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I'm Tommi and I just discovered this site today. I'm a few months shy of 22 years old and am from California in the United States, if that makes any difference.
Last night I was very excited to have sex with my boyfriend after more than a week with no action on account of my period. I didn't have any problems really until after we were finished. We stopped because the condom broke and my vulva felt very hot and kind of burned. We were having pretty rough sex, so I didn't think much of it until my boyf said that my labia was very red. I look in the mirror and near fainted. I'm African American/Black, so seeing my normally brown right labia blood red was so scary! Both were also swollen to like 3x their normal size with a pea sized lump on the right one. I can be quite a worry wart, but this really terrified me. It was uncomfortable to walk and to sit because of the swelling. I haven't experienced any pain, but I'm still concerned about what this can turn into.
I just knew something wasn't right. I took to google and quickly found out about BC and I had all the symptoms of an uninfected cyst. After reading about so many women's unfortunate experiences I was so upset that I woke my mom up to talk to her. I told her I was very scared that something was wrong and when I described the symptoms her face softened. It turns out that she had a cyst and a couple of abscesses that had to be lanced when she was my age. She even said it was called a "Bartholin something" which made me feel so relieved because I knew I wasn't a crazy self dx-er. She assured me it was nothing to cry over and told me about taking sitz baths in epsom salt and massaging the cyst. I had taken a picture of the area earlier that I showed to her and she said it was so small that there's a good chance it will go away from taking the sitz baths and massage alone. That all made me feel much better. But I'm still concerned... I made an appointment with my GP because that's who could see me the soonest (my usual gyno gal is a nurse practitioner and her office said I need to see someone with an MD and the GYNs in their office didn't have an opening for another 8 days). I will be going to the appointment day after tomorrow! They take plenty of money out of my mother's checks for health insurance so I'm gunna use it goddammit!
Right now I'm concerned with prevention! I've already taken a sitz bath with epsom salt today and plan to take another one this evening. I've been drinking a lot of water and bought some comfy 100% cotton undies. I will be stocking up and getting rid of all my non-cotton ones. I've also been cleaning the area with witch hazel after I use the bathroom just in case. At this point I cannot see or feel the cyst. The swelling was pretty much completely gone when I woke up this morning. My bf says the right labia looks a teeny bit enlarged, but not noticibly. I've had some small bits of discomfort and strange feelings, but knowing myself that could easily be psychosomatic lol.
What else can/should I be doing to help prevent an infection? Is this going to be a lifelong ailment? I'm shying away from sex for a while, but what about oral sex? Anal? If my cyst isn't even visible anymore is that a good or bad sign? Does it matter that I'm seeing an internal medicine doctor as opposed to a GYN? Any tips or secrets anyone can share?
I'm so thankful for this website and group. Just seeing all of these posts makes me feel so much less alone and like a freak. Any trouble in the more intimate parts of your body can be distressing, so I'm just glad this group exists. I never knew this existed or could happen until it happened to me. This place makes me feel so much less lost. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for reading my long anxiety ridden ramble.
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