Q&A: Vaginal Clamping When Reaching Orgasm

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QUESTION: A close friend of mine experiences intense vaginal clamping during orgasm. It's so extreme that it is causing severe pain to her husband's penis. My friend's husband is now afraid of sexual intercourse with his wife, and they would like some answers as to what the cause of the clamping is, and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

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Photo: Anonymous

Orgasm contractions can be strong

Thank you for your question. It is unusual to hear of such extreme muscular contractions to the extent that sex is painful for a woman’s partner.

Some people describe vaginismus, a condition that makes vaginal penetration difficult or impossible for some women, as being characterized by uncontrolled muscular spasms that are painful and prevent penetration. However, in research, these muscular spasms have not quite been identified even though women’s experience of pain in very real.

We do know that – under normal, healthy conditions – women’s pelvic muscles contract during orgasm, however these contractions are usually not painful for either partner. Some women and men have unusually strong contractions and it may be that physical therapy would be helpful for your friend.

Consider Physical Therapy

Some physical therapists actually specialize in pelvic floor issues so your friend may want to contact a physical therapist for more information, or start with her healthcare provider just to make sure that she is generally healthy.

The National Vulvodynia Association and International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease may also be able to provide referrals to physical therapists who specialize in this area or for other vulvovaginal specialists who could be of help.

Explore Other Ways Of Being Sexual

In the mean time, your friend and her husband might try to explore other ways of being sexual. For example, they might explore a range of positions to see if the clamping occurs in all positions or just one or two.

If the painful clamping occurs only during orgasm, then perhaps they could enjoy intercourse for the experience of pleasure but bring her to orgasm in other ways such as from oral sex, the use of a vibrator or hand stimulation. It may even be that the clamping is reduced or helped by learning to relax during sex.

Recommended Reading

If so, they may find that a book such as For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy, can be helpful by presenting various sexual exercises, tips and techniques for satisfying sexual exploration.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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