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April 2017
Sexology
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VAGINISMUS

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The majority of the causes of vaginismus are psychological. Organic causes can be a rigid hymen or, more commonly, a reoccurring or persistent involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles that surround the outer third of the vagina when attempting penetration. Vaginismus is the most common reason behind unconsummated marriages and, in 1957, the Kinsey report claimed that vaginismus made up 2% of sexual illnesses, whilst in 1988 Renshaw claimed it was 5% and, in 1990, Spector said it was 15%.
This problem, which is very common even though we do not think so, involves an involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor and perineal muscles that surround the vaginal entrance and walls. This reflex happens when there is an attempt to penetrate the vagina. The psychological causes are sometimes very obvious, such as a phobia of sex and/or high levels of anxiety which may be caused by a traumatic past sexual experience, such as sexual violence or abuse. In the majority of cases there is no striking psychological problem, rather there is just poor sexual organisation caused, in particular, by growing up in a sexually phobic environment.

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