Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Illness: 4 months (July 13)
Related Illnesses: Anxiety, sacral joint pain, yeast
Diagnosis: Possible VVS
Factors Leading to Pain: Started with typical thrush bout, I treated with a diflucan and it vaguely improved but my job entailed wearing a catsuit (don't ask) in the summer heatwave and things worsened each time I had to wear it. Hoped it would be over when the job finished (in a month) but after it ended things improved slightly only to worsen when I had sex.
First time I had sex after a 5 week break it was uncomfortable but ok, 3 days later we had sex again and it was really uncomfortable and tight, I got very sore after. Started to panic as was itchy and sore and had to go on holiday where it was humid and warm which made things worse. At this point it felt often like burning and one online gyno suggested candida glabrata, a more resistant form of fungus. During this time I tried rephresh but don't think it helped.
Got back from holiday and have been home in UK since. I tested for yeast 4 times (incl glabrata) since this started in July and have never cultured positive. Also tested for STIs, so has boyfriend, both clear. He has been getting a red painless rash on his penis after we have sex or even just manual foreplay without penetration. STI clinic said it was thrush and gave him clotrimazole but hasn't gone away, no pain though. They also were the only ones to see yeast on a microscope for me but it didn't culture so can't really tell if it was yeast from this. Apart from the first thrush bout it hasn't felt much like thrush. It is strange both he and I are irritated, he has no pain, just lucky ole me that is suffering. The STI clinic diagnosed him with thrush but clotrimazole has not much improved his red rash and it still appears after either sex or stimulation, the same clinic were only ones to see yeast on a microscope with me but it didn't culture here either so not sure what to make if the yeast drama, not sure which is more reliable, microscopy or culture?
Since geting back to UK in mid august (it is now end of sept) and weather getting cooler things have improved slightly. No more burning, itching, soreness, it's moved entirely to my vaginal entrance. I can insert a finger ok and even used a dildo with no major complications. Interestingly the main area of soreness is on the 'urethral meatus': the v or u shaped area the urethra is in, I feel tender around the urethra and the area around it. No UTI or pain urinating though I do pee more than the average person at about 8-12 times a day. My clitoris is pale (?) but doesn't hurt and works fine, occasionally I get a build up of smegma type discharge here and around the upper labial folds but this comes and goes. I can't quite tell where other pain is although I tried sex for the first time in almost 6 weeks today and it was so painful. I was very anxious about it so probably tensed up but my boyfriend said it didn't feel tight and apparently he didn't even go all the way in. I had to stop after about 5 minutes. Wasn't acid on skin or knife like but definitely v sore.
I'm gutted about the sex, I'm sure you all know how it feels, de-feminising, a sense of incompleteness and worry about not fulfilling your partner. My boyfriend has been amazing but I'm scared about the impact this will have on us. We had a fantastic sex life for 10 years but this feels like its been stolen from me now.
Mainly it's on touch but I can feel uncomfortable walking around if too hot or too moist, I am wearing snugger clothes which wasn't even possible a few weeks ago and pressure on the outside is not really a problem but it feels like any possible yeast or skin issues I had are now resolved an now I'm left with nerve damage?
I went to see a gynaecologist at Royal Free and he was useless, poked me, said he couldn't see anything and without discussing just referred me to the psycho-sexual unit because its clearly al in my head (cheers mate). I'm going to see a dermatologist although the skin looks fine to me. Then I got a referral to a vulval pain specialist Professor Maclean for November which will hopefully give me some answers.
If these symptoms/scenario sounds familiar please offer any advice however small, I feel so hopeless and sometimes suicidal, it's good not to feel so alone in this though I'm gutted to see so many people suffering
Causes of Illness: Yeast though I've never technically cultured positive I am almost certain this started with yeast.
Same week it happened I used a strong hair colour stripper that you have to wash out for 30 mins, then dyed agin, worried I had a chemical burn that resolved dermatologically but left nerve damage.
Earlier in year noticed lump at sacral joint, scanned, benign but perhaps it is linked? Pain started 8 months after this lump appeared.
- Pain on Contact
- Pain During/After Intercourse
- Pain if too humid or moist
On maintenance course, take 1 every 4-5 days to repress any yeast, I def don't seem o have itching or yeast like infections any more
Used sparingly this soothes and protects vulva
Very helpful to soothe and relax, especially before stimulation
Helps with self stimulation but used for sex thus morning and didn't help much :(
Vaseline and vitamin e oil
Dermal 600 in warm bath
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