IAMA person with Vestibulodynia (my vagina hurts!) AMA.
Hello. I have a condition called Vestibulodynia...otherwise known as Vulvar Vestibulitis. In short, I experience tremendous pain if anything attempts to enter my vagina. Lucky for me, I am married to a wonderfully tolerant man who supports me through all of this. Unlucky for him, he can't really have sex with me.
My pain began over 4 years ago. I thought I had a particularly persistent yeast infection, but test after test revealed no such infection. I had no STD or bacterial infection, either. The first three doctors I saw tried to convince me that the pain is all in my head...that nothing is wrong with me...that maybe I was sexually abused as a child and this is how it is resurfacing...and they tried to prescribe me antidepressants. When I finally saw a doctor who could diagnose me properly, he told me that there "isn't really a cure". He sent me off with a prescription for a numbing gel and some steroids.
I decided to embark on my own journey to health, and have learned a lot about my body and mind along the way. This condition is not talked about near enough in my opinion. I believe that birth control was the catalyst for my specific case, and more women should know about the risks of these readily available drugs.
I have lots more to say, but I'll leave it at that for now. AMA!!!
My 'proof ' is simply a nice still life of various supplements I'm trying at the moment, my little tiny dildo I practice with, a paper from my current therapist, and one of my favorite books on the topic, "When Sex Hurts". I've also included my hormone test results. I hope this is enough.
Please see this article in regards to BC to better understand where I am coming from:
I think perhaps my comment to the doctor is getting buried. HeWhoCorrects: Hi doc, assuming you are a doc, I had a good night's sleep and I will respond to you once again after reading the comments on this thread. Specialists think there are several types of Vulvodynia, as you know. I'm going to talk about my particular flavor..provoked vestibulodynia. Unfortunately there is not one clear cut cause for this condition, but we think it can be triggered by physical trauma, hormonal changes, infectious disease, neurologic conditions, or genetics. From what I have read, the most common cited causes for PV are hormonal changes and proliferation of nerves in that area. I have had my hormones tested, and as I said before, they are completely out of balance. My testosterone is normal while my estrogen is on the very low side, and my progesterone is almost entirely absent in my body. There is a theory that since hormone receptors exist in tissue from the vestibular glands, BC might not be such a great idea for some women. Here is an article that goes in-depth about androgen receptors and all that as well : http://www.pelvicpain.org/Professional/Blog/IPPS-Blog/June-2014/Do-Oral-Contraceptive-Pills-Cause-Vulvodynia-Time.aspx I'm curious to hear your response. It is possible that my pain is purely nerve-related. I may well have a proliferation of pain fiber nerve endings in the vestibule skin lining. For women with this particular problem, this density of nerve endings is the result of healing cells called (mast cells) releasing a protein called 'nerve growth factor'. Mast cells may be responding to a healing stimulus from an adverse reaction on the skin of the vestibule from medications used for yeast infections, etc. Since it is a FACT that my hormones are not in balance, I am interested in investigating why that is so. The one major thing that could have affected my hormones to such an extent is BC. I understand why I have been prescribed anti-depressants, and I know they have helped many many people manage pain. At this point in time, though, I'm not ready to accept the side effects of those types of drugs, and don't want to become reliant on something that numbs my pain a bit. If I were to have taken the psych meds from the first doctor I saw, I may not have ever found out about my hormonal imbalance. I am seeking to truly understand what is happening within my body. I'm attempting to heal myself before resorting to drugs. I am not a conspiracy theorist, and I'm not an anti-vaxer. I simply like to think for myself, and follow lines of logic. I am not trying to steer anyone away from BC- rather I am sharing my story, and urging people to do their own research with the HELP of medical professionals. They don't know everything! They don't know you! I really do appreciate your thoughtful response, and the time it took you to do so.