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MINERVA GINECOLOGICA

A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology


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Minerva Ginecologica 2017 August;69(4):381-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.17.04054-0

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Sexual pain in women: quality of sex life and marital relations

Anna GHIZZANI 1, Cinzia ORLANDINI 1, Maria G., BERNARDI 1, Gabriele CEVENINI 2, Stefano LUISI 1

1 Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; 2 Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Siena, Italy


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Common gynecological and dermatological conditions resulting in sexual pain are often observed in gynecological practice and are easily diagnosed with visual observation and laboratory tests. The lower genital tract diseases we are referring to are vaginitis, vaginoses, dermatoses, hypoestrogenism and endometriosis. All of them affect the vaginal mucosa with diverse mechanisms, their effects lasting for only few days or many months. Furthermore, they change the women’s sense of wellbeing sometimes significantly and for a long period. The conditions we mentioned above are recognized promptly with basic gynecological interventions but when burning or sharp pain occurs with light pressure (as in case of penetration attempts) without physical signs we must suspect the genitopelvic pain penetration disorder. This condition was defined for the first time in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 and its dimensions include difficulty or pain at penetration associated with fear, anxiety, and pelvic floor hypertonus. Pain is most often localized at the vulvar vestibule and described as burning, pressure, and itching. These dimensions are iconic of sexual pain associated with vulvodyina and vaginismus but are common also in fibromyalgia, a syndrome of widespread chronic pain of unknown origin; sexual pain in fibromyalgia is mostly attributed both to the joint pathology and to the lower sensitive threshold that are the pathognomonic signs of this condition. In our study we analyzed the characteristics of pain as reported for each disease to evaluate its influence on sexuality and marital relations.


KEY WORDS: Vulvodynia - Vaginismus - Fibromyalgia

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Publication History

Issue published online: June 8, 2017
Article first published online: April 4, 2017

Cite this article as

Ghizzani A, Orlandini C, Bernardi MG, Cevenini G, Luisi S. Sexual pain in women: quality of sex life and marital relations. Minerva Ginecol 2017;69:381-9. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.17.04054-0

Corresponding author e-mail

stefano.luisi@unisi.it