If I am unable to have pelvic exams due to vaginismus, how will I handle my prenatal care?
Untreated vaginismus may present some challenges during pregnancy.
Some, but not all women with vaginismus, will experience pelvic tightness or spasms during even simple routine pelvic exams. For this reason, vaginismus may present problems during prenatal care visits, vaginal ultrasounds, pre/post-delivery pelvic exams, and other procedures.
The best solution for these tightness problems is for women to treat the vaginismus so they can control and eliminate pelvic floor tightness and make both intercourse and pelvic exams possible without pain or difficulty.
Communication During Pregnancy
For those who are unable to proceed with treatment prior to delivery, there are other steps that could help reduce the impacts of vaginismus on the pregnancy. Letting the physician or midwife know the condition is present, and explaining the extent of the problem clearly, is an important first step.
Prenatal Medical Procedures
Accommodations can be made, including positioning changes to make the woman more comfortable, and a reduction in the number of internal vaginal exams to only those that are necessary. Vaginal ultrasound is not a standard prenatal care procedure and is not necessary in most pregnancies. For further details and options, consult with your physician or midwife.
Vaginismus Treatment During Pregnancy
Vaginismus treatment can usually be completed while still in the early stages of pregnancy and can make a huge difference in improved comfort with physician interaction throughout the entire delivery process. An added benefit of going through the self-help program prior to delivery, is that the PC muscle control exercises complement prenatal pelvic tone exercises.
Beyond helping with the prenatal exams, having healthier tone and control assists the natural childbirth process, potentially improving the delivery and recovery experience. It may also help to reduce overall recovery times regardless of the birth method.
Please note that a consultation with a physician is necessary to confirm the applicability of treatment options and to ensure that there are no pregnancy risks posed by any treatment methods.