The Internal Alarm
The limbic system is a brain function responsible for filing away emotions and experiences for future reactions. This function also serves as an internal alarm to alert the body of potential threats. There are several different causes of vaginismus. Causes can range from a medical event, something physical, or something psychological. Some women may never know what the reason is.
The Root of Impossible Penetration
An internal alarm, signaling the body to brace and protect
Limbic system sounds an internal alarm, alerting the body of potential harm
BRACE + PROTECT
Body automatically tightens vaginal muscles to brace and protect
CYCLE OF PAIN
Avoidance of sexual intimacy; lack of desire may develop
Body files away negative experience, so it braces for pain on an ongoing basis
Negative experience reinforces limbic reaction
Time to End the Reaction
Cycle of Pain
The limbic system sounds an internal alarm, alerting the body of potential pain. As the body reacts to the signal, it automatically tightens the vaginal muscles, bracing to protect itself from harm.
Sex becomes uncomfortable or painful, and entry may be more difficult or impossible depending upon the severity of this tightened state.
Additional sexual attempts result in discomfort, further reinforcing the limbic system response so that it intensifies more. The body experiences increased pain and reacts by bracing more on an ongoing basis, further entrenching this response and creating a vaginismus cycle of pain.