Botox® for Vaginismus in Beverly Hills, CA
Vaginismus is a condition characterized by spastic, painful, and uncontrollable contractions of the vaginal muscles, which makes any attempt at penetration feel as if there is a wall or barrier to the vaginal canal. Women who suffer from this physical and psychological disorder may experience pain during sexual intercourse, gynecological exams, or while inserting tampons, and they also tend to experience fear and anxiety that causes them to panic and withdraw from these situations. Dr. Schwartz’s experience with vaginal Botox® injections as a treatment for vaginismus has been very successful. Botox® is just one of the many treatment options used to collectively treat vaginismus symptoms. Board-certified plastic surgeon Jaime S. Schwartz, M.D., F.A.C.S., treats patients in and around Los Angeles with Botox® for vaginismus.
See how Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz improved this woman’s life with Botox® for Vaginismus.
Why is Botox® Used for Vaginismus?
Although Botox® is most commonly known for its ability to soften the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, this cosmetic injectable is a proven muscle relaxant that can weaken or stop any muscle’s ability to contract, including the vaginal muscles. Botox® doses are administered according to the size of the target muscle, so larger muscles require larger doses. When used for facial anti-aging purposes, Botox® can be administered in smaller doses to partially weaken the facial muscles or it can be administered in a larger dose to completely paralyze the facial muscles. The drug can be injected into the vagina in the same manner, depending on the severity of a patient’s vaginismus and the number of vaginal muscles affected by the condition.
How is Botox® Used to Treat Vaginismus?
When used conventionally to treat signs of aging across the face, Botox® is often injected without anesthesia, but in the treatment of vaginismus, the procedure is done with our in-office nitrogen delivery system. This is done to suppress the fear and anxiety that vaginismus sufferers often experience during gynecological exams or any form of general touch to the pelvic area. This treatment protocal not only helps the patient remain relaxed and comfortable as the Botox® is injected, but it also facilitates progressive dilation of the vagina for the insertion of the larger dilators.
Once the patient is comfortably sedated, Botox® is then injected into one, a combination, or all of the three vaginal muscles responsible for the patient’s uncontrollable vaginal spasms, with the dose being divided to inject a larger volume of Botox® into the muscles that spasm more uncontrollably. Dr Schwartz usually determines which muscle contributes more to the vaginismus symptoms at the time of examination. The pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group as part of the pelvic floor muscles, often resembles a tightly drawn fist in the most severe vaginismus cases, and it’s usually the muscles that receives the largest dose of Botox®.
Botox® is only injected into the vaginal side walls in vaginismus patients, the urethra and rectum are carefully avoided, to prevent urinary incontinence. This doesn’t interfere with the efficacy of the procedure because the vaginal muscles actually envelop the entire vagina. Weakening even a portion of the affected vaginal muscles blocks their ability to fully contract and eventually go into spasm, making the muscle more flexible and easier to stretch with dilators. With the dilators comfortably in place, intercourse should become simpler and painless for most patients. While the fear of penile penetration may initially remain in some patients, the anxiety surrounding penile penetration tends to subside rather quickly as they transition into intercourse.
How Often is Botox® Used to Treat Vaginismus?
In most cases, a single round of Botox® injections can effectively treat vaginismus symptoms. Once the vagina is progressively stretched, and the patient can experience pain-free penetration, a second round of injections is rarely necessary. The following physical and psychological factors are key to healing vaginismus after one round of treatment:
- Once the vagina remains relaxed and dilated for 12 months, the affected vaginal muscles are less likely to resume their spastic nature.
- Once the patient achieves pain-free penetration and intercourse with dilators, the neural response that previously triggered vaginal spasms, fear, and anxiety upon penetration gradually shuts down.
How Long Does Botox® Stay in One’s System?
Botox® remains active in the body for up to four months, but by six months any lingering effects of the drug will disappear. Most vaginismus patients achieve pain-free intercourse by this point and will continue to experience pain-free intercourse in the future.
When Does Botox® Become Effective?
Once injected into the vaginal walls, Botox® begins to take effect rather quickly, usually in two to five days. However, there is no unusual reaction or change in the vagina or the body signaling the drugs onset, so the patient is usually unaware of this process. Due to the progressive dilation of the vagina in the operating room, most patients are able to insert the largest dilator immediately after the procedure, in spite of the injection’s delayed effect. As the Botox® injections begin to take effect, vaginal dilation will become progressively easier.
Will I Know When the Botox® Disappears?
The bodily changes that occur as the Botox® is slowly absorbed is very subtle, leaving most patients unaware of its disappearance. Vaginal contractions will continue to improve during intercourse, and arousal will become more relaxed and less anxiety-ridden.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Jaime S. Schwartz, M.D., F.A.C.S., offers safe and effective Botox® for vaginismus procedures to the residents of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and surrounding cities in California. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.