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I'm writing because I have some symptoms that don't seem to come up on here so I'm not sure if they are uncommon LS symptoms or something else. I'd like to do some research but am not sure where to turn. I believe self education is important but there is that balance between exhaustive reading of everything and walking away from the research to try have some time where this disorder isn't consuming all my time and energy, because as you know, we aren't supposed to get stressed out. I want to put this out to this amazing group to see if you can send me in a direction to help narrow down my research instead of spending hours trying to sort through everything out there. The doctors only have what I tell the to go on and what they see and I'm getting some answers that are inconclusive. To be fair I am early in my treatment and have another referral to see in about a month so we simply may not be there.
I am recently diagnosed and now am quite sure that I have had this all my adult life. I thought I was well educated on sexual health matters, which is why I was surprised (and angry) at this diagnosis this late. Generally it showed up as splitting in my 20's to which I was told "don't have such active sex" and then would go away for years at a time. When I started perimenopause in full force (47-50) is when symptoms started. I had itching and a tingling in my vulva. I get oral cold sores and the tingling I feel on my vulva is similar to tingling that signals a cold sore is on its way. Generally the itching wasn't terrible, instead annoying. I had an irritation (tingling) focused on my clitoris which made me feel like I was permanently aroused. Diagnosis: "it's hormones" and "you've left a sexless partnership you are simply rediscovering sex". (A lot of truth to the latter!) I had a few years of high sexual activity while things were atrophying. I'm now postmenopausal at 51.
My labia minora were always small and now are non existent. I believe my clitoris is disappearing. Not being covered over, simply shrinking. Atrophying. Where other LS patients have skin growth that closes over their vaginal opening I cannot see how that would happen to me. My labia majora seem to be receding. I have recently been given estrogen which may restore some plump and perhaps this receding I see is simply 'deflated' labia. I'm not too worked up about this. What is there, is what I've got.
Since starting the steroid creme, my skin is returning to normal appearance. I had finally calmed my mind down from my initial reaction and worry that my clitoris would melt away overnight. Then last weekend, I attempted to have intercourse which flared everything up. For the first time I had plaques. It was terrible burning, papercut like splits on my clitoris. I believe it's calming down so quickly because of the information I've learned and implemented from this forum. Thank-you all!
The other issue I have is a strange feeling in my pelvis. It's not cramping, but rather like an irritation. From what I know of lichens sclerosus this makes no sense (but I don't know everything!) I have gotten it in my mind that it is the irritation that I feel on my vulva when things are active, simply inside my pelvis. I have recently had a pelvic ultrasound which I believe was normal. I've since fired the doctor who sent me there (for many reasons but not the ultrasound) and my new doc is getting the results so hopefully soon I will know something.
I also have self diagnosed lichens planus inside my mouth. I'm attempting to get a diagnosis on this.
So my questions to you are:
- atrophy. Is this something that is separate from lichens slcerosus or something that just not a lot of people get? Treatment tips specific to atrophy?
- the pelvic tingling. Anyone else have this? Thoughts on what to research?
And thanks again for all your contributions and the things I've picked up from you.
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