Introduction

Vaginismus is defined as recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the musculature of the outer third of the vagina that interferes with vaginal penetration, which causes personal distress (1). Vaginistic women vary widely in their sexual behavior repertoire: from very limited to very extensive. In some cases, the desire to have children is first and foremost, without there being any real motivation to work on the sexual relationship. The complaint can be situational or generalized. Vaginismus is not part of the sexual response cycle.

Prevalence rates for vaginismus are scant, without the benefit of multiple studies on specific populations. Prevalence estimates for vaginismus range from 1% to 6% (2). Vaginismus is a supreme example of the mandatory blending of mind and body. The precise etiology is often unclear. There are various theories on the causes of vaginismus, each with its own therapeutic approach. In this chapter, first, the literature on the concept of vaginismus is reviewed; secondly, the different views on the origination of vaginismus are discussed, followed by the various treatments. The chapter is concluded with a diagnostic and treatment protocol.

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