One article on PainSci cites Spoelstra 2019: Vaginismus
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
While the debate on diagnostic distinction continues, the DSM-5 combined dyspareunia and vaginismus into the genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder. Recent research into the pathophysiology of dyspareunia and vaginismus has focused mainly on general pelvic floor pathology, the experience of pain, and cognitive-affective factors, while ignoring female genito-pelvic reflexes. It has not been taken into account that the vaginal canal, with its surrounding musculature, is an active canal capable of genito-pelvic reflexes, and that several of these reflexes might be triggered separately and/or simultaneously during sexual activity. We hypothesize that vaginal reflexive contractions play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder and postulate the genito-pelvic reflex hypothesis, i.e. in acute dyspareunia, primarily voluntary contractions or inadequate relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles predominate to guard against the pain due to vaginal trauma/infection and/or stress/anxiety. In chronic dyspareunia, these voluntary contractions induce increasingly submucosal vaginal damage: contact and pain receptors become more sensitive. The increased sensitivity of the contact receptors induces powerful autonomic reflexive contractions. These autonomic contractions provoke vulvar pain, which causes overreactive pelvic floor muscles. In lifelong vaginismus, autonomic reflexive contractions of the pelvic floor muscles predominate the entire disease process.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
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