What is Sexual Pain Disorder of women? How is it Classified?


What is Sexual Pain Disorder of women? How is it Classified?

Problems seen in female genital area and evaluated under the topic of pelvic pain syndrome occur approximately in %15 of women aged 18-50. Although a part of these pathologies is considered to be psychosexual disorders, underlying physiopathology has not been cleared yet. However, they are serious problems that affect sexual life, social relations, social life and mood of women negatively. Sexual pain disorders take a significant part in these pathologies.

In the classification published in 2000, sexual pain disorders of women were subdivided into three subgroups: 1. Dyspareunia 2. Vaginismus 3 . Other sexual pain disorders. Actually, despite the definitions and classifications that have been updated ever since, there hasn’t been a specific definition for either of them. Many opinions are still argued in this subject. Dyspareunia and vaginismus may be two pathological processes that trigger each other, cause pelvic floor pathology.

Prof. Dr. Süleyman Engin Akhan

Dyspareunia is defined as “repetitive and constant genital pain during sexual intercourse” by American Psychiatrists Association in DSM-IV. Although the term “dyspareunia” was first defined by Robert Barnes in 1874 as “painful sexual intercourse”, articles in the literature belong to the last 20 years. We gynecologists consider painful sexual intercourse as a symptom of upper genital system infection or endometriosis. Although, what really means from “pain disorder” that occur during sexual intercourse is being a “psychosocial pathology with organic origins” but not resulting from gynecological problems told above. As a result, as sexual pain disorders, both vaginismus and dyspareunia are”psychophysiologic” pathologies.


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