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:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.