Before discussing vaginismus in depth, it is important to understand the physiology and anatomy of sexual arousal in women. Arousal is the state of being awake and concentrated in the face of certain stimuli, in this case being excited, and here, desire and libido play a very important role. There are four stages in the sexual response, that is, four states that the body and mind go through before, during and after sex (Georgiadis & Kringelbach, 2012):
Excitement: here, most of the changes prepare the vagina for intercourse. For example, the vagina becomes lubricated, the clitoris and vulva swell, the nipples are erect and become more sensitive to touch.
Plateau: is the period before orgasm. Everything that happened before, intensifies. Breathing becomes faster, woman gesticulate and vocalize, the vagina narrows and there is more lubrication.
Orgasm: at this stage, women can experience muscle contractions, especially in the lower back and pelvis. The vagina narrows even more and lubrication is maximum. Euphoria and pleasure take place.
Resolution: the muscles relax. The clitoris may become tender or painful to the touch. After this, there is a period that varies from woman to woman, until she can reach another orgasm.
Now we can talk more about vaginismus. There are two types. Primary vaginismus when the woman has never been able to achieve any type of penetration. It is discovered in young women, with the use of tampons or the beginning of sexual intercourse. And secondary vaginismus when the woman has been able to achieve vaginal penetration and suddenly feels incapable. It can occur due to physical or psychological causes (Crowley et al., 2009).
Factors that may predispose a woman to have vaginismus may be having had a sexual education with negative evaluations, pointing out sex as something harmful, dangerous or dirty. Traumatic sexual experiences, devaluation of body image, ignorance of the sexual functioning of the body and its anatomy, painful first sexual relations, anxiety, fear or stress(Crowley et al., 2009).
Vaginismus is expressed through a cycle. First, there is the anticipation of pain where fear and anxiety influence. Then, there is the involuntary vaginal contraction. Penetration becomes painful and it is often impossible. The body reacts in self-protection and resists to continue. Finally, the woman avoids intimacy by this mechanism with a possible lack of desire. And so, the cycle repeats itself constantly (Georgiadis & Kringelbach, 2012).
Without treatment vaginismus can lead to stress and difficulty in sex and relationships. This condition can lead to problems such as depression, making the woman feel lonely and misunderstood. Fortunately, there are psychological and physical therapies to treat it, like the use of vaginal dilators. Treatment is directed to the pelvic area in order to relax the muscles and at the same time managing with underlying stressors through relaxation techniques. Therapies are aimed to reduce penetration sensitivity (Crowley et al., 2009).
Vaginismus is usually treated with anesthetic creams, what the majority of the women do not know is that there are alternative products that also offer benefits. We are living in a time of paradigm and mentality change, with the emergence of new trends and lifestyles. One of these movements is the use of natural products, in order to help the body with what nature gives us. For this reason, The SaintLeaf uses cannabidiol (Hemp oil) products as a source of relief for many illnesses. Hemp oil is a non-psychoactive compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Several studies have been carried out where it has been possible to validate its use for the treatment of multiple medical conditions, playing an important role in reducing chronic pain, anxiety and stress (Johns & Lachiewicz, 2019) (Carrubba et al., 2020).
The SaintLeaf obtains its products through the extraction of hemp oil from hemp. Hemp belongs to the family of the Cannabis plant and is characterized by containing high levels of hemp oil and low to no levels of TCH (tetrahydrocannabidiol). In addition, the products are composed of isolated hemp oil, that is, they only contain cannabidiol, without another additional