I've been suffering with vulvodynia for almost a year and a half now. I know that doesn't seem like a long time compared to how long a lot of other women have had it but for a 20 year old it seems like a century.
It all started when my birth control, loestrin, discontinued. I was then put on the replacement contraceptive. I started having a localized a pain in the entry of my vagina. I at first didn't think much of it, hoping it would just go away. Along with having vaginal pain that started to grow from just a localized point into an awful pain contributing to some swelling. At this time my insurance decided not to accept my new birth control so I was switched to a generic birth control that was supposed to help with cramps (which was the whole reason I went on it in the first place). The new birth control I was on gave me horrible breast pain along with acne and weight gain and to top it off didn't even help with my cramps. This continued to happen with the next four birth controls I was then put on.
Now to elaborate on my vulvar pain. I have a localized pain that fluctuates between a pain I can pin point and a terrible burning sensation. Sometimes I have random swelling that comes and goes. Some days my pain is so bad I find it extremely uncomfortable to even wear underwear.
I have been to SEVERAL doctors and nurse practitioners. I first went to my general gynecologist. She thought at first that it was just a yeast infection and treated me with an antibiotic, when that didnt work I was put on a higher dosage. This not surprisingly didn't seem to be the answer. I was then thought to have a bacterial infection but the test came back negative. So she next thought that I had vaginosis but again it came back to be negative. My doctor had no idea what it was so she then sent me to one of the nurse practitioners hoping to get a second opinion to try to diagnose what I have. This nurse kept asking me over and over again about how many sexual partners I had and if any of them would have cheated and if there was any chance I would have an STD. I kept insisting that I do NOT have one, to just clarify here I have only slept with two people the first I dated for close to three years and the second boy I live with currently and hope to marry soon, did I mention that they were both VIRGINS and very loyal to me. Well with all that being said she tested me for a ton of different stds along with infections when all of that came back negative I was then sent to two other nurse practitioners. One of them tested me for literally everything she could possible test me for even cancer. (so I was tested numerous amounts of times for things I was already tested for giving me a 500$ bill). Finally I was sent to a vulvar pain specialist and that is who I am currently going to now. I have been given estrace (estrogen cream) which made me feel worse, a steroid cream and ointment this did no effect on me at all really. The one thing that has helped a little was the lidocaine I was prescribed, it numbed me for about an hour or two and I still didn't numb me enough for sex. I was also put on a mixture of lidocaine and gabbapentin (spelling?) but only burned and didnt really help that much with pain at all.
I have currently been swollen for two months now with no sign of it coming down at all with a burning sensation anytime something comes in contact with that area.
The worst thing about this whole situation is that my doctor, who is a vulvar pain specialist, believes there is no cure to vulvodynia. Everytime I come in she always states "there is no cure although there is a list of things we can try but ultimately you just need to find something to help with the pain and hopefully it will just go away" with my doctor telling me this information makes me feel like I have no hope for ever having a healthy sexual relationship let alone not having constant pain. I have decided to post this in hopes that someone would know what I am going through and give me some support in all this. I believe that this is related to my birth control and the hormone levels that it can permanently alter (I've done a lot of research). Also I just wanted to say thank you for making it through this all and taking the time to read this and give me some advice and support.
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