The majority of the causes of vaginismus are psychological. Organic causes can
be a rigid hymen or, more commonly, a reoccurring or persistent involuntary contraction
of the perineal muscles that surround the outer third of the vagina when attempting
penetration. Vaginismus is the most common reason behind unconsummated marriages
and, in 1957, the Kinsey report claimed that vaginismus made up 2% of sexual illnesses,
whilst in 1988 Renshaw claimed it was 5% and, in 1990, Spector said it was 15%.
This problem, which is very common even though we do not think so, involves an
involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor and perineal muscles that surround the vaginal
entrance and walls. This reflex happens when there is an attempt to penetrate
the vagina. The psychological causes are sometimes very obvious, such as a phobia
of sex and/or high levels of anxiety which may be caused by a traumatic past sexual
experience, such as sexual violence or abuse. In the majority of cases there is
no striking psychological problem, rather there is just poor sexual organisation
caused, in particular, by growing up in a sexually phobic environment.