Treatment of Lifelong Vaginismus in Traditional Islamic Couples: A Prospective Study


Aziz Yasan, MD, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine—Department of Psychiatry, Diyarbakir, 21100 Turkey. Tel: 00412-248-80-01; Fax: 00412-228-57-50; E-mail:


Introduction.  As sexual values and the meaning of sexuality are culturally dependent, the efficacy of sex therapy models may not necessarily be similar across cultures.

Aim.  The aim was to address two questions; the first was to identify whether a group of patients with lifelong vaginismus living in traditional Islamic culture benefited from the sex therapy. The second question addressed was how Muslim culture affects sex therapy in the treatment of vaginismus.

Methods.  Data were obtained from all patients with lifelong vaginismus who attended an outpatient clinic in the course of 1 year. Forty-four couples were investigated in the initial session. Thirty-six couples who completed the treatment were assessed after 3 months.

Main Outcome Measures.  In the final evaluation, pleasurable full vaginal penetration after active penile insertion was accepted as a successful outcome treatment for the present study.

Results.  In the study, 36 patients who had completed treatment were determined, 29 of whom had successful outcome of treatment, while eight dropped out. The model building process variable resulted in “married by matchmaker without consent (OR = 0.060, CI = 0.046–0.771, P = 0.031)” and “not allowing pelvic examination (OR = 0.124, CI = 0.016–0.941, P = 0.044)” as negative predictors for successful outcome of treatment.

Conclusion.  Sex therapy is a feasible method of treatment for vaginismus within the cultural environment investigated, although some modifications may be needed in some setting such as for those married by matchmaker without their consent. Yasan A, and Akdeniz N. Treatment of lifelong vaginismus in traditional Islamic couples: A prospective study. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.