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I Hate my Vagina

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  • I Hate my Vagina

    Warning: in order to describe what is happening to me, I have to use the words vulva, vagina, and clitoris. If that's going to bother anyone, then maybe don't read my post.

    I called out today because all I wanted to do was stay home and cry. This is a sensitive topic for me. I was raised very conservative Christian, and because of intense shame around my sexuality, I'd ideally like everyone to assume I don't even have a vagina. Yet I've been to the doctor again and again because the vagina that I have insists on becoming inflamed over and over again. The last time I had an issue was right before my last period (7/25), when I was diagnosed with an intense yeast infection. It cleared up with Diflucan and the onset of my period. After that I got hopeful, because my vagina and vulva were perfectly healthy and comfortable until just last week. (9/3)

    On Saturday I woke up to itching and swelling under the right side of my clitoris. I thought maybe I was having an allergic reaction to something. I'm allergic to cats and my boyfriend has a cat. Sometimes he accidentally gets the dander on me, so I thought maybe a cat hair had gotten wedged up in there during sex somehow. I took Zyrtec and tried not to worry about it. But the itching and swelling persisted the next day, and the next, spreading to both sides of my clitoris. My clitoris appeared red and irritated. Then I noticed a small amount of white clumpy discharge coming from my vagina. Since I have a lot of yeast infections, I had Diflucan on hand. I took my first pill on Sunday. I have noticed that Diflucan makes the inside of my vagina burn a little bit, so it was a bit uncomfortable on Monday and Tuesday but that wasn't a surprise to me. On Wednesday my boyfriend and I tried to have sex, but we stopped pretty quickly because I was in pain. The tissues felt inflamed and the friction was causing a stinging sensation inside of me. Yesterday, Thursday, I noticed the white discharge had come back a little so I took another Diflucan. My vagina was burning a bit last night as a result. It's still not comfortable today, burns to the touch, and I've noticed it's pretty red on the inside. But what is really bothering me is how inflamed my clitoris still is. It's still itching, and red, and it's blown up to twice its normal size. I'm taking Zyrtec with no relief.

    Regarding the itching and burning, I feel so depressed, and so incredibly hopeless. I just want my vagina back. I feel like I'll never have sex again. I feel like this is a punishment or something, for being sexually active, although I've only been with this one boyfriend my whole life (we've been together two years). I feel like I'm grieving a very personal part of myself that I won't get back--that I enjoyed, and that I'm ashamed to have enjoyed. I'm ashamed to be grieving the loss of my sex life, because I feel like I should never have had one. I feel like I probably shouldn't care about my vagina, and I'm embarrassed to care--but I do care. I feel useless sexually, to my boyfriend when he wants to have sex--and to myself, I'd really like to have sex as well, but not when I'm in pain. I feel disabled. I feel like an entire part of myself has been taken, and replaced with pain. And I feel like I probably deserve it.

    As stupid as this sounds, I was deeply depressed to the point of having suicidal thoughts yesterday, because I don't know what's causing this and it seems like it will never go away. It seems like I will never be able to have a worry-free relationship with my vagina. I hate my vagina. I've had 5 yeast infections in the last year alone, all before my period, and they all cleared up with Diflucan and the onset of the period--but still! I've had allergic reactions like this before, that required Prednisone to clear up because my clitoris would NOT stop swelling. I've changed my laundry detergent and my entire style of clothing to accommodate my vagina, to give it airflow and keep it free of chemicals. I use the mildest laundry detergent possible, no soap, and we use the most basic condoms with no lube, because I've had an allergic reaction to laundry detergent before and to less mild sexual products in the past (I'm not on birth control because of a sensitivity to hormones, so we use barrier protection and a little bit of withdrawal on what we assume are my non-fertile days).
    And yes, I have tried a copper IUD, I've had two, they both ended up shifting to the wrong place in my uterus and had to be removed. And no, knock on wood, I've never been pregnant. I take expensive probiotics every single day just for my vagina, I invested in a hand bidet so that I won't get UTIs, because toilet paper alone doesn't cut it and hopping in the shower causes too much moisture, ending in BV and yeast infections. And still, my vagina remains ungrateful, and proceeds to get infected or swell up at least once a month. What am I doing wrong??

    I've never tested positive for an STD. I don't even have HPV. We're monogamous as far as I know, unless he's lying in some elaborate way.

    I do have a plan to wash my bedsheets, clothes, everything, in tons of water and a tiny amount of hypoallergenic detergent today. I'm going to the doctor again on Monday. But it just seems like I'm doomed to this reality of having a painful, itchy vagina that won't stay healthy for me. And also that my sex life is over, forever. And I really liked it, as ****ty as that makes me sound.

    I can't talk to anyone about this, because it's so taboo, you know? I don't want to go out in public, I don't want to hang out with friends, because I feel isolated, like nobody understands my pain. If I had a broken leg, I could say, wow, my leg hurts, and I'm sad that I can't walk. But when your vagina is having issues, you can't tell anyone. It's so lonely and scary. You can't say, wow, my vagina hurts and I'm sad that I can't have sex. You can't say that. Because somehow evolution or God or whoever the Hell blessed us with these sexual needs and wants that are embarrassing and painful and intense, and yet must stay secret at all times, and if you ever have a problem with that area of your life, you can tell nobody.

  • Welcome mfmorgan! I'm so glad you found us here, and trust us to help you!

    It sounds as if this is a terribly traumatic time for you! I read through your post, and unfortunately I'm very short on time to give a lengthy response, and will return later to do so. But I wanted to just say a few things, in case you check back before anyone else has a chance to fully respond.

    I can really feel the frustration and the tension in your writing. Sometimes our bodies just don't cooperate. They are sensitive, they are every-changing and they respond to a lot of different things in different ways. I assure you that nothing that is happening is due to something wrong that you've done. Your pH may be out of balance, you may have a bacterial as well as a fungal (yeast) issue happening, it could be protozoal or there could be other things out of balance. It is not happening directly because you are trying to enjoy a healthy sex life. It seems like your medical provider is not doing a truly thorough job of ruling out everything, or preventing things. This is a rough time, and your body chemistry just needs to get balanced out. This doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of troubles with your vagina!

    From the sounds of it, this is definitely enough to send you into a time of depression and severe enough that you are thinking of harming yourself. Please reach out to your boyfriend, someone else that you trust, or call a hotline at times when you're having those thoughts. You may believe that you'd never follow through with thoughts like that, and maybe you wouldn't, but you need extra support during those times. Assuming you're in the US, you can dial 800 273 TALK (8255) if you're feeling like you want to harm yourself.
    There's nothing wrong with you for having such thoughts either. Combined with the physical discomfort and pain, emotional turmoil and the feelings of shame this has stirred up in you, you're feeling down and hopeless. Please find some support rather than hold this inside. It takes time, but you'll likely find a solution to this and be enjoying a healthy sex life very soon.

    I'll check back in soon.

    Comment


    • My go to topical antifungal is crystal violet or gentian violet (I'm a guy but I sometimes deal with genital yeast due to diabetes). It is still on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines per Wikipedia. I am not a doctor so don't take this as medical advice, but read up on it and consult with your doctor to see if it can be of help. A caution, it is highly staining so consider what you will wear for a few days after applying it. In my case, it gets rid of the yeast almost immediately and the tender skin is back to normal within a few days. It is not prescription.
      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

      Comment


      • Are you allergic to latex? Have you tried latex-free condoms?

        You'll be seeing your doctor again tomorrow, so I hope that results in some relief, and answers. Have they tested your pH?
        How is your overall health otherwise? Seems like you mention a lot of allergies and it could be that your immune system is just a little haywire right now. Do you see an allergist or immunologist?

        How long are you waiting between these flare-ups to restart sexual activity? It could be that your body isn't having enough time to fully heal before you're having intercourse, and it's just inflaming those tissues again. Has he been to the doctor as well, to be sure that he also isn't having yeast or bacterial imbalances, and then just giving your microbial flora a run for their money when you have sex again?

        Have they tested you for Group B Strep? It's part of our normal bacteria but can become overgrown and cause issues for us. I've had it, and it was an absolute nightmare. Different presenting symptoms, but it could be part of your imbalance.

        When I was younger, I had a ton of issues with sexual health. I was constantly fighting yeast, and sex always caused some crazy symptoms. That went on for quite awhile, and eventually I got everything balanced and I only occasionally had problems. It is maddening, but you will find solutions, and your body will settle down and cooperate. It may take time and a lot of reading and digging to find ideas to bring some improvement.

        One last thing...I know that private matters like this can seem taboo, and inappropriate for casual conversation. But, you can discuss these things within the right context, with the right people. Do you have close girl friends that you can share personal information with? Does your boyfriend understand your struggles and is he patient with you during this time? Do you have siblings or any family that you can confide in? My girlfriends and I talk about our vaginas all the time, and all the trouble and inconvenience they can be. Isn't there anyone in your circle you can open up to?
        If nothing else, you have us here to chat with.

        I hope you'll return and update us.

        Comment


        • I don't have anything helpful to add beyond what others have already shared. I just want to let you know that my heart aches for you. While you're dealing with the physical side of what's going on with your body, do you have access to a therapist who may be able to help you with the impact it's having on your mental health? Feeling like you're being "punished" in some way seems to be directly linked back to how you were raised, and it would make sense that it makes it harder to confide in close friends who may be able to relate or offer their own experiences. Working through your feelings (from your past and how your current situation makes you feel about your body and your sex life) with an objective person like a therapist won't solve your medical problems but it may make it easier to get answers and see it as a medical problem, NOT a judgement on your sexual pleasure.

          Good luck to you, and I hope you can consider these forums a safe place to discuss what you're going through if you're not ready or able to talk to the people in your life.

          Comment


          • I don't know how helpful this will be other than knowing you're not the only one this happens to but I also struggle with stuff like this. I think I just have a super sensitive pH balance or something but I feel like my vagina is just "off" very frequently. (I do have an IUD and I've heard this can make your chances greater for yeast infections etc.)

            I will deal with itching, some swelling, and discomfort during sex pretty often. Sometimes it seems like it's around my period but sometimes it seems random. I also find myself just wishing I could have my old vagina back! I've gone to the doctor and they haven't been much help other than telling me it's not an STI or whatever. It usually just goes away after awhile by itself but I definitely have gone long stretches feeling really off down there. I hope it gets better!!

            Comment


            • Hey Morgan, we can all guess here but your doctor will give you a good idea, I hope you can update us all when you get news. It is very good that you seem to understand the mental not just physical issues when things like this happen and hope you recover soon.

              Comment

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