In this review, we are reviewing the vaginismus status in the Arab world in general and in Oman specifically.
Method: We look at a group of review articles from different countries and compared the results among them in order to draw meaningful conclusions in terms of possible vaginismus causative factors, diagnostic and treatment approaches, challenges and impacts, proposed solutions, and the currently available research gaps.
Results: Vaginismus is defined as involuntary muscle contraction with difficulty allowing vaginal penetration despite the willingness of women to do so . There are certain variables like; culture, patient age, the definition of sexual dysfunction or pain, study design, and outcome measures are made reporting vaginismus incidence and prevalence estimates for female sexual dysfunction and pain challenging . There are multiple causes of vaginismus ranging from simple anatomic issues to complex bio psychosocial issues. The most likely and the proposed causative factors have primarily been psychogenic. However, there are very few empirical researches that support the proposed causative factor. Furthermore, there has been a gap in investigating the possible biological causes of vaginismus . Different studies agreed that the treatment of vaginismus should be tailored according to each case, “a one-size fits all” approach will not lead to a successful treatment. A multidisciplinary team including; a well-experienced specialized team of “a gynecologist, physical therapist, and psychologist/sex therapist should be involved in the assessment and treatment of vaginismus cases” .
Conclusion: In general, there is a huge research gap related to the vaginismus concept. In Arabian countries, in general, and in Oman, specifically, there has been a lack of research interest in vaginismus and sexual pain disorders. In this review, we are highlighting different vaginismus aspects in order to address its possible significant negative impacts on a woman's health, self-esteem, relationships, quality of life, and work productivity. Therefore, that necessitates a multidisciplinary team approach to tackling it properly.