I struggle with a condition called Vulvar Vestibulitis. For years I couldn’t use tampons or have sex without substantial pain. I went to doctor after doctor and not one could tell me what was wrong. They prescribed creams, pills, gels, or told me that it was in my head and I just needed to relax. FINALLY after years of pain one doctor had the brilliant idea to send me to a specialist 3 hours away. I went through physical therapy and had to make some life style changes.
My vulva and vagina are in much better shape than when I started my treatment. But I still have my bad days (like today) when hormones take over and make my skin red, irritated, and painful. No sex for me. 😭
What really bothers me is that this condition is surprisingly common, but we know next to nothing about it. I’ve even had to educate some of my health care professionals about this condition. Why? Because apparently not enough people care about women being in pain enough to spend the money on research. If this happened to people with penises, I have a feeling we would have figured out how to fix it already.
If you or someone you know struggles with unexplained vaginal or vulvar pain, please encourage them to seek treatment with someone who will listen to their concerns without judgement, treat it like a very serious medical condition that needs immediate attention, and be able to point to resources or specialist if needed.
While I’m doing much better now, I still experience pain for at least a few days a month during hormonal surges. Occasionally I get really discouraged, depressed and/or angry at my body. It can make me feel very isolated. I feel like life played a sick joke on me, giving a huge interest in sexuality but unable to engage in it the way I really want to, and sometimes not at all. This pain is real, it’s not in my head. Please help me reach other vulva-havers who could benefit from the support of knowledgeable medical professionals or other people with vaginas who struggle with this condition.