Marriage consummated for 32 Iranian women using therapist-aided exposure therapy: a brief report

Molaeinezhad, M., Salehi, M., Borg, C., Yousefy, A., Roudsari, R. L., Salehi, P., Shafiei, K. & Khoei, E. M., Aug-2014, In : Sexual and relationship therapy. 29, 3, p. 293-306 14 p.

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  • M. Molaeinezhad
  • M. Salehi
  • C. Borg
  • A. Yousefy
  • R. Latifnejad Roudsari
  • P. Salehi
  • K. Shafiei
  • E. Merghati Khoei

This brief report discusses the effectiveness of therapist-aided gradual exposure therapy for a sample of women suffering from lifelong vaginismus (LLV). Thirty two women who have never been able to have sexual intercourse, performed weekly exposure sessions of vaginal penetration exercises assisted by a female therapist/sexologist, at the (Isfahan) psychosexual clinic. The main outcome measures were the diary kept by the female participants and their partners achieving successful intercourse. After the treatment, all women reported having successful intercourse. This result was maintained during two follow-up sessions over a six-month period. At the second follow-up session, all participants and their spouses revealed a significant decrease in fear scores compared with the pre-treatment (for women and their spouses, t (31) = 15.43, p <0.00 and t (31) = 13.41, p <0.00, respectively). Although we had no experimental control group, this therapeutic method demonstrated an effective approach in reducing coital fear and negative beliefs commonly associated with vaginal penetration in women with vaginismus. Further studies that include a control group and greater sample size are warranted to evaluate the efficacy of therapist-aided exposure therapy for treatment of women with LLV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-306
Number of pages14
JournalSexual and relationship therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2014


  • vaginismus, gradual exposure, women's sexuality, clinical psychology, treatment interventions, psychosomatic gynecology, pain, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, LIFELONG VAGINISMUS, UNCONSUMMATED MARRIAGE, SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, PAIN, EFFICACY, RECOMMENDATIONS, MANAGEMENT, INJECTIONS, AVOIDANCE

ID: 13588857