it is necessary, supporting by hypnotherapies, people are relaxed and loosened.
How many sessions do the treatments take in average at our center?
You do not have to wait for month for vaginismus treatment anymore… With the vaginismus treatments at our center, problem is solved very fast. Vaginismus treatments are generally 2 to 5 sessions long.
In average, this means one week of treatment. However, depending on the situation, this number may increase or decrease between 1 or 10 sessions.
After the initial meeting and the gynecologic examination, the level of the vaginismus, the cost of the treatment and approximately how many sessions it will take, can be told to the couples.
How long are the session intervals and the treatment durations?
Session intervals can be arranged according to our patients’ abilities to come to our clinic. As we are able to take our patients, who live in Ankara daily or every other day, treatment durations are less. We advise our patients, who are going to come from outside the city (far places), as to arrange their stays in Ankara approximately about 7 days.
We also help our patiets for the reservations of our recommended hotels nearby our clinic.
The period of stay should not coincide with the menstrual period of the person. If there is such a situation, please call us before so that patient’s period can be taken forward or backward through some medications.
Throughout the treatment, we can achieve a solution through sessions, by using a concentrated program that would take about 1 to 2 hours.
Especially couples, who live near Ankara and are able to come to the city only on the weekends, can arrange themselves as to come weekly on Saturdays.
Treatment sessions can be programmed according to the places people com from, job conditions they have and their conditions for transportation. With people who can attend treatments regularly, vaginismus problem can be solved between 2 to 5 days in average, yet it can also vary between 1 to 15 days depending on the situation.
Vaginismus treatments that are applied in a concentrated way are very Scientific, Easy, Fast and Absolutely Painless.
What affects the success of the treatment?
First of all, the most important factor that affects the success in the treatment is the “trust”. Trust has three different dimensions: first of all trust in the self, then to the doctor who applies the treatment and last to the treatment method; because, without trust, there cannot be sexual therapy.
Together with determination, patience, belief and ambition that the couples show to overcome their problems, to do their home works willingly, to be patient and relaxed as much as possible, are the most important factors that ease and accelerate the treatment.
The home works given are the reviews of the exercises executed in the clinic and they aim to enable the person to practice and develop herself. Although they may seem boring at the beginning, in time, the home works will become simple and turn into “home games”.
One of the important factors that affect success in the vaginismus treatment is the motivating attitudes husbands have for their spouses. Husbands do not need to be literally with their spouses during their treatments, but the support they give their spouses and treatments, even it is by phone, is extremely important.
Husbands must be more understanding, tolerant, patient and giving during the treatments of their spouses. A man, who does not support the treatment and does not approach his spouse in a warm manner, is one of the significant obstacles in the treatment process. A woman who is taking vaginismus treatment already sees herself as quite unsuccessful and insufficient and blames herself for receiving such a treatment.
As it has been told in the section for the causes of vaginismus, vaginismus is the psychological outcome of certain incorrect and exaggerated information or unpleasant sexual experiences cast into the subconscious since the very early ages in the childhood and to get rid of the problem entirely may take time depending on the person. Therefore, willpower, sacrifice and patience are a must. The beautiful point here is that after resolving your problem in a short time, sexuality enters your life and you are able to give birth to a child! This beautiful moment will be enough to wipe away all the hardship you lived out of your memory.
Having no resolve for your problem with the previously applied wrong and insufficient sexual therapies, would put you into distress and consume your hopes. “To start the right treatment at the right center” are the most crucial factors that affect the duration of the treatment and its success.
Is it a must for the spouses to join the treatment?
In our clinic, there is no such rule as mandatory spouse involvement in the vaginismus treatments. Although vaginismus is considered a couple’s problem, the person who is really affected is the woman and in the treatments, first of all, it is aimed to stop the involuntary contractions of the pelvic base muscles. However, if they wish, men may join their spouses during their treatments.
What is our rate of success?
Hera Women’s Health Center is a reference center that especially specializes in vaginismus and since 2003 all the problems of our patients, who have decided for treatment at our clinic, are resolved. Thus, our success rate at our clinic is 100%.
Another important point is that, with all of the patients who have been cured, there has never been a recurrence (the problem has never reoccurred). We present our works at different periods in national and international conferences.
When should I get an appointment for treatment?
For the vaginismus treatments at our center, it is enough to call our secretary by phone and get an appointment one week before. Your sessions can be programmed according to your visits. Also your first day at the treatment should be at a time when you do not have your menstrual period.
Please come to our center relaxed and believing in yourselves... You can also overcome this problem that everyone does. Be sure that even getting an appointment and coming to our clinic to talk is already the 50% of the treatment.
Vaginismus is a “delay-avoid disorder”. Patients that delay and needlessly avoid their treatments with many excuses after a few sessions of simple treatment program see the positive results and always ask themselves the same question: “Why did I wait for so long, was it this easy?”
How are fees calculated in the vaginismus treatments at our clinic?
After a simple gynecological examination and an interview, the people who come to Hera Women’s Health Center with problems such as vaginismus, anorgasmia, sexual coldness and reluctance, are briefed about their states, the diagnosis and level of their problems, approximate number of their treatment sessions and the methods that are going to be applied. After an interview and an examination that lasts about an hour, only normal examination fee is charged.
From the patients who decide on the treatment, according to the level of vaginismus, a single fee (as a package) is taken and throughout the treatment no extra charges are made. As the treatment package fee differs from person to person depending on the level of the sickness and the method that is going to be applied, this fee can only be decided after the person is examined.
Where can our guests that come from outside the city stay in Ankara?
Our patients who come from outside the city for treatment can stay with their friends or relatives in Ankara. However, what is important here is that they have their private, comfortable and clean rooms at the house they stay.
If you do not have a friend or relative that you can stay with or feel comfortable at during your treatment in Ankara, you can prefer the “Baţkent Öđretmenevi”, certain hostels and the family hotels that we suggest below:
For the hotels that we recommend >>
Scientific studies at our clinic >>
Frequently asked questions >>
Vaginismus Communication & Guidance >>
Other other web sites about vaginismus:
www.vajinismusmerkezi.com (in Turkish)
www.jinekolognet.com/vajinismus.asp (in Turkish)
www.eserdag.com/vajinusmus.htm (in Turkish)
www.vajinismus.us (in Turkish)