Vaginismus means that you can't insert a tampon, finger and/or penis into your vagina, or this is very painful. Your pelvic floor muscles often cramp, which makes your vagina feel closed. It may also feel like bumping into something, which prevents you from going further into your vagina. Depending on the severity of the cramping, you might sometimes be able to insert a tampon or a finger, but not a penis.
What is pain during sex
If you experience pain during intercourse, this may be because of vaginismus, but it's also possible that the skin around, close to, and in your vagina opening has become sensitive. Dryness, sores, and redness can occur around this area. Touching the skin can already be quite painful. So, inserting a tampon, finger or penis into your vagina can then be even more painful.
Different types of vaginismus
Vaginismus/pain during sex is divided into two groups: Primary: The first couple of times you try to insert a tampon, finger, or penis, this doesn't work, or it is painful. This remains the same after trying repeatedly. Secundary: You were able to insert a tampon, finger, or penis without experiencing pain before, but now you're not able to anymore, or it has become very painful. Nowadays, all types of vaginismus and pain during sex are also being called vaginistic reactions, because of the many similarities regarding causes and treatment. Yet, I still find it important to differentiate. I also use different approaches with my method.