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in which I insist that I am not a sexual deviant, honest

27 Sep

Okay, okay, I have not been a faithful blog-writer. I know. But I have been a very faithful physio-doer. If that is a thing. And if it is a thing then it describes me perfectly because I have been kicking this physio’s ass. Well, I’ve been kicking it’s ass 6 days a week when I do 30-40 minutes of daily exercises. It’s been kicking MY ass 1 day a week when I go in for my treatments. Because ouch. Let’s just say there is a whole lot of manhandling of things I did not think would ever be manhandled in such a way.

And the physiotherapist always tells me to pay attention and see if my vagina hurts afterward, but it never does. It always feels perfectly fine. My inner hips on the other hand? Super sore and achy, sometimes for DAYS. She releases them by applying (what feels like) large amounts of pressure on the muscles and apparently they don’t like that. I think I’m making progress though. I didn’t realize that my whole life I had had so much tension in my whole pelvic region. Now that I am learning to relax this area, I can really notice the difference between my tight moments and my relaxed moments. My medium-sized dilator is getting a bit small, I think, since it is really not providing much stretch, so it might be time to go back to the sparkly silver one (which is slightly larger). I think my internal muscles are loosening up quite a bit. At my last appointment she gave me a serious internal vag massage (seriously. never. thought. i. would. say. that.) and upped the ante to a 2-finger stroke. That was new. Anyway, I know this all sounds horribly weird and awkward but my physiotherapist is really great and somehow I don’t even think most of the time how totally bizarre it is that I am paying some woman enormous amounts of money to massage my genitals once a week.

Okay, let’s not talk about it anymore. I’m feeling like a weirdo.

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So, I’m not pregnant.

15 Aug

Back to the gyno today.  Got some answers.  And some new questions.

As far as the vestibulitis goes, doc didn’t have much to say.  Basically she thinks the lidocaine and dilation is working, I should keep doing it, blah blah blah.  Okay, thanks for making me wait 4.5 months to hear THAT.  The gist of it is that she doesn’t have any ideas to further my progress other than to keep doing what I’m doing.  She gave me a referral to a physiotherapist who might be able to help with some stretching and muscle exercises.  Unfortunately, I have only the teeniest tiniest health coverage right now, and no money for physio treatments.  So.  That sucks.

I’m going to do some research and figure out exactly what (if anything) will be covered by my health plan.  I’m not holding out too much hope, but you never know, right?  Spouse and I have decided to book at least an initial appointment, and see what the physiotherapist says.  After that we can gauge whether it will be helpful and whether we can somehow make it work financially.  It’s hard for me to see how that would be possible, but miracles happen.  In the mean time… I don’t know.  Things have been better in the sense that we have been able to ACTUALLY DO THE SEX THING once in a while, but “sexy” it is not.  At least not for me.  Because all those orgasmic moans are actually just coping mechanisms to increase my pain tolerance.  Hot, right?

As far as PCOS goes, I got my test results, a new prescription, etc., etc., but THAT’s a post in itself!

 

Keep on rocking your sexual dysfunction, honeys.

lidocaine 101

5 Jun

In response to a question from Emily in the comments, I am going to sum up my vulvar vestibulitis treatment program from my diagnosis at the end of 2010 to now.  Here it is:

Step One:

I started treating with lidocaine as soon as I was diagnosed, on the recommendation of my gynaecologist.   The type of lidocaine I use is Xylocaine 2% jelly, and it comes in a little tube from the pharmacist (no prescription needed, but they keep it behind the counter) for about 15 bucks.  I find I go through a tube about every month or three weeks.  For the first three months after my diagnosis, I applied lidocaine twice daily.  In the morning after showering, I used a dime-sized glob on my finger and tried to press it into the vestibule area.  This was difficult at first, and I really didn’t know if I was doing it correctly.  I would try to press the area with my finger and stretch it out for a few seconds.  I have heard of some people leaving the lidocaine on for half an hour and then washing it off, but my GYN didn’t suggest that, so I just apply it and leave it on for the day.  At night before bed (and AFTER using the toilet!!!) I squeezed another dime-sized blob of lidocaine onto a cotton ball and inserted the cotton ball halfway into my vagina.  This stays in all night.  After three months of this morning/night application, I went back for a check up and my doctor found that my sensitivity had DRASTICALLY decreased.  In my initial appointment, she had gently poked the vestibule with a Q-tip and I gasped in pain, but after three months of lidocaine treatment, I felt only a dull discomfort.  I should also mention that during this time I did not attempt intercourse AT ALL and only had finger penetration a few times (with varying degrees of discomfort).

Step Two:

After the initial success of the lidocaine, my doctor decided it was time for me to start dilation.  I continued with the morning/night lidocaine routine, and added in ten minutes of dilation per day.  The dilator was purchased from the gynaecology practice for $15, and is about an inch in diameter.  To dilate, I applied a larger amount of lidocaine to my vaginal opening, waited ten or fifteen minutes for it to ‘kick in’ and then inserted the dilator (with lubricant).  At first, this was a little painful, but my body adjusted to it fairly quickly and I was able to practice moving it in and out of my vagina or moving it subtly from side to side to stretch things out a bit more.  At this point, I was feeling very motivated and I decided to try to dilate twice a day.  After a few weeks of this, the discomfort was gone, and I decided I needed something larger to dilate with.  My gynaecologist had told me that the ‘next step’ would be to use something “penis-sized.”  The difference between my partner’s size and the dilator was pretty substantial, though, so that wasn’t really going to work for me.

Step Three:

I tried penetration with my partner, and we were only able to get his penis in a couple of inches before it was too painful, so I knew I needed to dilate more.  My GYN had recommended going to a sex shop and buying a dildo, so we went out and picked something that seemed to be in between the size of my first dilator and my husband’s penis.  I have been dilating with this for a little while now, using the same technique as before, but I have to admit that it is much more painful than the first dilator had been.  I have been able to insert it fairly comfortably if I stimulate my clitoris at the same time, but I have to go very slowly in order to avoid pain.  I will admit that since this is more painful and requires more ‘work’ than the first dilator I have not been as faithful in doing it every day, but writing the post is making me realize I need to maintain my treatment schedule to see results!  I have also been able to have limited success with actually having intercourse or at least getting my husband’s penis fully inside me.  So far, I have approached intercourse by applying a generous quantity of lidocaine, then using the dilator for a few minutes to prepare my body for penetration.  I will masturbate to the point of orgasm, and then remove the dilator and attempt intercourse.  It is painful still.  I can feel three types of discomfort: the feeling of stretching that is aided by dilation; the pain of pressure on the vestibule as my husband moves in and out; and a fairly intense pain that seems to be in the cervix area and only happens when he is thrusting in more deeply.  I am hoping that by continuing with the lidocaine and dilation, I will soon not only be able to have reduced pain, but will also be able to move more freely and use different positions that will also help eliminate discomfort.

And now my question to you, my lovely ladies: What positions or techniques have worked for you in reducing your pain during intercourse?  I need your suggestions to try to make this work.  Please don’t be shy in providing more graphic details – you can always comment anonymously.  It is very helpful to know the specific mechanics of these things, as I find even a very slight shift of position can make the difference between something being reasonably comfortable or incredibly painful.

and no, I will not use the term “doggie style”

25 May

So, there was all kinds of build-up to our anniversary a while back because we were finally able to have some kind of penile penetration happening and I was really crossing my fingers for an actual ‘wedding night’ experience.  Or something.  And when that didn’t happen (due to pain, not due to lack of trying!) something inside me sortof shut down.  I was all sexed-out, I guess, and I had absolutely no energy or desire for intimacy.  I forced myself to buy and try my new dilator, but it hurt and I was sick of it.  Something obviously had to change, since my sex life was non-existent and my attempts at dilation were not getting me anywhere.  I decided that I would try masturbating with the dilator in to loosen up my vagina.  I’m not really into masturbation on principle (that’s another post altogether), but this is business.  The dilator causes some definite discomfort going in, but I find if I keep stimulating my clitoris while it is inside, the pain lessens and I can actually have a fairly powerful orgasm.  So that was all well and good (though I have to admit I find it pretty embarrassing to be masturbating alone, spread-eagled, with a sparkly silver object sticking out of my vagina… especially when my dear husband pokes his head in the door to see how things are going or to dig around for a fresh pair of socks), but I hadn’t had much luck actually moving the dilator once it was inside.  Even with a ton of lube, the motion was quite painful and I didn’t feel like I was making progess.

Fast forward a few days, and I’m FINALLY feeling like I might be ‘in the mood,’ so I figure, what the heck – let’s give intercourse a try.  You never know, right?  So I lathered on the lidocaine and lube, but alas, no luck.  Now, I should mention that in the past we have tried a few different positions for penetration, and have had the most success with him-on-top, with a pillow supporting my pelvis.  So we tried that out, and my awesome vulva was having none of it.  I was going to give up, but my partner suggested entering me from behind, us both on our knees.  Um, WHA?  WE CAN’T EVEN DO IT THE ‘REGULAR’ WAY.  Are you insane?  Do you want me to break?  A few deep sighs later, I agree to give it a shot and… it kindof worked.  I mean, it hurt.  It hurt to the point that I couldn’t last long enough for him to reach orgasm.  But there was definite (if gentle) thrusting motion going on.  And it lasted in the minutes, not the seconds.  The only way that I could keep from being totally distracted by the pain was to continue stimulating my clitoris with one hand; if I stopped for even a few seconds, the pain would start to take over.  We didn’t come.  I don’t know if it really counts as “real” intercourse.  But it was the closest we’ve ever gotten.  Who would have guessed that I’d lose my virginity from behind?

my sparkly silver dilator

14 May

The original dilator that I got from my GYN is not providing enough of a stretch these days, so I’ve moved up in the world.  As of yesterday, I am dilating with a ridiculous sparkly silver vibrator.  I have never owned a dildo or vibrator of any kind, and I can’t say that these are the circumstances under which I envisioned making my first purchase.  I am not too excited about this item, and once it has served its purpose, it will be going in the trash.  I thought it might be helpful, however, to provide my selection criteria for anyone in the market for a vibrator for the purposes of dilation.

Considerations:

1) Size – Obviously.  I went for something that seemed to be right in between the medium-sized dilator I already own and my partner’s size. So far it is really uncomfortable to insert, and can only go in a few inches.  I figure that in a week or two it should start to improve.

2) Price – I wanted something cheap.  I am considering this a disposable item, not a long-term investment.  If all goes well, this dilator will be useless to me very soon, as I will be having lots of hot sex with my husband.  Yup.  This particular item was only $19.99, which doesn’t give me much confidence in its vibrations, but it is reasonable to pay for a dilator.

3) Shape – I chose this vibrator because of its tapered end.  I figured that would make penetration easier.

The one major downside of this vibe is the texture.  It has kindof an odd grainy surface, somewhat like brushed metal.  It’s not super rough, but I would prefer having something totally smooth.  However, I’m not planning on using this item for pleasure – the main thing that matters is its girth so that my body can adjust to something that size.  I am obviously using lube with it, but if I find the texture still irritates my skin, I can always use it with a condom.  In the future, I plan on owning a velvety-smooth Lelo vibrator, but am holding off on that purchase as a reward for achieving comfortable intercourse!

It’s Easter and I’m getting better.

24 Apr

I honestly can’t believe how much I have healed over the past year.

When we got married, just about a year ago, I felt what a lot of people in pelvic pain circles have described as “the wall.”  Every time we tried to have intercourse, the pain was so sharp and quick.  My partner literally could not get inside me at all, and I felt as though my vagina was totally shut up, shut off, shut down.  I didn’t understand what was wrong with my body.  I thought I must have been deformed.  I must have cancer.  I must have a disease.  I googled like a crazy person.  I read the terrifying anecdotes and became frustrated at the pile of websites talking about “unconsummated marriages” and all the forums saying that my body must be doing this because of a traumatic sexual history (which I don’t have) or because I was not emotionally ready for sex (um, hello???  I was a horny newlywed.  I waited YEARS to be able to have sex with my husband and I felt ready in every which way).

And now, after a diagnosis, four months of lidocaine treatment and one month of dilation…

If I am aroused, I can easily insert three fingers into my vagina.  My partner can (gently) put his penis inside me.  It hurts, a little.  But it’s bearable.  We can’t do much in terms of movement.  It’s not comfortable.  It’s not anywhere near being free enough to give either of us pleasure (and not being on birth control pills means condoms are part of the picture – boo).  But compared to where we were a year ago – confused, in pain, unable to even really attempt penetration – this feels like a miracle.  A few days ago, my husband was able to put his penis about halfway inside my body and I was so happy I cried.  Last night, he was all the way in.  I don’t know when the spontaneous, orgasmic, really-feels-like-sex stuff starts, but I’m starting to think it could really happen.

It’s strange.  It’s like I’m losing my virginity in slow motion.

Happy anniversary to me.

Nothing says, “I love you” like an artificial penis.

31 Mar

Yes, I’ve been MIA the past while.  Things in my regular life have been busy and things in my vestibulitis/PCOS life have been uneventful up until very recently.  No news, no posts.  But now I am chock full of updates, so I will be gradually posting on each new turn of events.

So let’s talk about sex.  I went to the gyno the other day and got me a shiny new dilator.  Well, it’s not shiny.  But it is silky smooth and it looks like a candle.  Which is a little weird.  Anyway.  I think it has a 1-inch diameter or so…  I’d call it a “medium.”  bigger than a finger and smaller than a dick.  Or whatever.  I shouldn’t say “dick” though, right?  Because it’s sexist?  Okay.  Penis, it’s smaller than a penis.  I’m supposed to use it once a day, but I am upping the ante and going for 2x daily when I get the chance.  I figure as long as I’m not hurting myself, I may as well use it with both my lidocaine applications.  So basically I lube up with some lidocaine, wait ten minutes, then insert the dilator.  It feels worst getting through the opening, and after that it is anywhere from a little uncomfortable to actually slightly pleasant.  Sometimes I am able to move it around once it is inside, and other times that is painful so I don’t.

I am hoping that doubling up on the dilator practice will help speed things along.  I’m aiming for intercourse by our anniversary.  Once this medium-sized-candle-penis feels totally comfortable, the doc says I can move up to something “penis-sized.”  This seems like quite a jump to me, but maybe she and I have different understandings of how big “penis-sized” actually is.  Anyway.  I can either upgrade to the next dilator size at the clinic, or hit up a sex shop and buy a dildo.  If we don’t make it to intercourse in time, I guess I can always ask for the dildo as an anniversary present.  That’s hot, right?