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i have what doctors tell me is "interstitial cystitis", i am 45 years old and have one ovary that apparently quit working in the past year. i was raped over a year ago but started having this labial discomfort months before that.

By Anonymous September 2, 2014 - 5:38pm
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I explained to my gynecologist, my family physician, and later a urologist, about this labial pain. it comes and goes. it mostly just aches. ive been tested for every std and my urine and std tests all come back negative for anything. I had a disc replacement in low back 2 years ago. I had a hip arthroscopy 2 years ago and was told I have no cartilage in my hip. I also have had tailbone pain for the past 3 years. my orthopedic doctor doesn't see anything on mris or xrays of my pelvis and spine. however, it occurs to me that there must be a connection neurologically. it does seem a little better in the mornings when I have rested well from sleep. it does seem to help if I follow the interstitial cystitis diet (avoid tomatoes and citrus type foods also Mexican food). it gets worse when its hot outside. I sweat a lot from the perineal area) my sweat glands in my crotch are overactive. I completely soak my panties no matter the temperature im in. I cant wear pants because if I do, it irritates it more. I try to not wear underwear, I go commando most the time. that seems to help. it also helps if I can put a fan on "it" and let it air out, so to speak. I discovered about a month ago, that I am post menopausal. ive started estrogen replacement and that seems to keep my issues at a slight salute instead of full on hey im going to bother you forever! I also am not interested in sex and have no desire to meet anyone or have any kind of friendship with a guy. I was still interested a little before I was raped, but now, I get asked out a lot and don't mean to sound conceited but I am apparently very sexy looking to men even though I don't feel like it. I don't even try and they are constantly trying to flirt with me. I do not have a sign that says I want to get fucked tattooed on my forehead but they seem to believe that I do. I for one, don't give a guy more than one date if he gives me any good reason to think hes a turd. I actually look for it as a defense mechanism and am very stringent now. I dont get past a week or so before they casually bring up that they want to have sex. I have absolutely had it! im not kidding! I guess my question is: is all this bullshit NORMAL?????

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for sharing your story with us and I am really sorry to read you have been raped. There can be nothing worse when it comes to a woman and her body, to have it invaded like that with such violence. 

I hope you are getting support for this - do you have close friends or family to talk with?

Interstitial cystitis is chronic inflammation of the wall of the bladder. Inflammation can lead to scarring, pinpoint bleeding of the bladder wall, and a decreased bladder capacity. Although the symptoms are similar to those of a bladder infection , there is usually no clear cause.

Because bacteria, fungi, or viruses are rarely found in the urine of people with interstitial cystitis, the cause is unclear. Possible causes include:

  • An autoimmune response that occurs following abacterial infectionof the bladder
  • Bacteria that cling too tightly to the wall of the bladder
  • A "leaky" inner lining of the bladder that allows irritating substances in the urine to come into contact with the bladder wall



Symptoms can include:

  • Discomfort, pain, or pressure in the bladder or pelvic area when the bladder is full and relief when the bladder is emptied
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent need to urinate (up to 60 times per day in severe cases)
  • Pain during and after intercourse
  • Blood and pus in the urine
  • Depression
  • Men with pain in testes, groin, or tip of penis
  • Constipation
  • Nocturia (urination at night, especially when excessive) from once to over 12 times every night

Anon, some of the wetness may be urine, rather than sweat but if you are also menopausal, this could be a combination of both. 

Give yourself more time on the hormones and hopefully this may stop altogether. 

Anon, it's great you are following the proper diet, that's really important regarding IC. 

But there are other treatments available. Has your doctor discussed them with you? 

There is no treatment to cure interstitial cystitis. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms. Treatment depends on your symptoms. You may have to try several different treatments before you experience relief.

Treatments include:

Bladder Distention

Some people experience relief after the bladder distention (during the cystoscopy) is done.

Bladder Instillation

During bladder instillation, a "wash" is put into the bladder through a tube in the urethra. It is held for anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes and then voided. There are several different types of solutions used. Some coat the bladder and are thought to decrease the inflammation. An example of this is called Hanno "cocktail," which is comprised of heparin and sodium bicarbonate.



Medications may include:

  • Bladder coating—taken orally to coat and protect the bladder
  • Antidepressants and pain relievers—for pain relief
  • Antihistamines—may help stop the cycle of inflammation
  • Antispasmodics—may alleviate frequency and urgency of urination

With regard to your rape and relationship with men - it's perfectly natural to distrust men and to not be particularly interested in sex. Your rape is still quite recent and you need time to recover, both mentally and physically. 

Some men do push for sex quickly. Feel free to rid yourself of them or ignore them altogether. You probably are a beautiful woman in her prime but that doesn't mean you are fodder when you go out. 

Don't date if you're not ready for it and take your time. Have you considered some kind of counselling?

I hope this information helps you and we hear back from you-





September 3, 2014 - 4:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

thank you susan for answering my comments! I do have close family and friends that help me by being there for me when I need someone to talk to. I have tried medications for the IC but was taken off of them because of the constipation it was causing. the only symptom I experience is pain in the genital area, the labia and vulva. I do not experience urgency or any of the other symptoms listed. the only thing that helps is pain relief and trying to follow a diet. I forgot to mention that I am sensitive to glutens, so following a diet routine is a good habit of mine but it is difficult sometimes. I am quite lean and have a bmi of 18. I weigh approximately 118 lbs and I am 5 foot 5inches. I am told that I look too skinny but I eat like a horse.
I did not seek counseling but feel confident that my time spent reflecting and meditating help me focus and stay strong. counseling is expensive and time consuming, neither of which im fond of.
I am content at this time, to stay single and want to grow spiritually. for me that means I need to rediscover who I am after ending a 17 year verbally and emotionally abusive marriage. I appreciate the time you spent by responding to me. ive calmed down a bit since I wrote that and I think you getting back to me was really important for heading me into that direction. thank you again xoxox

September 18, 2014 - 5:22pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thank you for getting back to us - if I helped you even in the tiniest of ways, that is wonderful.

Keep up with your great attitude and hard work and remember that we are here for you anytime. 



September 19, 2014 - 6:07am
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