Charlotta

History

Age: 29
Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Illness: 4 Months -7 Years
Related Illnesses: IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, PMDD, Recurrent yeast/BV, Food allergies, Latex allergy
Diagnosis: Vulvar Vestibulitis

Factors Leading to Pain: Increasing dryness whilst taking Yasmin. I started to feel like I was having mild atrophic changes and the actual structure of my vulvar started to feel different, smaller and thinner. The vestibulitis started quite suddenly in January this year after going for a walk one day, my vagina was so dry I got a small tear which took weeks to heal. I came off Yasmin immediately because I really felt like it was the cause. I'd also started to feel generally unwell, had morning nausea every day and two really large cysts in my breast (which went within a week of stopping). My natural lubrication came back after about a week but the inflammation remained. My cycle seems to have an effect, my symptoms are much better for 10 days or so before I bleed and much worse for about 10 days after.

I've had recurrent yeast infections and BV for years, took me a long time to realize a latex allergy was a big culprit for general irritation. Had various investigative procedures to track down pelvic pain but none of those factors really bothered me on a daily basis or during sex like VVS. The IC started about 2 years after going on the pill.

I really feel like my VVS is a surface problem, skin inflammation rather than deep nerve pain. I've certainly noticed a link between what I eat with the IC so I feel like that could also be a contributing factor.

I started Yasmin to control my PMDD and it really was wonderful in that respect, I also had ovarian cysts but not PCOS which cleared up during my time on the pill. My hormones have always been slightly nuts.

Finally have an appointment to see someone at a vulval pain clinic on May 19th, hoping this will shed some light on the how, the why etc but I don't hold a huge amount of help. In the meantime I'll try anything I can to help this and eventually make it go away.

Causes of Illness: Yasmin

Hormones

Food allergies/other allergies.

Symptoms

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Pain During Urination
  • Pain When Sitting
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Discharge
  • Infections
  • Cracked/Thin Skin
  • Pain During/After Intercourse

Treatments

    Clobetasol

  • Been avoiding using this but succumbed last night in a moment of desperation. Seemed to actually help quite a bit but I'm wary of becoming dependent on something with so many long term side effects.

  • Imipramine

  • Really rude GP told me this was my only option and I refuse to take it. I took several antidepressants to help with anxiety a few years ago and I feel like they had a hugely negative impact on my life. My libido died, I put on tons of weight, had no personality, didn't care about anything and my relationship suffered to the point where we broke up after 7 years. I don't want to take something that makes me feel sexless to help me have sex. If that makes sense?

  • Homeopathy

  • I'm being treated by an old friend who is also a homeopath. So far great results with the IC but not much change with the VVS. She prescribed Casuticum 30m.

  • Acupuncture

  • Had a lot of success with balancing hormones/PMT but have yet to really address VVS.

  • BioKult

  • BioKult probiotic supplements. These things are AMAZING, after taking them religiously for 6 weeks I was tested for yeast and nothing grew in the lab. This is totally unheard of for me. They've helped my entire reproductive and digestive system. www.bio-kult.com

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract

  • Just started using this.

  • 100% Pure Neem Oil

  • I applied this straight to my vulvar and it really calmed things down BUT it smells so absolutely awful I avoid using it.

  • Osteopath

  • Huge success with this for general muscular pelvic pain. I don't know what I would have done without it to be honest but I have an amazingly holistic/magic osteopath who is willing to look at all options.

  • Diet

  • Trying to avoid certain foods know to be inflammatory, I know tomatoes really irritate my bladder for example and I know for a fact that dairy of all kinds really, really exacerbates my problems.

  • Agnus Castus

  • I take this to help with my PMDD (extreme form of PMT) it works so well that I have maybe a day or two with bad symptoms these days rather than 7-10.

  • Magnesium & Liquid B Vits

  • Again I take these to help with the PMDD but it seems to help across the board. Especially the magnesium which is great for nerves.

  • Epaderm Ointment

  • I use this instead of any kind of soap to wash with and it helps a lot.

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Comments (9)

Alex D · over 4 years ago

Hi Charlotta!

Welcome to the community! And thanks so much for sharing all those treatments...I hadn't heard of some of those before! Very interested to try some of them out.

The homeopathics that I'm taking for the VVS are Lycopodium Clavatum 30C and Mag Phos Tissue Salts 6X along with Traumeel and they seem to help quite a bit! Perhaps you could ask your friend about these? Just a thought... :)

Charlotta · over 4 years ago

Thanks Alex and thank you for making such a great site.

Update: Tried the Clobetasol for 3 days, BIG mistake. Made the whole area so sore that I spent all of yesterday crying and unable to walk. Will not be using that again, my ex bf had terrible eczema and I should have learnt from his years of trouble with steroids to keep away. As usual any of the treatments I get from regular doctors just make things more complicated.

Have a new homeopathic remedy to try today, Berberis vulgaris.

Charlotta · over 4 years ago

Had my appointment with the specialist today, she was really nice which makes a change. Very understanding and seemed to just get how important it is to be able to have sex. So many other doctors have been unkind, like that's a frivolous reason for not wanting pain. She also agreed that the pill was most likely the trigger, which was refreshing.

I'm going to an allergist for a full range of patch testing, I have a lot of allergies so it makes sense to rule that out first, also being referred for biofeedback and was given a full range of new things to try topically. Lidocaine which I'm going to try nightly, Trimovate which I'm wary of and an antihistamine for the days when I have swelling. We shall see.

I was kind of disappointed that she was very anti any estrogen/testosterone creams as I instinctively feel like that might help in my case.

Amber · over 4 years ago

I am thanking you SO much for this article. I gave in and finally got the prescription for the lidocaine filled. It has lifted so much off my shoulders being able to FINALLY have pain free sex. I put it right on the vestibule area, and twenty minutes later, NO PAIN. I am in heaven.

Dragana · over 4 years ago

Hi CHarlotta
How are you progressing? Have you been prescribed the estrogen/testosterone creams?

Charlotta · over 4 years ago

Things had been going really well until the past few days, having a major flare up but I think it's because I've been spending a lot of time wearing a bikini made from synthetic fabric, who knows. The Lidocaine has been a godsend it really has but I think what's made the most difference so far has been the homeopathy. It certainly seems to have coincided with that and my IC symptoms have all but vanished.

I get so positive when I have a few weeks respite but on a day like today when I have to sit very, very still and try not to cry with the pain it's haaaaard.

Dragana · over 4 years ago

I'm glad the lidocaine is doing what it should!
I find that when I use it, it burns quite a bit and so I have stopped using it for now, just until my body sorts itself out a little bit.

I have a mild form of IC and so I might try homeopathy, thanks for that!

Charlotta · over 4 years ago

It only burns for a few seconds with me but those few seconds are really unpleasant.

It's all back with a vengeance after a really nice break, I have noooo idea what triggered it. Almost worse now remembering what it's like to not have pain :(

Toxictigress · over 3 years ago

Just thought I'd mention what my doc's told me about the lidocaine- if the symptoms are really bad he said the lido's always going to burn really bad. The started me out with 2 different ointments, without looking it up I don't remember which was to replace the Lido, either Topicort or Bactroban. After I've used the full tube of whichever it is, they plan to switch me to lido. It might be worth discussing alternate options with your doc if you're getting a lot of burning/stinging with it. They also said the ointment can sometimes be better than the gel for that, too. Just stuff to consider.

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