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What is wrong with me?? :(

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  • What is wrong with me?? :(

    The past year has been a roller-coaster ride of doctor appointments; yet I have no answer! I am at the breaking point; I desperately need some guidance.
    To understand my situation, I must go back– all the way back– to high school. I am now 26 years old.

    In early high school I had reoccurent vaginal infections. It seemed like my vagina was ALWAYS itching. I went to the gynecologist. First he said it was a yeast infection, then it was a bacteria infection, then a cervix infection, and then ‘uh-oh... looks like the yeast infection came back again”. This carried on for two years. The doctors said I was just one of those few people who get chronic infections. I got into a relationship during the midst of all that, and tried messing around with my boyfriend (not sex, just rubbing). Result: my labia swelled, itched and burned. Talk about a bad first experience. Somewhere around that time I decided to go on birth control. About 4 months into the birth control, coincidentally (or no coincidence?) all my vaginal problems disappeared. I was on birth control for 10 years, and during that time.. I had no vaginal itching, no infections.

    Well, I got engaged last year and wanted to go off birth control... primarily because my fiance and I want to have children. That, and I started to get migraines (which I was told could be worsened by birth control pills). With migraines and stroke history in my family, I felt better with the idea of being birth-control free.
    I stopped birth control 1 year ago, and since then.. my health has been a disaster!! Intense vaginal itching began a few months after going birth control free. I went to the gyno, and his diagnosis: yeast infection. Took Diflucan, and the itching subsided momentarily.. but flared back up next period. The second time I went in, the diagnosis was a bacteria infection. Took antibiotics for that, but the itching came back AGAIN. Then suddenly, my vagina wasn’t the only thing itching. My entire body started to itch. I went to the allergist and he stared at me dumbfounded... “maybe see a dermatologist if your skin is itchy?”.

    Before I could get into a dermatologist.. I woke up with an intense, all over body rash. Blisters covered my face, arms, legs, groin, stomach... everywhere. Every inch of me was covered in red, itchy blisters. I went to the dermatologist (debated going to the hospital.. but the dermatologist got me in ASAP). He said I was having some kind of severe allergic reaction, possibly to the antibiotics. I had taken those antibiotics before though, in high school.. and never had a problem. To this day, I don’t know what cause the rash. My doctor said it was probably an allergic reaction, or could be dermatitis...but the biopsy was ‘unclear’.
    They did an all over body exam, biopsy, and eventually – patch test. He said my vaginal area was red, swollen, and cracked.. and diagnosed it as vaginal eczema.

    He prescribed me prednisone, plus a steriod cream to put all over my body, and Lortrisone for the vaginal area. The red bumps went away, but the itching never did. Whenever I used the Lortrisone, my vagina burned horribly. I told him this.. and he kept saying to give it more time. So I kept using it.. and using it. Eventually the burn stopped, and the itching subsided a tiny bit. But as soon as I stopped using the Lortrisone after seeing improvement...the itching started up again. Then about five months months ago, I started getting dull throbbing pains in my vaginal area. They started a week before my period, and lasted until the full week after. I went back into the gynecologist, and he said it could be vulvodynia. He prescribed me a numbing medication for the pain to be applied to the vaginal area... but that only solves the problem for an hour tops.

    I still have itching. I still have pains. What is wrong with me? Where should I go from here?

  • It seems as if the birth control pills were the only long lasting solution. Could you back on them, even for a short time, to prove their effectiveness. If you can prove their effectiveness, maybe a clever doctor can prove what in them is actually helping you.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

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