The impact of vaginal penetration difficulties on the sexual functioning of women and their male partners

Einat Elran, Gila Bronner, Nir Uziel, Ilana Eli, Noam David Kitrey, Gil Raviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To compare the sexual function of women with and without vaginal penetration difficulties (VPDs) and relate it to the sexual function of their male partners. Methods All consenting women attending a sexual medicine centre during 2005-2007 completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and answered questions about five VPDs (placement of a tampon, gynaecological examination, insertion of her or her partner's finger, and penile-vaginal intercourse). Male partners filled the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Results Full data were available for 223 women, and 118 male partners. Male partners of women with VPDs (n = 53) had lower sexual desire (p = 0.0225). The number of VPDs in the women concerned negatively correlated with their partners' desire (r =-0.18339, p = 0.0468) and erectile function (r =-0.19848, p = 0.0312). All women with at least one VPD (n = 109) reported significantly more sexual pain (p < 0.0001) and had worse sexual function scores (p = 0.014) than women with no VPDs (n = 114). Women with VPDs other than penile-vaginal penetration had worse orgasmic functioning (p = 0.0119). Conclusions The women's VPDs are correlated with worse sexual functioning for them and for their male partners. The five VPDs are a practical and useful tool for identifying impaired sexual functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Female sexual function
  • Gynaecological examination
  • Male sexual function
  • Sexual pain
  • Tampon
  • Vaginal penetration difficulties


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