By Talli Rosenbaum PT
Vaginismus is a condition whereby a woman is unable to allow penetration due to spasm of the muscles when penetration is attempted. This is sometimes due to intense fear or anxiety, and sometimes is a result of another underlying condition, such as a thick and difficult to penetrate hymen, a narrow vaginal canal or presence of vestibulitis. It is treatable by a number of methods that lead to relaxation of the muscles, such as relaxation techniques, pelvic floor muscle exercises and biofeedback.Vaginismus can also be treated with vaginal dilators, which are plastic rods of increasing width that slowly stretch the vaginal opening and also allow the woman to overcome her fear of penetration.
Talli Rosenbaum, M.Sc., PT, CST, IF is the only AASECT certified sex therapist who is also a pelvic floor physical therapist and is an internationally recognized expert on the role of combined physiotherapy and sex therapy in the treatment of sexual pain disorders. She has authored over 20 peer reviewed journal articles and several book chapters on sexual health, unconsummated marriage, and sexuality and Judaism. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. In addition to maintaining an active private practice, Talli lectures in the sex therapy program at Bar Ilan University, the Puah Institute, and the Israeli Institute for Marriage and Family Studies. She is also co-director of the bi-yearly training program for pelvic floor physiotherapists in Israel.
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