Vaginismus and Accompanying Sexual Dysfunctions in a Turkish Clinical Sample

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Namik Kemal University, Tekirdag, Turkey.
Journal of Sexual Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 02/2009; 6(1):184-92. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01048.x
Source: PubMed


Although vaginismus is a common sexual dysfunction in Turkey, there are only limited data about sexual behavior characteristics and comorbidity with other sexual dysfunctions in vaginismic patients.
To investigate the frequency of female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs) in a Turkish clinical sample and to determine the comorbidity of other FSDs in women diagnosed with lifelong vaginismus.
The study included 54 female patients who presented to a psychiatry department with sexual problems/complaints.
The subjects were evaluated using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed by the researchers in order to assess sexually dysfunctional patients and included detailed questions about socio-demographic variables, and general medical and sexual history. All participants were also assessed using the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction.
The most common primary FSD in our sample was vaginismus (75.9%), followed by hypoactive sexual desire (9.2%). Regarding comorbidity, in 36 female patients with lifelong vaginismus, we found dyspareunia in 17 women (47.2%), orgasmic disorder in eight women (22.2%), and sexual desire disorder in six women (16.6%) as a second sexual dysfunction, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria.
With respect to FSDs within the Turkish clinical population, vaginismic patients constitute the largest group and cultural factors may play a role in the occurrence of this condition. Additionally, our data indicated that there was a strong correlation between vaginismus and dyspareunia. There was also a high frequency of hypoactive desire and orgasm disorder in vaginismic patients. These results suggest that multidimensional assessment of sexual dysfunction in female patients is of great importance.

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Available from: Sultan Dogan, Sep 08, 2014
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    • "For instance, if a person postpones the desensitization or habituation of sex-related disgust, it can consequently be reflected as enhanced disgust (i.e., disgust that has never been neutralized). Following this perspective, it would also be interesting to look at strict Christian or Muslim populations, or other cultures where sex is postponed until after marriage, to examine whether in these populations the prevalence of vaginismus is relatively high compared to other cultures where this is not the case (e.g., Dogan, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sex and disgust seem like strange bedfellows. The premise of this review is that disgust-based mechanisms nevertheless hold great promise for improving our understanding of sexual behavior, including dysfunctions. Disgust is a defensive emotion that protects the organism from contamination. Accordingly, disgust is focused on the border of the self, with the mouth and vagina being the body parts that show strongest disgust sensitivity. Given the central role of these organs in sexual behavior, together with the fact that bodily products are among the strongest disgust elicitors, the critical question seems not whether disgust may interfere with sex but rather how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all. We argue that sexual arousal plays a critical role in counteracting disgust-induced avoidance via lowering the threshold for engaging in "disgusting sex." Following this, all mechanisms that interfere with the generation of sexual arousal or enhance the disgusting properties of sexual stimuli may hamper the functional transition from a sex-avoidance into an approach disposition. Since prolonged contact is the most powerful means to reduce disgust, disgust-based mechanisms that counteract sexual approach may give rise to a self-perpetuating cycle in which enhanced sexual disgust becomes a chronic feature.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · The Journal of Sex Research
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    • "In an epidemiological study conducted in Turkey the prevalence of vaginismus was reported to be 15.3% (Yılmaz, 2007). The prevalence of vaginismus was reported to be 66%-75.9% in patients admitted to outpatient clinics for sexual function disorders (Simşek et al., 2003; Doğan, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Vaginismus is a type of sexual dysfunction in which spasm of the vaginal musculature prevents penetrative intercourse. The main diagnostic criterion is the presence of recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the musculature of the outer third of the vagina that interferes with sexual intercourse. In many cases associated pain or the fear of pain may contribute to its persistence. Herein we report 2 patients that presented with vaginismus that developed secondary to childhood sexual trauma, which was treated with the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique. EMDR is a non-pharmacologic treatment for psychological trauma. Randomized controlled trials with posttraumatic stress disorder patients and with victims of sexual abuse have shown that EMDR is effective. The standard 8-phase EMDR protocol was used in both of the presented cases. Following 3 sessions of EMDR, the patients exhibited a substantial reduction in self-reported and clinician-rated anxiety, and a reduction in the credibility of dysfunctional beliefs concerning sexual intercourse. These findings support the notion that EMDR could be an effective treatment alternative for patients with vaginismus of traumatic etiology.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Turk psikiyatri dergisi = Turkish journal of psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare the sexual history traits, marital characteristics, sexual function and satisfaction level in women with and without vaginismus.Patients and Methods: The study included 36 female patients with lifelong vaginismus who presented at the psychiatry department and 36 control subjects without vaginismus or painful sexual activity. All 72 subjects were evaluated by a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed by researchers for assessing sexually dysfunctional patients and included detailed questions with regard to socio-demoghraphic variables, general medical and sexual history. All participant also received the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS).Results: Women with vaginismus more frequently reported a history of arranged marriage, partners' sexual dysfunction, lack of sexual knowledge, less premarital sexual experience, lower levels of sexual functioning and satisfaction (p<0.05). Interestingly, frequency of weekly sexual activity (intercourse or attempted intercourse) comparisons revealed that the vaginismus group reported more attempts.Conclusion: Several variables including partners' sexual dysfunction are associated with lifelong vaginismus. These patients tend to overcome this problem by increasing the frequency of intercourse attempt.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009
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