Unconsummated Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa: Case Reports

Valentino M. Lema


Unconsummated marriage is a condition where newly married couples are unable to achieve penile-vaginal intercourse for variable periods despite desire and several attempts to do so. Its exact cause(s) is/are unknown, but performance anxiety resulting from or leading to other conditions is reportedly the major etiological factor. It is thought to be more prevalent in traditional and conservative religious communities where premarital sexual exposure is strictly prohibited. Most publications on unconsummated marriage have originated from North America, European and Middle Eastern countries. There have not been any such reports from sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to diverse cultures and traditions regarding premarital sex and marriage. This paper presents a sample of four cases with unconsummated marriage managed by the author in his private clinic based in the city of Nairobi Kenya, over the past five years. Possible etiological factors and management approaches are discussed, with a review of relevant literature. Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 159-165)


Keywords: Unconsummated marriage, sub-Saharan Africa, Presentation and management.



Le mariage non consommé est une condition où les couples nouvellement mariés sont incapables d'atteindre les rapports vaginaux pour des périodes variables, malgré le désir et plusieurs tentatives de le faire. Sa/ses cause (s) exacte(s) est / sont inconnue(s), mais l'anxiété de performance en conséquence de, ou en menant à d'autres conditions, serait le principal facteur étiologique. On croit qu’elle est  plus répandue dans les communautés religieuses, traditionnelles et conservatrices où l'exposition sexuelle avant le mariage est strictement interdite. La plupart des publications sur le mariage non consommé provenaient de l'Amérique du Nord, de l'Europe et des pays du Moyen-Orient. Il n'y a pas eu de tels rapports de l'Afrique subsaharienne, qui est le foyer de diverses cultures et traditions concernant le rapport sexuel avant le mariage et le mariage. Cet article présente un échantillon de quatre cas avec le mariage non consommé gérés par l'auteur dans sa clinique privée située dans la ville de Nairobi, au Kenya, au cours des cinq dernières années. Les facteurs étiologiques possibles et des approches de gestion sont abordés, avec un examen de la documentation pertinente. Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 159-165)


Mots-clés: mariage non consommé, Afrique sub-saharienne, présentation et gestion

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