Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Marta Meana

Number of Pages



Attempts to fill the gap in knowledge of the psychosocial implications in the lives of women with dyspareunia have (1) been limited to less than a handful of studies, and (2) lack an accurate account from the women themselves as to how they have been impacted. Using a semi-structured interview, women were asked in an open-ended fashion about how having dyspareunia has affected their lives. Grounded theory methodology was utilized to identify emergent themes, their interrelations, and build a meaningful theory of experience of early dyspareunia. Cognitive and behavioral representation in women with dyspareunia from onset of pain to the decision point of seeking treatment was identified as the core process of the theory. Those encountering pain struggle to understand what they are experiencing and why, suffer from compounded consequences personally and in their relationships and must then assess whether the pros of seeking treatment outweigh the cons. Unique to this sample of women was the absence of incentives to seek treatment, resulting in a resignation to suffer in silence. The emergent theory proposes that the extent to which women perceive and understand their experience of dyspareunia may be a determinant in whether they seek medical treatment.


Dyspareunia; Living; Qualitative; Study

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology

File Format


File Size

2918.4 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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