Does Vaginismus Exist?: A Critical Review of the Literature

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Abstract

The basic strategies and methods for assessing and treating vaginismus were proposed by the early 20th century and have not essentially changed. Etiological theories have changed over time but are not supported by controlled empirical studies. This critical review of the literature disputes the widely held belief that vaginismus is an easily diagnosed and easily treated sexual dysfunction. We propose a reconceptualization of vaginismus as either an aversion/phobia of vaginal penetration or a genital pain disorder.

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