• 09 Jul

    Vaginismus and Depression in Women

    vaginismus and depression in women

    Apart from the cyclical changes in both physiological and psychological terms that women have to endure and become resilient, women also need to change to external circumstances.  

    They are probably designed to be flexible enough for change.  However, depression can get the better of even the so called toughest woman and it is something that can be treated to the fullest degree.  

    Among the various symptoms of depression that are easily modified with medications, the one symptoms that is rarely discussed is that of sexual problems or sexual disinterest due to physical causes resulting in depression.  

    A specific sexual disturbance that comes to the fore especially during the initiation of first sexual contact or encounter is that of dyspareunia.  Dyspareunia is the difficulty to perform sexual acts due to pain or discomfort either in the male or the female.  And the female version of dyspareunia is called vaginismus.  

    So vaginismus is the condition where pain and spasms occur as a result of physical contact or pressure during sexual intercourse. 

    There are various successful vaginismus treatments that do not require medications, surgical operations, psychotherapeutic measures, nor any other complex interventional procedures.


    Vaginismus is treatable and the success rates are quite high. 


    Among the most effective treatment approaches are a combination of pelvic floor control exercises very commonly known as kegel exercises, insertion or dilation training using objects that are specific to the sexual treatment procedures, pain elimination techniques using psychotherapeutic measures like exposure and response prevention, transition steps with incremental tolerance to pain and enjoyment of the act, and exercises designed to help women identify, express and resolve any contributing emotional components either from the past experiences or from ill-informed sexual learning experiences which are mostly hearsay.


    Treatment can often be done by the woman at the privilege of confidentiality at home, allowing a woman to work at her own pace in privacy, or in cooperation with her health care provider.

    The sexual pain, tightness and penetration difficulties that are due to vaginismus are completely treatable and can be fully overcome with no remaining pain or discomfort, over the course of time.


    Women experiencing pain or tightness during sexual activities, penile penetration problems including unconsummated relationships, can expect a very high degree of resolution of their vaginismus. This would allow for full pain free and adequate intercourse to the satisfaction of both partners.


    Vaginismus treatment exercises follow a manageable, step-by-step process


    Step 1 – Understanding Vaginismus

    It is a mostly educational part where the patient is provided education about vaginismus and the various causes of the condition.  It provides an overview of vaginismus and how sexual pain, tightness, burning sensations or penetration difficulties may result from it. This helps women to get started by being proactive about their sexual health as understanding vaginismus is fundamental to the process of overcoming it.


    Step 2 – Sexual History Review & Treatment Strategies

    A balanced approach is taken to help women review and analyze their sexual history. Exercises help identify and evaluate any events, emotions, or triggers contributing to vaginismus sexual pain or penetration problems. Checklists map out the woman’s sexual history.  Topics also include blocked or hidden memories and how to move forward when there have been traumatic events in a woman’s past.


    Step 3 – Sexual Pain Anatomy

    Psychoeducation about sexual anatomy and function can also help alleviate many misconceptions about the causes of vaginismus. The causes of pelvic pain and penile penetration problems, may become overt and an understand of the same is helpful in diagnosis of the condition and treatment. Confusion regarding problems with inner vaginal areas and vaginal muscles frequently lead to misdiagnosis and frustration. Topics include how to distinguish what kind of pain or discomfort is normal with first-time or ongoing sex and what physical changes take place during arousal to orgasm cycles in the context of sexual pain or penetration problems. Anatomy areas such as the hymen and inner vulva are explained.


    Step 4 – Vaginal Tightness & The Role of Pelvic Floor Muscles 

    Female sexual pain and penetration difficulties typically involve some degree of involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor. This step focuses on the role of pelvic floor muscles, especially the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group, explaining in great detail how once they are triggered they continue to cause involuntary tightness with attempts at intercourse. Effective vaginismus treatment focuses on retraining the pelvic floor to eliminate involuntary muscle reactions that produce tightness or pain. Learning how to identify, selectively control, exercise and retrain the pelvic muscles to reduce pain and alleviate penetration tightness and difficulties is an important step in vaginismus treatment.


    Step 5 – Insertion Techniques

    For women with penetration difficulties or pain, techniques must be learned to allow initial entry without pain. In this step, women practice pubococcygeus (PC) muscle control techniques as they allow the entry of a small object (cotton swab, tampon, or finger) into their vagina, working completely under their control and pace. Any involuntary muscle contractions that had previously closed the entrance to the vagina and prevented penetration are overridden. Women begin to take full control over their pelvic floor and learn how to flex and relax the pelvic floor at will, eliminating unwanted tightness and allowing entry.


    Step 6 – Graduated Vaginal Insertions 

    When used properly, vaginal dilators are effective tools to further help eliminate pelvic tightness due to vaginismus. Dilators provide a substitute means to trigger pelvic muscle reactions. The effective dilator exercises in Step 6 teach women how to override involuntary contractions, relaxing the pelvic floor so it responds correctly to sexual penetration. Graduated vaginal insertion exercises allow women to comfortably transition to the stage where they are ready for intercourse without pain or discomfort.


    Step 7 – Sensate Focus & Techniques for Couples To Reduce Pelvic Floor Tension

    Helping with the transition to pain-free intercourse, this step explains sensate focus techniques for couples to use to reduce pelvic floor tension and increase intimacy. Couples begin to work together during this step as exercises teach how to successfully practice sensate focus (controlled sensual touch) and prepare for pain-free intercourse using techniques from earlier steps. The exercises are designed to build trust and understanding and assist in the process to adjust to controlled intercourse without pain.


    Step 8 – Pre-Intercourse Readiness Exercises

    Finalizing preparations for couples to transition to fully pain-free intercourse, this step completes pre-intercourse readiness. Couples review and practice techniques that eliminate pelvic floor tension and prepare to transition to full intercourse. Preparing ahead of time to be able to manage, control and eliminate pain or penetration difficulties, the exercises assist with the final transition to pain-free intercourse.


    Step 9 – Making The Transition to Intercourse

    Step 9 explains the techniques used to eliminate pain and penetration difficulties while transitioning to normal intercourse. Many troubleshooting topics are covered (with supporting diagrams) such as positions to use to maximize control and minimize pain, tips to ensure more comfortable intercourse, etc.


    Step 10 – Full Pain-Free Intercourse & Pleasure Restoration

    The final step toward overcoming vaginismus includes penis entry with movement and freedom from any pain or tightness. Step 10 exercises are designed to educate, build sexual trust and intimacy, and complete the transition to full sexual intercourse free of pain. Couples can begin to enjoy pleasure with intercourse, initiate family planning, and move forward to live life free from vaginismus.




    MIMA, MISDA, MIAN, MARDSI, FIPS (National, South Zone and Karnataka Chapters) 


    KMC Reg No 71444 

    IPS No LF-19557



    8th Main 2nd Cross MCC 'B' Block 

    Davangere 577004 KARNATAKA 


    Image source

  • 29 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    How this Google video fights with your Negative thoughts.

    google video

    Negative thoughts can be really challenging for a person. Feelings of apprehension, anxiety and panic are associated with it. When we allow your negative thoughts to empower us, we actually become ‘energy vampires’ and then we can endlessly complain about our misfortunes, or some created ideas of deprivation and hopelessness.

    Sometimes, the negative thoughts about a place or a person or culture, is so strong that we want to nurture it till the end of our lifetime.

    That is not the right attitude. Negative thoughts can affect your mental health badly;

    it can also be detrimental for your decisions and actions. It is very important to identify the cause of your negativity and replace it with positivity.

    Watch the video and see what happens to a father, who had once had the ambition of becoming a hero in the film industry, but alas!

    We have discussed many times, that we should change our weaknesses into our strength; we should try and convert the failures to successes, and it doesn’t happen in one day, it’s a process.

    Negative thinking can be very strong and devastating at times. They have a pattern, and usually follow with the question ‘what if’.

    If we say that you should never think negatively, that is giving a blank advice. Poor thoughts will occur time and again, because our external environment is filled with varied energies, and situations are not under our control.

    If we fail in an exam, we cannot possibly feel happy about it, can we?

    But it is important to know how to get rid of this pool of sorrow. Changing the negative thought processes into positive ones, is really a battle which we fight with ourselves.

    Every moment, we human beings are fighting internal wars to depict the right and the wrong, the truth and what is untrue. Someone rightly said, the battle of Kurukshetra is only symbolic of the antardandwa (inner conquest) that every human being has to fight.

    However, bringing yourself into positive light is not so difficult; follow 3 steps-


    • Identify your negative thoughts- To treat a disease, you have to first diagnose what it is and where it came from. Similarly, you have to know what you are thinking is not right, it is a negative outlook to life. You have to understand first that you are imbibing and spreading negative energy.


    • If you are having anxious thoughts and worries, that is negativity- If you often find yourself saying, “I am the biggest loser, my life is full of troubles, nothing can be right”, then your thoughts are not channelized. Even for dangerous is the fact when you often ask yourself, “what if”. “What if I get punished in school tomorrow”, “What if these people come again, to threat us”, “what if I lose all my money”, “what if my family dies in an accident”, “what if I have to go back and stay with my in-laws again,” “what if there be regular fights again”, such questions often occur, and when we do not find an answer to them, we start predicting everything which is very negative.


    • Self-criticism and beating- If you constantly demotivate yourself with critical self-analysis, it is completely unhealthy. If the self-critic wakes up more often than what is normal, you can be sure, you are being driven towards negativity. “I am worthless, I am not as smart as others, I can never do anything properly”, all these analyses will finally lead to a point, “Nothing can happen of me in this life”.


    • If you are always blaming yourself for everything, that is a negative thought pattern. For e.g. “My father died because of me, if I would be at home, may be, he would live”, “I am the culprit behind ruining the show, if I would check the curtains before, they would not fall” and things like that are said by people completely engrossed in the negativity. One of the reason is that they sub-consciously estimate themselves too highly, beyond what they are capable of, and beyond what normally they should do. On the other hand, with such self-blame, they also want some sympathy from others. Hence guilt for no reason is a symptom of negativity.


    • If your thoughts are negative, you will always see what is wrong in your life, you will only envision the problems.


    • If you always feel that you don’t have enough, you can know, that your thoughts are taking the wrong path.


    • Let your negativities be- when you have identified your negative thoughts, you know which are the places they are erupting from. You cannot always turn away from the reality, that is not practical. You cannot be playing the lyre thinking that’s all’s fine when the world is on fire. No, that is not possible. It is sheer ignorance and negligence of responsibility. However, let your thoughts come and pass off on their own. Do not engage yourself in those thoughts. Try to keep yourself aloof, as an observer who is unbiased, can see the truth, but doesn’t react to it, when it is of no use.


    • Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones- For e.g. if you have not got in joint entrance and having to study a general course in science, do not think that life is at dead end, never; look towards the good things that this difficult situation has brought to you, cherish the experience of a higher education, higher degrees and thank the opportunity that is making you a scholarly person than just being an employee early in life.


    Similarly, if you have lost your job, it is definitely a tough time, but if you have to think rationally, and work properly, keep yourself calm, and think of the good things that this situation is bringing to you.

    In situation of financial crisis, you are learning to control your expenditures, you learning to spend wisely, these are positive things that this difficult situation is teaching you.

    As we have seen the video, the father could not become a film star in his entire life, but he should cherish the fact that he has been able to spend more time with his famly. He has a good wife and a loving son in his old age to support him.

    He should cherish the fact that his love for cinema remained forever, through his job, and he got the opportunity of watching each and every movie that released for free.

    So if there is something wrong happening, there are always thousands of good things happening too, be grateful for them.

    Besides everything, try to be always thankful for what you have.

    Always believe in yourself that you can make things possible. 

    Read more:

    7 Ways to Believe in Yourself.

    How To Stop Worrying? 

  • 16 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    7 Ways to Believe in Yourself.

    believe yourself

    Self-belief is the prime strategy towards success. However, having it and maintaining it need to be practised. When you think something is impossible, you will never truly try for it; the fact is you have to understand that they are achievable if pursued and that you have the capability to do it.

    • Defining the goal: You have to be clear about what you want, then you can focus on a proper thing. You need to face your goal with stoicism which means that you need to work on what is there in your control.

    For e.g. if your goal is to have a good business, instead of giving excuses like you don’t have enough money, customers never turn out, there is too much competition etc. try what you can. Give it ample time. Study the market of the particular field regularly; spend a fixed amount (that is affordable to you) every week for promotion and advertisements till you get the sale.

    •  Consistency: Practice makes perfect is an old proverb. Sticking to your goal is something very important. Something which is not practised regularly loses its value or initiation. Keep up your efforts towards your goal, you cannot expect results within one week; results are not in your control, but the hard work is.

    E.g. you want to improve your handwriting. You cannot stop at the end of week one. Keep practising your handwriting books; keep writing the cursive ‘A’ again and again. Start a new book after another till you get the perfect sentence writing.


    • Do your maths- Calculations are important. If you have the first two steps done; then you have to know the demands of the market, the statistics with which the business moves. That means, you have to increase your knowledge with the market study on your relevant field to make your work successful. Knowing your maths will boost your confidence; i.e. you will know you are going on the right way and following the right strategies.


    • Face your disappointment: You will face failures in your attempts and you will be disappointed, that is natural, but don’t give up. Positivity means believing that The greater the negative situation, the greater the potential of positive impact


    • Negative Inspiration: Push yourself to do what you are not perfect at. Know more about your peers, so that you are at par with them. Use the fear of failing to instigate yourself towards success.


    • Positive Inspiration: Use your happiest memories to keep yourself boosted.


    chase your dream 

    • Don’t be invisible: keep up your efforts. Do not be discouraged with negative feedbacks of others. Always keep showcasing the efforts for they will yield positive effort someday.

    Video:Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: Believe in Yourself.

  • 16 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    Fall in Oestrogen= Migraine Attacks


    Migraine is a common term used by many referring to sheer headaches. However, those who do not suffer from it are likely to get alarmed by the reaction given by a migraine bearer.

    However, one who has a history of migraine, or even those who have it occasionally, do understand the immense pain they go through; it is sometimes associated with nausea and blurry visions.

    Women are four times more prone to have migraines than men.


    Reasons for Migraine:

    Factors can be various: Migraine can be gifted to you genetically.

    Increase in tyramine can cause migraines which can sometimes be carried down to you through smoked fish, beer, cheese and the like food options.

    Sleep dysfunctions can also be the cause of migraine pain.

    However, hormonal imbalance is a major cause, and the correlation between the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in your body and migraine attacks, has been established for quite some time now.

    It has been found, that a drop in oestrogen level a couple of days before menstruation, in a woman, can cause migraine pains during the period.

    Research published in the June 1, 2016, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the ‘American Academy of Neurology’, shows that, for women with a history of migraine, oestrogen levels may drop more rapidly in the days just before menstruation than they do for women who do not have migraine history.

    The experiment included 114 women with migraine history with 223 controls. It was observed that “within-woman rates of decline showed that E1c decline over the 2 days following the luteal peak was greater in migraineurs for both absolute rate of decline (33.8 [95% confidence interval 28.0–40.8] pg/mgCr vs 23.1 [95% confidence interval 20.1–26.6] pg/mgCr, p = 0.002) and percent change (40% vs 30%, p < 0.001)” and hence it was concluded that “the timing and rate of estrogen withdrawal before menses may be a marker of neuroendocrine vulnerability in women with migraine.”


    What can be the remedy?

    Sometimes, women ignore the early migraine attacks considering them mild headaches. This is not the right attitude. When the pain is less, it can be modified or treated; slacking down can actually make it irreparable.

    Apart from medical treatment there are several other options which can prevent and cure migraine pains naturally.


    • Hydrate the body- The best way to prevent it is to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking a glass of water as quickly as possible can avert pain. However, it is suggested that you keep drinking glasses of water throughout the day. Drinking 8 times a day, from a 250ml glass is enough hydration and can cure any form of pain caused due to dehydration.
    • Caffeine reversal- If you are not addicted to coffee, then a cup of it at the time of migraine can provide relief.
    • Hot compress- This gives maximum results in a migraine attack. However, hot compress should not be used with pain relief gels or balms, because both produce the same effect, hence the remedial behaviour of both may be neutralized.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar- It can do miracles in pain. Dissolve a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with honey and drink it. It works.
    • Peppermint- applying a few drops of peppermint oil on the forehead can relieve the pain a lot.
    • Cayenne pepper- Cayenne pepper is an extremely popular anti-migraine remedy; it can enhance the circulation of blood in addition to improving blood flow. The presence of capsaicin makes it the perfect antidote for pain as it contains an important ingredient known as capsaicin.
    • Ginger- It is an active worker in blocking Prostaglandins, which can be lucrative in muscle contractions as well as change in hormone levels, or inflammation of blood vessels in the brain tissue.

    Leading a stress-free life is the most important thing. Regular work-outs, morning and evening walks increases blood circulation to the heart and brain, hence you can stay healthy. Good sleep is important along with a healthy diet. 

    Image source

  • 15 Sep
    Oyindrila Basu

    Anger and Brain.


    anger management therapy

    We have different types of emotions every day, out of which anger is an emotion which is naturally believed to be detrimental to the mental health. Aggression is kind of an impulsive reaction to any situation which is dissatisfying. This can create a lot of stress and negativity in a person and we speak in detail about how we can control this anger; how can we give our reactions selectively and many more.

    However, till date it was never known, that anger and aggression can actually alter the brain and its functions.

    Neuropsychopharmacology, neuroscientists from the University of Chicago show that white matter in a region of the brain called the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) has less integrity and density in people with IED than in healthy individuals and those with other psychiatric disorders. 

    Too much of the anger component in a person can vary serotonin levels in the brain which is responsible for stress management, calmness and happiness.

    This restructuring of the brain makes a person even more violent.

    An experimental set up was established pathologically in the lab, where rats and mice were permitted to physically assault other rodents repeatedly, and it was observed that the initial mild aggression transformed gradually into a more violent behaviour.

    Researchers found that levels of serotonin, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, decreased in animals perpetrating repeated victorious episodes of aggression but not as a result of performing normal, functional acts of aggression. These findings are consistent with studies in humans showing that serotonin deficiency is associated with escalated rather than more functional forms of aggression.

    The serotonin component of the brain, is helpful to people with anger problems, and those suffering from depression, hence we often discuss about dietary plan and meditative practices for increasing serotonin level in the brain; when this part is affected, we become vulnerable to stress causing stimulus.

    Teenagers show aggression even to mild situational threats and this can hamper their cognitive abilities. However, research also implicates brain circuits involved in moral judgments in violent behaviour. The researchers found that people with antisocial, violent, or psychopathic tendencies tended to have overlapping damage in brain structures involved in making moral judgments. In normal, healthy individuals, moral decision-making activates the dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex, the amygdala(important in emotions, fear, and stress), and the angular gyrus (involved in language and cognition). Antisocial individuals tended to show more damage in these brain regions than did control subjects. 

    Unlike other behavioural traits, aggression and anger are more prominent reactions in an individual which creates a negative aura around the person, which not only affects his/her mental health but also the society, family and people around him/her. It is imperative for everyone to practice anger management for better physical and mental health.

    1. Meditate for 15 minutes every morning. Let the thoughts pass on their own; you cannot control them, but do not get engaged in them.
    2. Whenever, you are angry, enter a room, close the door and chant “OM” in long breath, the word means universal, and it has a positive vibe which helps in increasing the level of serotonin in the brain and calms you down.
    3. Drink a glass of cold water, when you are feeling restless or aggressive at something.
    4. Counselling with Cognitive Behavioural therapy is a proven way to deal with anger in a positive way.

Book an appointment