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why your vagina may feel too tight
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Insider journalist Erin Heger penned this great article about why your vagina may feel too tight, and what to do about it. She reached out to me for my advice, and here is a brief synopsis of the article, along with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

7 reasons why your vagina may feel too tight, and what you can do about it

Treatment for a vagina that feels tight may include pelvic floor physical therapy, hormone replacement therapy, or estrogen cream.

A vagina that feels tight can make it painful to insert anything from a tampon to a penis. Childbirth, yeast infections, and STIs are common causes of a tight vagina. Other causes include medical conditions like vaginismus, endometriosis, and menopause.

There are many different reasons why your vagina may feel too tight, resulting in pain while inserting a tampon or during sex. In fact, an estimated 75% of women experience pain during intercourse at some point in their lives.

Here are seven reasons why your vagina may feel too tight and what to do about it.

1. Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a medical condition in which the pelvic floor muscles tighten involuntarily, usually in anticipation of vaginal penetration either during sex, before inserting a tampon, or during a pelvic exam.

Symptoms of vaginismus include:

  • Sudden vaginal tightness
  • A burning or stinging pain in the vagina
  • Pain during sex, when inserting a tampon, or during a pelvic exam
  • Muscle spasms in the vagina

Treatment for vaginismus can include a few different therapies, says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, owner of Femina Physical Therapy. These include:

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy. This involves exercises and stretches aimed at reducing tension in the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Vaginal dilator therapy. The purpose of this therapy is to stretch the vagina with tube-shaped devices called vaginal dilators.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form of therapy requires meeting with a licensed therapist who can help you understand your feelings of hesitation around sex and how that affects your thoughts and behaviors. Working through these feelings with a therapist may help your body relax and reduce symptoms of vaginismus.

4. Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is a blanket term for painful intercourse, Jeffcoat says. Vaginismus is one type of dyspareunia. Others include:

  • Vestibulodynia, which is pain at the opening of the vagina and not in the vaginal muscles like with vaginismus.
  • Vulvodynia, which is chronic pain and irritation of the vulva.
  • Vulvar vestibulitis, which is a type of vulvodynia that involves pain and redness surrounding the opening of the vagina.
  • Treatment for the various types of dyspareunia depends on the cause. In some cases, an underlying medical condition, like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, can cause dyspareunia and treatment will involve addressing that underlying condition.

Other treatment options are similar to those used to treat vaginismus, Jeffcoat says, and can include pelvic floor physical therapy or vaginal dilator therapy.

For the full story about why your vagina may feel too tight, continue to the full article here.

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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by Ann V.

I wish i could give this place 10 stars!! 
I have been suffering from vaginismus for 5 years and never found the cure to it. I had seen an ob/gyn and he diagnosed me with vaginismus and told me i needed a surgery to cure my condition, which i refused to do. He also referred me to a PT that he works with, i had given them multiple calls and they never responded back to me, so i started searching yelp for another PT. I am SO HAPPY I found Heather's office! I was working with Laureen, and with her guidance and techniques i was able to be cured from vaginismus in only 2 1/2 short months!!! I couldn't believe how quickly their program worked for me! I am forever grateful and thankful from Heather, and Laureen! They are the absolute best at what they do!

Read more: Testimonial by Ann V.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by R.S.

I wanted to thank you so much for helping me get through something I thought I may never be able to. We have achieved pain-free intercourse and this has really solidified our marriage. We are so grateful to you for all the work you do! Thank you!!

-- R.S.

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