Topical nitroglycerin may offer effective treatment for primary vaginismus

Last Updated: 2001-07-09 17:43:17 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Nitroglycerin ointment applied to the vagina may successfully treat primary vaginismus, according to a case report by Israeli researchers.

Dr. Roni Peleg from Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva and colleagues describe the case of a Bedouin woman, 22 years of age, who presented with difficulty in engaging in sexual intercourse due to primary vaginismus.

Because of their Muslim Bedouin background, the couple declined sex and behavioral counseling. After another month of unsuccessful intercourse, nitroglycerin ointment was prescribed for the woman.

"The topical vaginal application of 0.2% glyceryl trinitrate ointment enabled them to have satisfactory sexual intercourse," Dr. Peleg's group reports in the May issue of the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

A few weeks after treatment the woman conceived, and gave birth after 39 weeks. About 2 months after giving birth, the researchers report that the woman resumed regular sexual intercourse with no problem and without the need for topical nitroglycerin.

The precise effect of topical nitroglycerin is not clear, Dr. Peleg and colleagues point out. "Besides relaxation of the vaginal muscles, it is possible that the ointment also served as a lubricant during the sexual act and may have improved the quality of the partner's erection." The use of the ointment may also have resulted in a placebo effect, they speculate.

Based on this case report, the researchers believe that placebo-controlled studies of nitroglycerin ointment for vaginismus or dyspareunia are warranted.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2001;96:111-112.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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