Case Series: Redefining Severe Grade 5 Vaginismus

Peter T. Pacik, Corey R. Babb, Andrew Polio, Craig E. Nelson, Carlie E. Goekeler, Lauren N. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Vaginismus is poorly understood and relatively unknown among health care providers. For those who understand and treat vaginismus, few make an assessment of the severity of this condition. The importance of classifying the severity of vaginismus impacts the clinician's ability to diagnose and treat vaginismus, and understanding of the patient's experience. Aim: The aims of this paper are to identify the distinguishing features of severe grade 5 vaginismus, determine if vaginal spasm is present in severe grade vaginismus, and to establish qualifications for the Pacik grade 5 classification. Methods: Assessment of 553 referred or self-referred women who were unable to tolerate intercourse completed a comprehensive pretreatment questionnaire. Of those women, 391 underwent a vaginal examination in a certified surgicenter using sedation and anesthesia as needed. Main Outcome Measure: The main outcome measures were to detect the presence of a visceral reaction with an intended or actual gynecologic examination in Grade 5 patients, and to identify vaginal spasm on examination. Results: A visceral response reaction to routine gynecologic examinations, as well as spasm of the bulbocavernosum, occurred in patients with severe vaginismus. Conclusion: Severe vaginismus with visceral response manifestations to routine gynecologic examinations, inability to have intercourse, and spasm of the bulbocavernosum is newly defined as severe grade 5 vaginismus. Pacik PT, Babb CR, Polio A, et al. Case Series: Redefining Severe Grade 5 Vaginismus. Sex Med 2019;XX:XXX–XXX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalSexual Medicine
Issue number4
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • Dyspareunia
  • Female Sexual Dysfunction
  • Female Sexual Pain Disorder
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Painful Sex
  • Secondary Vaginismus
  • Severe Vaginismus
  • Vaginal Muscle Spasm
  • Vaginismus


Dive into the research topics of 'Case Series: Redefining Severe Grade 5 Vaginismus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this