Do I listen to my gyno who I feel has it wrong?
March 9, 2018 at 10:47 am #22580
I wanted to share my story here as I feel frustrated by the suggestions of my gyno and am hoping for some advice.
To give a little bit of context: in September 2016 I moved in with my long term boyfriend after living abroad a year and (nearly) abstaining from sex. Within a few weeks I had got a yeast infection which I treated myself successfully, but then 2 weeks later got a UTI, which was followed by another yeast infection. I had a month lull, and then got another in January and from then felt I was in this horrible cycle of getting one, it being better for a week and then symptoms returning. I made every effort possible to avoid the things that trigger it too. I finally got the walk-in clinic to refer me to a specialist in April and at this time they also suggested I also take probiotic suppositories with the oral medication for yeast and to continue taking these once a week after taking everyday for 2 weeks. I was pain free for 5 weeks solid and assumed I had found the trick and so ended up cancelling my gyno specialist appointment in June because I didn’t want to waste her time.
Silly cheap me, once my probiotic ran out after 8 weeks, I thought I would try just living without taking this every week as it was a little expensive. Low and behold two weeks after stopping this I get another yeast infection!! I was so mad and frustrated at myself for having cancelled that specialist appointment! I ended up returning to the same walk-in clinic and getting them to refer me again, but this time my appointment wasn’t until October (this past October). I treated the yeast I got in June and started up with the probiotics again, but there was a lingering pain even after the the treatment was over and attempted sex usually resulted in a burning sensation. I ended up mutually breaking up with my boyfriend in August, not over this sex stuff, but realistically it didn’t help any. In September it had been 4 weeks since I attempted sex and I was finally starting to not have consistent vulvar pain anymore. My ex came over and we had sex to “test me out” and I remember it actually feeling good! I was essentially pain free up until my gyno appointment in October and didn’t have much to say to her other than give my history since I was feeling fine. She told me if symptoms return she could book me in quickly in the future.
In November I decided to enter into a friends with benefits type situation with a guy friend of mine. The sex was good with him too and I was pleased to think I finally overcame this stuff. Then I started noticing a bad odour from my vagina and was getting rather self-conscious of it so I ended the friends with benefits arrangement and booked an appt. with the gyno. She did some tests which came back positive for BV and so prescribed me oral antibiotics. During that week of antibiotics I also inserted the probiotic suppositories. After that treatment was over, I felt back to normal.
THEN in January I randomly and without any factor (like sex) having provoked it, started feeling a little itchy/ burning when wiping type feelings down there intermittently. I had an appointment with my gyno Jan 16th to get a new IUD intserted and brought up these concerns with her then. She said she didn’t see anything looking wrong with my vagina and said it might be to anxiety about getting the IUD, although I didn’t feel this was the case as I wasn’t particularly nervous having done it before.
In the meantime of this going on, I ended up starting to date a new guy. At first I put him off sex with excuses like my period, but then ended up telling him the truth and giving a brief history of my experience with infections. He was really understanding and we made a plan to do ‘other stuff’ while we waited for this particular issue to get resolved. We did try having sex once just to see how it would be for me and it was ok at first, but became painful with a burning sensation as he went deeper and there was more friction.
Anyways, a week later and I’m still getting these symptoms so I book another appointment and this time she takes me more seriously and says since we’ve ruled out the typical infections, she thinks it’s a mild case of DIV (even though I have no odd discharge whatsoever). She prescribes a clindamycin gel to be inserted into the vagina every night for 2 weeks. I had to wait a week to get the prescription filled because it was a compound and needed to go to a special place. My symptoms seemed to improve slightly in this time and I even tried having sex again which was similar basically the same as before, more burning pain with faster and deeper penetration. I thought the clindamycin was worth a try even thought I didn’t have ALL symptoms of DIV and proceed to endure 2 weeks of hell, with severe burning during peeing and wiping as the gel inevitably leaked out. Even though this was an antibiotic I didn’t go on my probiotic suppositories as I felt enough was already being shoved up my vagina. Even though my gyno said I could have sex while on this medication, that was TOTALLY out of the question. After I had been off it for a few days, I tried to have sex again and it felt ok, a little pain during but afterwards there was this sever burning sensation that lasted for 30-40 minutes, slowly fading. I was also still having intermittent itchiness/ burning during the day unprovoked.
I went to see her for the follow up and reported what happened. She looked at the inside of my vagina and said I now had a yeast infection and she couldn’t see the DIV because of all the yeast. GREAT. So she prescribed me 2 oral tablets for the yeast to take 72 hours apart. She said if I’m still getting symptoms 5-7 days after the first dose to start on this steriod cream for the DIV, which you insert into the vagina every day for 2 weeks and then every couple days for two weeks.
WELL, where I am now is that I’ve taken the two doses for yeast and it’s been 9 days since the first dose. These past 4 days I’ve noticed significant improvement in my itchiness and discomfort during the day, with it barely being there to bother me, especially yesterday. I was really hopeful that the clindymicin had done the trick and that now that the resulting yeast had been addressed I’d be good to go for sex again! However, upon having sex last night, it was just the same as before. Ok, even kinda good, during, becoming a little more irritated near the end and then this severe burning for nearly an hour after.
All the times we’ve had sex my boyfriend has remarked that it feels like the muscles are tight, but not in a normal way, based on his experiences. Which kinda sounds like the muscle spasms of vaginismus to me.
Obviously I have done a great deal of research into vaginal and vulvar pain problems and really feel that what I have is most likely vulvodynia or vaginismus and NOT DIV like my gyno thinks because a) I don’t have the discharge and b) I’ve read that most people see improvement after the round of clindymicin. I’m really not keen on subjecting myself to this steriod cream stuff for a month, which the high potential for lots of discomfort and no improvement.
What I want to know from the community here is what do you think? Are my concerns about this steriod cream valid? Part of my wants to call my doctor before going on it and explain to her why I don’t think it will be helpful, but I don’t want to undermine her since she’s supposed to be the professional here, and I don’t even know if her secretary would even relay the concerns. Part of me wants to try dilator stuff too, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin without guidance.
I should also mention that I’ve really been working on the psychological aspect with myself by saying aloud to myself (and in a voice like I really believe it) the following statements 10 times on my drive to work in the morning. If anyone knows about Louise Hay’s affirmations, same idea.
1) There are solutions to any problem I experience
2) My vagina feels good
3) I deserve to have good sex*
*I had done something sexually I was a bit ashamed of in the past and at times of having these problems over the past year I would have this bad self talk like: ‘well serves me right, I don’t deserve to enjoy sex anyways’. However, through talking with a close friend and my new boyfriend I’ve come to realise that this isn’t something I should feel ashamed/guilty about and that I didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m trying to come to terms with that.
I am a 25 yearMarch 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm #22595
Hi Tunes25! Welcome to the forum, and I’m so sorry to hear about all the pain you’ve been experiencing. I can’t comment on the infections since I’m not a doctor, but your mention of possible vulvodynia might be something one of the doctors on the forum can speak more to. A few things I DO know are that vulvodynia is often pain that happens even not during sex, and sometimes even when you’re doing nothing at all. If you google the vulvodynia “q-tip test” you can try that yourself, for example.
As for dilating, there’s a lot of info on these forums about how to do it, and we are always happy to answer questions about it. In my opinion it’s a good way to stretch your vaginal muscles and also test the potential severity of the vaginismus (since a lot of women can’t insert anything at all). Getting a set of dilators to work with might be a good start!
I think it’s also great that you use affirmations – I have used them myself, and the key to tackling issues like vaginismus is in having an attitude that’s open to change! Please let us know if there’s other ways we can help – this all sounds extremely confusing for you!
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