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February 7, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(6):361-365. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890230001001

Dyspareunia, which signifies painful or difficult intercourse, is a not infrequent disturbance. It has wrought havoc in many marriages and, even if of minor degree, has caused unhappiness and discomfort. Eventually it may produce serious neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Most frequently the family physician is the first to be consulted, particularly by newlyweds whom he has known since childhood or adolescence. Too often the general practitioner, because he has not been instructed in medical school, proves ill qualified to be a useful counselor. Moreover, he will find little useful guidance in the textbooks.1 To meet this gap, I have reviewed the histories of a considerable unselected series of cases of dyspareunia from my private records, in order to present and clarify the subject and offer guidance in this little discussed field.

The entire series comprised 349 patients representing 1.5 per cent of the patients encountered in office practice over a period