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vulvodynia: what exactly is it? Is it part physical part mental??? vulvodynia: what exactly is it? Is it part physical part mental???

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Unread 11-09-2005, 01:37 PM
vulvodynia: what exactly is it? Is it part physical part mental???

Now I wonder about vulvodynia. I seem to experience this burning stinging almost soreness down there after a vag. hyst. every time I have sex. I read up on it but now I'm wondering? I like everything about sex but afterwards when I get that burning. In a recent post I said that natural progesterone cream seem to help. I wish I could just take the cream when I plan on having sex for a day or two but that is difficult and ruins any spontaintity. I suppose you have to use the natural prog. cream everyday for a while to get the vag. healing I need.Dr. says I need vaginal healing but estrogen is not doing it. I'm still up in the air on this vulvodynia stuff. Maybe drs. don't know quite what to do with it or how to treat it.
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Unread 11-09-2005, 04:43 PM
vulvodynia: what exactly is it? Is it part physical part mental???

Dear Ann,

Vulvodynia is very much a physical condition. It is not mental. Another term often used for this is Lichens Sclerosis. Lichens Sclerosis results in very senstive and dry mucous membranes, particularly in the vaginal area. Most patients with this condition are unable to tolerate Premarin cream due to the ingredients. Lichen sclerosus is a skin disorder that affects the vulva. It may occur in any age group of women. The exact cause of lichens sclerosis is unknown. The condition resembles the appearance of lichens (mixture of fungi and algae) found in nature. It is not an infection that you caught from anyone, and you cannot transmit it to others. There have been reports of family members with lichen sclerosus, thus it may have a genetic link, although this is questionable. There is also the possibility that it has an autoimmune component.
It is characterized by small white patches that are thin and have a crinkled appearance, looking like cigarette paper at times. It may involve the entire vulvar area (from the clitoris to the anus). Often, swelling of the clitoral foreskin hides the clitoris. The labia minora almost completely disappears at times. Not uncommonly, splitting of the skin in the midline is seen. Tears may also develop in the natural folds of the vulva. The vaginal opening may become smaller, interfering with intercourse. Occasionally the tissue breaks down, forming an ulcerative lesion. It may be a chronic process which at times is not curable. The disease does not spread into the vagina. Itching is the primary symptom.
The goal of treatment is to eliminate itching and protect the skin from damage. Various medications are used to improve the skin condition. We commonly compound either estradiol, testosterone, or both in a Liqua-Gel base. We've found that this formulation helps to heal the skin and is more soothing than creams for this.

Unread 11-09-2005, 07:08 PM
vulvodynia: what exactly is it? Is it part physical part mental???

(((Ann))) Vulvodynia is the name for a family of conditions, ONE of which is lichen sclerosis. Here is a link to a site which explains all the types of vulvodynia and treatments for each... I must mention first though, there are very explicit photographs on the page which are VERY helpful in understanding what each condition is/looks like; however, it's not the sort of page you'd want to open, as I did, with, say, a 12 year old boy looking over your shoulder

What sorts of vaginal estrogen have you tried before? Premarin cream is the most effective vaginal estrogen product, and Estrace cream is also very good, but some women are very sensitive to a particular ingredient in their bases, called propylene glycol. Here's a link to a thread where that's mentioned:

You really do need to use some sort of estrogen product regularly to keep things healthy enough that you won't get that burning every time after sex. Once things are healed, I really like Vagifem for 'maintenance', because it is super easy to use, not messy at all and my insurance covers it. I use it last thing at night before I go to sleep, a few nights a week. Compounded estriol cream is also very good, and can be made in a hypoallergenic base, but it is not as 'strong' as something like Premarin cream so it takes more (translation: may be messy if you have to use a lot of it).

I hope this info helps, and that you are able to find something that solves the problem for you.


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