The pain CAN get better - What's worked for me

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The pain CAN get better - What's worked for me Empty The pain CAN get better - What's worked for me

Post  emalita on Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:32 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I wanted to come back and give a little hope to those who are suffering.

I still have what I assume to be nerve pain on my left lower vulva area, urethra/vaginal muscle discomfort, and skin irritation during menstrual periods. However, trust me, it sounds far worse than it actually is…especially with what it is now compared to where I was even a year ago.

Although I am not 100% healed, I am able to have pleasurable sex pretty regularly, go for long walks, sit up in chairs (the position is very important some days), and lie in bed in whatever position I want most nights. Sex can be uncomfortable sometimes, but usually that is related to lubrication instead of vulva pain.

Below are the insights I can offer into what I’ve learned recently and what I’m doing to further promote my healing. Obviously I am not a doctor, and I am just sharing my experience. Please always do what is best for you!

1. Stop using countless products on your sensitive lady parts!

I’ve already said this a dozen times on this site, but I will say it again for good measure…STOP applying/inserting lotions, creams, gels, boric acid, etc. etc. etc. to your vulva/vagina!! Trust me, I KNOW how desperate we all are for a quick fix, and we keep thinking, with the 6th cream or the 3rd round of antibiotics we will finally be cured... I’m sorry, but it’s more likely that you’re only making things worse and prolonging your healing process (read my long history in my signature link). Please be kind to your body.

2. Could your pain be from your bladder/urethra instead of your vulva/vagina?? Don't just skip by this one!

EVERYTHING is so crammed together in the genital area for women, it is very difficult to tell where the pain is coming from.

I naturally assumed that if I ever had bladder or urethra pain it would be obvious, like a UTI, and I would have burning with urination. That was NOT the case for me. It took me several years to make a connection to consuming acids like oranges and other things like my vitamin supplement that contained B6 (common bladder irritant) or smoothies with stimulants like matcha. To this day, bladder irritants can still make it feel like the pain is at my inner labia when I urinate (weird, huh?).

I finally made the connection to oranges when I hadn’t had any in a while and one day decided to eat a few. I didn’t have burning pee like with a UTI, but I kept feeling like I needed to get something out of my body (urgency). The pain was almost prickly and burning, which is a common description of bladder pain (my history in my signature link even references the feeling of being poked with a needle!). Depending on how bad the flare-up was, I wouldn’t start feeling relief for about 3 days, and it wouldn’t be fully gone for probably at least a week. I noticed that for me, the offending foods could cause pain as quickly as 20 minutes or could take overnight to show itself. So, identifying food irritants (for any symptom of the body) can be really tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

I’m NOT saying I have interstitial cystitis. I believe I have food irritations (I have many for the rest of my body too), which were brought on by many years of poor bladder health (eating massive amounts of irritating foods, multiple rounds of antibiotics, holding my urine too long, UTIs, etc.). I have read that it can take as long as 3-6 months for a bladder to heal itself once all irritants are removed. So I am on that journey now. If you want a good starting point for common food irritations, please see the below link, but LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Not all of these will be irritations for you or be good for you.

3. STOP STRAINING! Don't skip over this one either!!

I have read many times before that straining is bad for your “already tight pelvic floor muscles” and for bowel movements, but of course I said to myself, “that’s not what my problem is!” Well…yes it is, at least partially. I was straining to pee because of the urgency feeling brought on by food irritants and, silly enough, straining itself. I was straining to release discharge because again, I was blaming my vagina for all my problems. I thought the discharge sitting inside my vagina was to blame for my pain. I was also straining to have bowel movements because I couldn’t be bothered to sit on the toilet for too long.

I finally made the connection when I strained so much that I felt almost a tearing feeling, a sharp pain in my vestibule. I was going in the tub for a bath right after, and as I sank into my bath water, my vestibule actually stung! So I had torn either my urethra or some sort of vaginal muscle when straining. I had not noticed any blood. It took a good week for the pain to calm down. I still didn’t have burning with urination, and it didn’t feel completely like a normal pulled muscle. So…I still don’t know what I did exactly, but it woke me up to what I was doing.

I have found that even the smallest amount of straining (any type of it) sends me into a flare-up where my vestibule feels very uncomfortable (then takes 3+ days to heal). I am in a minor flare-up now that I still don’t quite understand how I did it since I’ve been so careful not to strain, but yesterday I did strain ever so slightly for a bowel movement. I assume it must’ve been that.

Reducing the stress on my urethra/bladder/vaginal muscles from straining and food irritants has made a huge difference in my ability to have pain free sex.

4. Brazilian waxes

Now, I know what you must be thinking, “That sounds painful! How wouldn’t that make my pain worse?!” Well, a friend of mine who also suffers from vulvodynia recommended waxing to me after I told her that trimming my pubic hair was causing little cuts in my skin from the friction of the blunt hair to my overly delicate skin. I tried leaving my hair au naturel, but that made things even more painful. I found that my hair’s natural movement (even the minor movements) was aggravating my nerve pain. Think of brushing your hair in the wrong direction…even though that isn’t painful, you can feel it tug uncomfortably. Well, combine that with overly sensitive nerves, and you have pain.

I won’t lie, waxing was horrible the first time, and probably the second and third times as well, but it NEVER aggravated my vulvodynia pain…EVER. I’ve been getting waxed for probably about a year now (every 4 weeks), and I could always tell when I needed a wax because I could feel that weird numbing nerve pain coming on when my hair got to a certain length before the next wax. Now, I’m finally starting to not feel that pain as often, and I can actually touch that area of skin without horrible flare-ups that last for days.

I truly believe that FOR ME waxing was one of the best changes I made to promote healing and my ability to move around since it reduced the constant aggravation to those sensitive them a chance to heal.

5. Desensitize the area

You should NOT do this until you think that you are ready because it could make things worse for you. It may be best for you to see a pelvic floor physical therapist to work through this process with you.

I met an extremely patient, understanding, kind, and loving man that I wanted to be intimate with. With honest communication, I believe that our intimate touch and sex has accelerated my healing through desensitization. There are still some sensitive areas that he knows to avoid touching, but the indirect pressure from sex on those areas is slowly making them less unhappy. I believe with more time and patience, my nerve pain will be a thing of the past.

If you want to explore this at home or without sex, I found the below article helpful, even though I didn’t use the techniques myself.


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Post  SinclairSassy on Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:23 pm

One thing that has helped me is filling a pitcher full of water and letting it stand overnight so that the chlorine evaporates. It has helped a lot for urethra pain.

And cheaper than buying bottled water.


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Post  mary jane on Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:54 pm

Thanks for sharing! Do you use any medication?
The desensitization thing is something I've just started doing, I can't believe I've neglected doing this since first getting V.
I tried reducing my Amitriptyline dosage to 30 mg and my buzzing and nerve crawling came back !! Sad
mary jane
mary jane

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Post  emalita on Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:59 pm

No, I do not take any medication for my pain.

Hopefully the desensitization techniques help you Smile


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Post  Ginger on Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:17 am

I just wanted to say that I had struggled 5 years with this. Couldn't have sex, could not sleep with anything on, was only concentrating of whats going on down and when will it stop. The doctors were not of any good advice/help I must say with this issue. But this can also be, because for a lot of us different things could trigger this pain/discomfort/stinging. The worst for me was that constant stinging feeling.

Anyhow, it got better for me. It stopped. I needed to wait 5 years, but it stopped. So this is what really worked for me.
First of all i quit smoking. I think smoking is very bad for women issues.
I found out that I am allergic/oversensitive to detergent. So i started washing my panties with detergent free products. And this really helped. Also in the most acute phase I could not wear even a cotton panties but i found microfiber (sorry im not english native) fabric to be extremely gentle. And panties need to be white, because color can also be irritant.
This helped a lot.

I stopped using any soap down there. I wash only with plain water and mostly outer labia and in between the labia with little shower (because our hands and the way we put pressure on it can also be irritating). I never wash/shower inside of the vagina, because the vagina does this by itself and its counterproductive. I do this once, in the morning. In the evening only if I did sports or something.

But what helped the most was Brazilian waxing of the down area. Now, I did not do this ever for my boyfriends (I had regular waxing, to have all that tidy, but never Brazilian) but funnily, I did this only because after 4 years it came to my mind that any hair down could also be an issue. Because it can be rough (even when it is very short, because pubic hair is totally different texture than head hair). So Brazilian waxing was the ultimate thing that made me pain free.

I think your body, in the end, gives you clues, so it is very important to listen to your body. When the phase is acute, it is difficult to listen because you have all this panic voices in your head. But after the sea gets quieter, you get some clues. But in order to have a better communication with your body, one must also pay very good attention to what he eats, drink (puts inside the body). Because the body cannot communicate properly if it is cluttered with garbage.


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