Vulva irritation that WON'T GO AWAY! HELP!

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I'm at my wits end!

This all started in December a month after I had my FIRST yeast infection. I had a pretty bad reaction to Monistat 1 that caused swelling and burning. I went to gyno got a diflucan and was cleared up within a week. 

I was back to having sex (comfortably) and feeling good until December 1st when I got my period and used tampons. I always used tampons for as long as I can remember so when I got a weird itch and with my tampon I was a bit concerned. By mid-December I got some spotting due to holiday stress and again my tampon caused an itch and now a burn. Sex was also starting to give me the same reaction. During my period in January I had enough and made a gyno appt for mid february. I should have stopped using tampons all together but I was dumb. 

I actually started feeling back to my complete self the second week of January. No burning when sitting or with sex or anything. I was so happy but then a week later after a stressful night the feeling crept back. It was the strangest thing! Like my stress triggered the irritation to come back!

Anyway, during the few months I was having sex maybe once a week and it wasn't painful except for initial insertion. The pain was always at the bottom of my vulva and was sort of like a burning irritation.

By mid-February at my gyno appt i told her exactly where it was and she saw an irritation at the bottom of my vulva about the size of a pea. (I confirmed it with a hand mirror when I got home). She prescribed my estrogen to put on topically for a month and sent me on my way. 

I was on it for a month but still hadn't felt much of an improvement. The little spot is still there and it seems like the tissue is just refusing to fully heal. She said that particular area is very thin so it often gets irritated especially after I had a bad reaction to monistat and then used tampons three weeks later without letting it heal. Has anyone had this?

I am on birth control, my boyfriend and I are STD free, I was tested for BV, yeast and it's all negative. It's just this tiny patch of skin that refuses to be healthy tissue. I'm going back in a few weeks to see what else we can do. If I do touch it it feels similar to a sunburn or exposed skin and will be sore for hours after until I put some ointment on it. Also, what doesn't help is when I sit at work for 8 hours it seems to irritate it more. Pretty much impossible to avoid that though.

Anyone else have this issue and what did you do to get rid of it? It's been five months since this began. It wasn't that bad in December but by Februrary it was at its worst and maybe improved just a little bit since then. I've been avoiding ALL IRRITANTS! No tampons just pads, all cotton panties, airing it out when I can etc. HELP!

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Could it perhaps be Vulvadynia?  I have been suffering from this since November, lots of stinging pain, when sitting and walking.  I was diagnosed in February by a gynaecologist and she prescribed Nortryptyline tablets which helped to calm down the nerves in that area.  I am now on 40mg and all seems to be settling down no, the stinging pain has gone and I just get a bit of discomfort now and again.  I also started acupuncture which has really helped too.  To soothe that area I have been using coconut oil, after every loo visit as well as Dermot 500 at night.  To help with stress, which also made mine worse I have been doing a meditation CD every day and also some home yoga.

    I hope you get some relief soon.

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    • Posted

      Not sure how I would have irritated the nerves since it was all fine after my infection/allergic reaction. Don't think its possible that tampons could do that a month later. My gyno seems to believe its a skin irritation since it's red and sore. It's weird bc it gets wayyy better when I exercise or walk around/stand a lot but sitting down is what gets me. Especially since the irritation is right at the bottom where the skin splits. It makes me think that sitting is the reason it's not healing. At first I thought that nerve irritation might be it but I read it's more of an invisible condition and would be more of a steady burning/irritation feeling where mine varies. I will mention it to her though because at least that is treatable. Did you have a red irritation at all? It's weird bc even when I put ointment on it there's sort of like a different skin texture where the irritation is and where my normal skin is. if that makes sense.

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  • Posted

    Not sure how I would have irritated the nerves since it was all fine after my infection/allergic reaction. Don't think its possible that tampons could do that a month later. My gyno seems to believe its a skin irritation since it's red and sore. It's weird bc it gets wayyy better when I exercise or walk around/stand a lot but sitting down is what gets me. Especially since the irritation is right at the bottom where the skin splits. It makes me think that sitting is the reason it's not healing. At first I thought that nerve irritation might be it but I read it's more of an invisible condition and would be more of a steady burning/irritation feeling where mine varies. I will mention it to her though because at least that is treatable. Did you have a red irritation at all? It's weird bc even when I put ointment on it there's sort of like a different skin texture where the irritation is and where my normal skin is. if that makes sense.

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  • Posted

    Hi laj, sorry to hear about your troubles.  I haven't personally experienced any of your symptoms, however, a few thoughts have occurred to me while reading your description.  Firstly, that patch of skin that refuses to heal seems to be causing the problems?  Have you considered if may be infected, you could benefit from a course of antibiotics to encourage it to heal faster.  Also, I would advise you use a topical natural oil on the patch to see if that gives you any relief - I found cold-pressed olive oil (available in all supermarkets in the cooking aisle!) was a big help in relieving my pain before I got a complete cure by cutting all solanacea vegetables from my diet, it turns out I was allergic to them and that was the cause of my vulvadynia.  The olive oil is very well tolerated by most skin types and provides a soothing film over the damaged skin so that it is not so irritated.  That is also a good non-medicated lubricant to use just before intercourse; even the most gentle penetrative sex can cause some minor skin trauma and you want to avoid that is your skin is to heal. One other little thing I'd advise is to take a multivitamin a day.  That way you can be sure that your body is healthy enough to fight off any little infections despite maybe being on a diet or missing meals or stresses due to pressure of work, life, etc.

    I do hope you feel better soon.  I suffered from pain for seven years trying everything and with doctors having no idea before I finally found out I was allergic to solanacea vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, chilli, tobacco, capsicum, eggplants, goji berries) and I only healed up after cutting them out of my diet altogether.  But this does not seem to be the case you're suffering from, which goes to show that there are many varied causes in vulval pain.  

    Bests,

    Minamii

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  • Posted

    Hi laj, Minamii again!  My adult daughter was just reading this and she pointed out that although I have very dry skin, not everybody finds olive oil a help.  She said it could be your skin type may be helped by keeping it dry, rather than moisturised and in that case, a light dusting of corn-starch based talc could help, that is the powder they use on babies for nappy rash, for instance.  It provides protection against skin trauma from sitting and keeps the area dry.  Without knowing your skin type (dry, oily, normal or combination) it is again a matter of just trying everything and seeing what works.  

    Minamii

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  • Posted

    It could be vulvodynia. There is a stress component to vulvodynia and you said it got worse when you are stressed. Sitting for prolonged periods also aggravates vulvodynia. When I had vulvodynia my skin in the painful area was red and inflamed. Does it hurt after sex?
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    • Posted

      It doesn't really hurt after sex unless I'm sitting down after for hours. But if I go to bed after or I'm out and about it actually feels way better. How did you control your symptoms when you had it? and how did it go away?

       

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    • Posted

      I’m not sure it is vulvodynia - have you tried the cotton bud test? If you want to know how I, and other women, cured it you need to find my discussion titled “how I cured my vulvodynia”. I had some tiny splits on my perineum after my skin was left fragile from a prolonged yeast infection. The dr hpgave me trimovate cream and that healed and soothes them nicely. Trimovate has steroid in to reduce inflammation and anti bacterial and anti fungal agents in to combat infection.
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    • Posted

      Yeah it's the strangest thing. I'll touch the spot that looks irritated (it's right at the bottom of my vulva) and it won't hurt on contact but about five minutes later it gets a little sore. Very strange. Everywhere else is perfectly normal and no pain. I really thought it's just the skin not healing after I had the bad reaction to monistat but it's been so long since then and I've been trying my hardest to take care of it. Sex maybe twice a month and with lots of lubrication (brand recommended by my gyno so no irritation), cotton underwear, no tight clothes,100% cotton pads etc. The strange thing is after I exercise and even after sex I get relief, like the blood going there is helping a lot.  I will bring up the cream you were given to my gyno and see if that'll help. Thanks so much! I just want it better by summer sad 

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  • Posted

    I realize this forum was three months ago, but curious if you found a cure? I’m going through the same thing at the moment and am hoping to find something to help it. 
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    • Posted

      hey there, go to a good gyno and get checked out before you start digging into these forums bc I noticed it all got in my head and made me anxious. I was diagnosed with vulvodynia (the internet makes it sound scary but my doc assured me it isn't permanent, except in some more severe cases in much older people or people who were perhaps born with it or have nerve pain issues to begin with). She told me to get off my birth control for two months and then see her again for a follow up.  She said a lot of times birth control can actually prevent the area from healing properly. If it doesn't improve she'll put me on nerve pain meds. But so far I've been off my birth control for 4 weeks and I've had a HUGE improvement. The raw feeling is gone and now I have a slight burning that goes away pretty quickly when I get up and walk around. It's all about patience. It actually felt a little more painful the first two weeks after coming off birth control and then slowly the pain went away until I barely noticed it. She said it could take 2-3 months to fully heal so yeah be patient. If you're not on birth control then the medication seems to help a lot of people on here. Good luck and stay positive!

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