Female sexual pain disorders

  • Ros Boa


There has been constant debate regarding the conceptualising, aetiology and management of female sexual pain. It is a condition which is highly prevalent and distressing for patients, yet is often underdiagnosed and undertreated and proves challenging to health care providers. Traditionally, female sexual pain disorder was divided into two categories, dyspareunia and vaginismus. Most recently, these categories have been combined with a new definition ‘genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder’ as described later in this manuscript. Sexual pain disorders often have a biological, psychosexual and functional component. Attention should be focussed on the predisposing, precipitating and maintaining factors of the condition. Diagnosis requires careful history taking and examination and treatment should be individualised and may require a multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: Sexual pain disorders; Genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder; Vulvodynia

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Forum • October 2013

Author Biography

Ros Boa
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UCT Faculty of Health Sciences/Groot Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1027-9148