3 years ago

Psychobiological Correlates of Vaginismus: An Exploratory Analysis

Evidence concerning the determinants of vaginismus (V), in particular medical conditions, is inconclusive. Aim To investigate, in a cohort of subjects consulting for female sexual dysfunction, whether there is a difference in medical and psychosocial parameters between women with V and women with other sexual complaints. Methods A series of 255 women attending our clinic for female sexual dysfunction was consecutively recruited. V was diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria. Lifelong and acquired V cases were included. Outcomes Patients underwent a structured interview and physical, gynecologic, laboratory, and clitoral ultrasound examinations; they completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire, the Female Sexual Distress Scale–Revised (FSDS), and the Body Uneasiness Test. Results V was diagnosed in 20 patients (7.8%). Women with V were significantly younger than the rest of the sample (P < .05). No differences were found for traditional risk factors such as a history of sexual abuse, relational parameters, or gynecologic diseases or for newly investigated parameters (ie, neurologic, hormonal, and metabolic alterations). Women with V showed significantly higher histrionic-hysterical symptoms and traits (as detected by MHQ-H score; P < .05) compared with subjects with other sexual complaints. When the scores of all MHQ subscales were simultaneously introduced in a logistic model, the association between V and MHQ-H score was confirmed (P = .013). Women with V also showed higher FSFI pain and FSDS total scores, even after adjusting for age (P < .05). In an age-adjusted model, FSDS total score increased as a function of the years of duration of V (P = .032) but not as a function of its severity. All observations were confirmed in a case-control study (ratio = 1:3). Clinical Implications Our data demonstrate that some novel contributors of V should be investigated, namely histrionic-hysterical traits. This psychological comorbidity could offer valuable insights for intervention and managing complications. Strengths and Limitations This is the first study to assess the role of many metabolic and hormonal parameters as potential determinants of V. The main limitation is its exploratory and cross-sectional nature; our data need to be confirmed in larger, more systematic analyses. Conclusion V was associated with histrionic-hysterical traits, FSFI pain domain, and sex-related distress. A history of abuse, relational parameters, gynecologic diseases, and hormonal and metabolic alterations do not seem to play a role in the development of V. -Abstract Truncated-

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S174360951731442X

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