Sexual Pain Disorders
By Kayli Nichols- Psy 335 March 23, 2015
Definition and Symptoms
According to the American Family Physician, "Dyspareunia can be divided into three types of pain: superficial, vaginal and deep. Superficial dyspareunia occurs with attempted penetration, usually secondary to anatomic or irritative conditions, or vaginismus. Vaginal dyspareunia is pain related to friction (i.e., lubrication problems), including arousal disorders. Deep dyspareunia is pain related to thrusting, often associated with pelvic disease or relaxation" (Phillips, 2000).
Dyspareunia is the "persistent or recurrent pain associated with attempted or complete vaginal intercourse" (King & Regan, 2014). With dyspareunia, there is often no problem with arousal nor lubrication when intercourse is initiated.
Vaginismus is the "recurrent or persistent pain experienced during attempted sexual intercourse" (King & Regan, 2014). This is often due to involuntary spasms in the muscles surrounding the vagina.
The cause of Vaginismus is often psychological (King & Regan, 2014). This is often due to sexual anxieties and nervousness. Due to inexperience, this sometimes causes women to create involuntary muscle contraction, which inevitably causes pain for the individual.
Impact on Relationships
A strong support system between partners is built through positive communication. Through finding treatment, the partners can work together to overcome this disorder and pain, and create a better sexual relationship.
Another form of treatment involves cognitive-behavioral therapy which includes systematic desensitization by the gradual dilation of the vagina (King & Regan, 2014). This essentially helps the woman to reduce her sexual anxieties through experience placing an object inside her vagina.
King, B., & Regan, P. (2014). Human Sexuality (8th ed.). Up Saddle River, NJ: PearsonEducation.
McCool, M. (2014). Prevalence and predictors of female sexual dysfunction: A protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 3, 75-75. Retrieved from Academic One File.
Phillips, N. (2000). Female Sexual Dysfunction: Evaluation and Treatment. Am Fam Physician, 61(1), 127-136. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0701/p127.html
Sexual Pain Disorder. (2014, January 1). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/sexual-pain-disorder