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What Does It Mean If I Have Vaginismus?

The Problem Is Understood Differently Depending
On The Professional Treating You. 


Whose Definitions? 

It is important to understand who is defining your problem. 

The two most common manuals professionals use are:

International Classification of Diseases (ICD)- Doctors

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)- Mental Health


These manuals standardize patient research, diagnosis, and treatment. 

(APA, 2013; Carvalho et al., 2011; First & Westen, 2007).


Who Does This Impact?

Who This Impacts
Vaginismus is a worldwide problem & can affect people from multiple cultures.
However, research states it occurs more often with:
  • Limited sexual education
  • Decreased understanding of their body
  • Conservative religious backgrounds
  • Body shame related to cultural norms
Anğın et al., 2020; Dolezal & Lyons, 2017; Fadul et al., 2019, Teitelman, 2004

***This is not an exhaustive list of countries where women experience vaginismus.
This represents the cultural identities of the women I have treated.

Transgender Persons

Transgender Community
Click this video above to hear from our expert, Dr. Angela Stoehr

Vaginismus affects the transgender community through a diversity of experiences and expressions as this condition embodies intersectionality with unique considerations.
Holmberg, M., Arver, S. & Dhejne, C. (2020)

Listen to what Dr. Angela Stoehr has to share.

Resources for Transgender Persons- click here


Pain with sexual penetration is a concern that impacts the transgender community. However, trans men and trans women experience painful intercourse for different reasons. 

Holmberg, M., Arver, S. & Dhejne, C. (2020)

Click this video above to hear from our expert, Dr. Angela Stoehr

*This diagnosis affects all genders and sexualities; however, I focused my research on cisgender, heterosexual females. 

** There is limited published research on treatments or innovations, specifically for transgender persons who experience painful vaginal penetration.

Relationship Difficulty

"I want to be pregnant, to prove to myself and others, we have sex."

Intimacy Issues 

"I keep thinking, how many more times am I going to disappointment my partner"


"I feel so much shame, I can’t be the wife he thought he was going to get”

Vaginismus is not just an individual problem,
it is a couples' problem. 

See below how vaginismus impacted a married couple for over 10 years of their relationship.

Couples' Expeience
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