For at least 6 months, a person experiences persistent or recurrent difficulties towards vaginal penetration manifested as at least one of the following:
- Intense fear/anxiety in anticipation of, during, or as a result of vaginal intercourse
- Actual pain experienced in pelvis or vulvovaginal area during attempted or as a result of vaginal penetration
- Marked tensing or tightening of the lower pelvic/inner-abdominal muscles during attempted vaginal penetration
Diagnostic criteria requires that these symptoms cause the female significant distress.
This condition cannot be better attributed:
- A nonsexual mental disorder (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder)
- Relationship distress (i.e., domestic violence)
- Other life stressors impacting a person’s sexual desire
- Any other medical condition
Symptoms may have appeared as soon as the person became sexually active or may begin after a period of normal sexual functioning.
The condition can be specified as mild, moderate or severe depending on the amount of subjective distress it causes.
Note: The organization and name of this disorder is new to the DSM-5; this is the updated version (diagnostic code 302.76). The page for Vaginismus that describes the old criteria (DSM-IV) is still available for historical purposes.
Medina, J. (2014). Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 30, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/genito-pelvic-painpenetration-disorder/
Symptom criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Sep 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.