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The Dreaded VA

No, I am not talking about the Veteran’s Administration, though I could make a whole other post on my Dad’s experiences with their hospitals, but I am referring to Vaginal Atrophy.   Just saying the word atrophy makes me think about something old, shriveled up and ready to crumble at any minute.  Something a paleontologist would dig up from some ruins along with some dinosaur bones.    Here I am using that word with my vagina…. the birth canal that delivered my 2 babies…. the pleasure center for myself and my husband…. atrophied.   I shudder at that word.

I was referred by my PCP to a gynecologist for severe pain and swelling in that area of my body.  Never knowing if I had constant monthly yeast infections or lactobacilli infections….e coli…. I’ve had it all, but it keeps coming back month after month after month since May of this year.   So, I made the appointment to see him.

Vaginal atrophy.   “I can definitely see physical signs of perimenopause during your exam”   Well, finally, someone who will agree with me that I am in perimenopause.  With my PCP, my hormones were always “within acceptable range”   Now, the actual proof.  He said my vaginal walls were thinning out, it was dry in there (I call it the Sahara Desert) and I needed some help.

Vaginal atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to your body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body’s estrogen production declines.  For many women, vaginal atrophy makes intercourse painful — and if intercourse hurts, your interest in sex will naturally decrease. In addition, healthy genital function is closely connected with healthy urinary system function.  Symptoms associated with his include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Genital itching
  • Burning with urination
  • Urgency with urination
  • More urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Discomfort with intercourse
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

I was  prescribed a vaginal cream called Estrace.   Estrace is a vaginal estrogen cream. You insert this cream directly into your vagina with an applicator, usually at bedtime. Your doctor will let you know how much cream to use and how often to insert it. Typically women use it daily for one to three weeks and then one to three times a week thereafter. Although creams may offer faster relief than do other forms of vaginal estrogen, they can be messier.

So, I start my journey with estrogen cream.  I’ll document it on occasion for those who are interested in how it works for me.   Trust me, I’ve tried OTC Replens (see my article HERE on that fiasco)  Also, please feel free to comment on your experiences, too as well.

spicynutmeg

Oral blessings for him

I was so glad to happen upon an article called Oral Blessings as I was doing some online reading today.   This was a very helpful and useful article!  I know that oral sex is something that my husband really loves…. not only because it feels good, but he is a visual person, so he likes the view…..   I have to admit, even though I have contributed to blogs like this one and Christian Nymphos for over 5 years, I do still have hang ups over oral sex.  I found in this article, it hits on one of my biggest hang ups…. the gag reflex.

The article gives you some great information on how to start if you haven’t or if you have hang ups, how to get yourself into the mindset that it is a blessing for him, and a very giving thing to do for him.  It also has sections on other common hangups, such as the taste of semen, his hair down there, the other areas of the body that are closest to that area, and the owie factor (like jaw pain) .  I found it to be a very good read, and I am bookmarking it for future reference.

Who knows… maybe I should start practicing while he is in the room….  where are those popsicles.  Not only would it be erotic for him, but he will know that I am working on the issues that I have.   :)

What hang ups do you have?   How have you overcome them?  Are you willing to overcome them to bless him?

Candida, Lactobacillus and E-Coli, oh my.

Well, I thought I would throw this out there to y’all and see if you can help me!  (Yes, yes…haha)   Over the past month and a half, I have been on so much medication for the above mentioned things… first I thought I had a yeast infection.  When OTC stuff wasn’t working, I made an appointment to see my doctor (I was horribly sore, red and swollen)  She prescribed me  fluconazole (Diflucan) and sent my swab off for testing.  I also started eating more yogurt, thinking it would be helpful.  Actually, I ended up contributing more to the problem…..

It came back not for yeast, but for lactobacillus.   I had NO IDEA what that was at the time, but Google has become my friend…. good or bad.  Haha.  Evidently, I have an over abundance of lactobacillus, the bacteria that disinfects the vagina.  When there is too much, it is processed into lactic acid, hence the burning and pain I was experiencing.   Baking soda baths and baking soda douching as well.  Went back again after 10 days, and she did another swab.  While it was MUCH better than my original exam, it still showed larger than normal amounts of lactobacillus.   More Diflucan.   To this date, I have had more Diflucan than I care to count.  I also underwent a 7 day in a row regimen in order to get it under control…. then came the E-Coli.

So along with the Diflucan came Sulfa-meth.  I had her refill the prescription when I went on vacation.  I didn’t want to be far away from her and home before it happened again.  It didn’t, but when we came home, it came back.

She is probably going to send me to a urologist when I call her back.  Here is my question…. is there anything I can add to my diet to lower the lactobacillus in my digestive system?  I know of using it in yogurt to help with yeast, but evidently it has worked the wrong way.   Any suggestions?  I always wipe from front to back…. so the E-Coli caught me off guard.   I can feel it coming back again, so I want to be proactive so I don’t have to be medicated again.    It really messes with sex, too.  We go “long” times between intercourse when I have these episodes, and it seems to come back after sexual intercourse.  We haven’t changed lubes… I thought that might be the case, but we’ve used Swiss Navy for a long time.  He doesn’t use a different soap than usual….

If you have any suggestions, I am all open for them!