Vaginismus is one of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction for women.


Criteria for vaginismus (based on DSM IV):

(1) The presence of recurrent and/or persistent involuntary muscle spasm along the outer third of the vagina.

(2) The spasms interferes with coitus (functional impairment).

(3) The spasms cause marked distress and/or interpersonal conflict (emotional and/or social impairment)

(4) The spasms cannot be explained better by another psychological or physical condition.



(1) pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)

(2) phobic avoidance

(3) may be triggered simply by anticipation of vaginal penetration


Classification of vaginismus:

(1) primary vs secondary

(1a) primary: never experienced a non-painful penetrative intercourse

(1b) secondary: has experienced a non-painful penetrative intercourse

(2) pattern of occurrence (intermittent vs consistent)

(2a) consistent: every time AND every form of penetration

(2b) intermittent: not every time OR not every form of penetration

(3) global vs situational

(3a) global: unrelated to situation or partner

(3b) situational: limited to certain situations or partners

(4) trigger

(3a) sexual intercourse only

(3b) any object (finger, object) placed in or near the vagina


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