Background/aims: Vaginismus is characterized by recurrent or persistent involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles surrounding the outer third of the vagina when penile, finger, tampon, or speculum penetration is attempted. Recent results have suggested the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of vaginismus. Here, we assessed previously published data to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of botulinum toxin for vaginismus.
Methods: We have carried out a systematic review followed by a meta-analysis.
Results: Our results indicate that botulinum toxin is an effective therapeutic option for patients with vaginismus (pooled odds ratio of 8.723 with 95% confidence interval limits of 1.942 and 39.162, p = 0.005). This may hold particularly true in treatment-refractory patients because most of the studies included in this meta-analysis have enrolled these subjects in their primary analysis.
Conclusion: Botulinum toxin appears to bea reasonable intervention for vaginismus. However, this conclusion should be read carefully because of the deficiency of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials and the quality issues presented in the existing ones.