How many women have vaginismus?
Roughly 2 women in 1000 have vaginismus.
It is commonly accepted that roughly 2 women in 1000 will experience vaginismus. However, that number could be higher. Gathering reliable statistics for vaginismus occurrence is hindered by many factors such as:
- Due to shame and embarrassment, many women do not seek help.
- Some women are given an incorrect diagnosis and are never properly treated (or counted). Sadly, some resign themselves to a life devoid of a sexual relationship falsely thinking they can never be helped.
- Healthcare providers do not normally keep statistics on the number of women specifically seeking help for vaginal penetration problems.
- “Approximately 0.17 percent of women between fifteen and sixty-four (more than 27,200) in the United Kingdom alone are estimated to suffer from vaginismus.”¹
- “There is a higher incidence (0.49 percent) [of vaginismus] among women between fifteen and twenty-four, representing the usual period of a woman’s life when she first attempts intercourse.”¹
- “Approximately 20 percent of the women seeking help at the Masters & Johnson Institute … have a demonstrable degree of vaginismus.”¹
- “In my own research with my own clinic patients it [vaginismus] runs around two percent. However, if I were a gynecologist doing sex therapy I have no doubt it would be much higher, say four percent” – Dr. Harold I. Lief of the University of Pennsylvania¹
- “Approximately forty percent of the women that we see here have vaginismus” – Dr. Marian E. Dunn, Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Sexuality, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn¹
- Dr. Domeena Renshaw, M.D., director of the Sexual Dysfunction Clinic at Layola University in Chicago, states that their vaginismus incidence rate is 7 percent, of which about one-third have a remedial physical basis.¹
- “One study reveals that women of all ages are statistically more at risk of developing vaginismus than they are of having to seek an abortion.”¹
- “One doctor specializing in sexual problems estimates that vaginismus occurs in approximately 5 out of 1000 marriages in Ireland.”¹
- “Another survey reveals that 16 out of every 100 women consulting one birth control clinic were suffering from vaginismus.”¹
- “Out of the total number of diagnoses made over a three year period in the sex therapy clinics of Relate Marriage Guidance (a national bureau which offers marriage therapy), approximately 7 percent of the diagnoses were vaginismus. In the same period about 300 cases of preorgasmic problems were seen, compared to about 150 to 200 cases of vaginismus.”¹
- “What is the family status of the vaginismus patient? [as seen at a private clinic in the U.S.A.]
- 47% are either single or dating
- 53% are married, anywhere from a few months to over 30 years.”²
- “What is the age of the typical vaginismus patient? [as seen at a private clinic in the U.S.A.]
- 18% are under the age of 25. This figure could be much higher if the condition were to be better understood and properly diagnosed at an earlier age.
- 53% are between the ages of 26 to 35
- 26% are between the ages of 36 to 50, mostly including women who married late in life or those who have been in unconsummated marriages for many years, suffering in silence before seeking help.
- 9% are over the age of 51″²
- Valins, L. (1992). When a woman’s body says no to sex: Understanding and overcoming vaginismus. New York, NY: Penguin Books. P.23,24
- Katz, D., & Tabisel, R. (2002). Private pain: It’s about life, not just sex. Plainview, NY: Katz-Tabi Publications. P.70,71