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Visit to doctor - embarrassing feminine issue

(41 Posts)
ShyGirlie Mon 03-Jun-13 19:32:09

Hi everyone,

Hope someone can help me out as I'm at the end of my tether here. Sorry for possibly too much info...

I have had an extremely sore undercarriage for about the last six months now. It extends from my vaginal opening to between my hips. It's a constantly itchy, burning pain and its really making me miserable - agonising to sit, stand or walk!
I have tried everything possible - canesten cream, sudocreme, savlon cream, germoline cream, natural yogurt, allowing it to be bare when possible. I only wash with water and wear cotton "big" pants.

I've had a look at it in mirror - the skin looks so red and almost raw.

I can't put up with it any longer so have booked visit to doctor for a couple of weeks time. REALLY dreading the thought of having someone look there. :-(

Was wondering what the etiquette for such visits are. Obviously I will ensure area is clean and hygienic beforehand, but do I need to shave / tidy up the area? I don't normally as I'm not very hairy! Paranoid now though, as it seems the whole world is smooth and bare!

Is it better to go to a male or female doctor?

Also, if my period comes (unreliable), should I cancel until it is over?

I am just soooooooo embarrassed (and sore), please help me before I chicken out altogether :-(

headlesslambrini Mon 03-Jun-13 19:37:38

TBH if it's that painful, then I would ask for an emergency appointment for tomorrow. Don't worry about what it 'looks' like down there, the doctor will have seen worse. If you prefer a female doctor then request one, I usually do for anything down there. I would cancel if you are on, as this might interfere with any swabs that they might want to take. The longer you leave it, the worse it might get. If it's an infection then the sooner you get antibiotics the sooner it will clear up.

1Teaandsomecake Mon 03-Jun-13 19:38:09

My advice FWIT would be to go to a walk in centre now and not wait to see GP in a couple of weeks. If you are that sore then you want some kind of medical attention now. Also this means that you don't have time to worry about it and maybe chicken out.

Also, remember that they have seen it all before and aren't really interested in you tidying up before hand.

Hope this helps

Yika Mon 03-Jun-13 19:45:02

You shouldn't have to cancel if you get your period. I go to gynaecologist once a year, I try to make sure it's all somewhat tidy but dont change any of my personal habits ie shave everything off.

My doc is male and very nice. It really makes no difference, it's only about how comfortable you feel.

Please don't feel embarrassed, it's their job!

I hope you feel better soon as it sounds very painful! I'm sure they will be able to clear it up quickly and you'll wonder why you didn't go sooner. smile

Dollybird86 Mon 03-Jun-13 19:53:30

Hi,
It sound similar to something I had a year ago it was a form of external thrush I was given antibiotics & told to stop wearing tights/jeans & underwear when possible for a while.I would go asap as the warmer weather will only make it worse hope it gets better soon.

ShyGirlie Mon 03-Jun-13 20:03:06

Thank u so much for being so nice, was nervous about posting! I really hope it's straightforward and can be cleared up quickly. Scared of being fobbed off by doctor.

I'd love to go to walk in emergency appointment, but my gp is about one hour from where i work so have to make a proper appointment unfortunately. Cannot take time off to go - holidays are allocated and non negotiable. So shall have to wait til the appointment unfortunately. Any coping strategies for while i wait?!

headlesslambrini Mon 03-Jun-13 20:31:13

google - walk in centres in the area in which you work. Ours are separate to the GP surgery. They are usually open longer, so you should be able to go straight before or after work, no appointment necessary.

I also think that you are legally entitled to time off for medical appointments.

SerBrienne Mon 03-Jun-13 20:38:39

Lichen sclerosis, I would bet. Good luck.

Fozziebearmum2b Mon 03-Jun-13 22:03:07

I've had something v similar. I asked for a female dr as much more comfortable than with a male-but just my preference. As others have said I wouldn't bother doing anything other than being clean. Mine turned out to be minor skin irritant-similar to excema caused by exceptionally long period. Sorry for tmi, but moisture had irritated the skin and it wouldn't go, got some hydro cortisone cream and went within a few days.

Don't worry they've seen it all before

Please don't worry they have seen it all before. It's a body part and there's a problem that needs treating that's all they will see it as. If there is anywhere or any way you can go sooner please do as it sounds horrendous. Is it possible it's an STI? I do not mean anything by asking I promise just they can lie dormant for months and if you haven't made connection as it was so long ago, and the fact they can affect fertility if left untreated, means it would be best to go ASAP. Please don't be offended xx

I'm sure you don't need telling but keep a set of towels just for you. Is there any time it's worse? Like when u use certain towels or tampons? Or detergent?

ShyGirlie Mon 10-Jun-13 20:35:15

Update - ŵent to doc today. Was nearly having palpitations with nerves but it went better (easier) than expected. She took some swabs and gave me a steroid cream which seems to be soothing it already. Not sure what the swabs are for. She didn't diagnose anything. Shall wait patiently for results. Thank u so much for your kindness and support everyone thanksbrew

Yika Mon 10-Jun-13 21:00:21

Glad to hear it and that it's getting better!

greeneyed Tue 11-Jun-13 12:49:38

Shy girlie, I had a strep infection there it sounds similar and was horrendous - was picked up on swabs and antibiotics cleared it with a few days, can' believe you have put up with this so long!

digerd Tue 11-Jun-13 13:08:56

You wouldn't get a diagnosis at time of swabs taken <in UK>. They will be microscoped etc and results given to you later.
Good that she gave you the steroid cream which helped.
Hoping it is something that will clear up rapidly - sounds awful for you .

greeneyed Tue 11-Jun-13 13:12:49

Yes I had to wait a few days for swab results -

scaevola Tue 11-Jun-13 13:13:32

One thing - do you use Always sanpro?

They added scented "actipearls" and there are many reports of mild to serious irritation in exactly the area you describe.

ShyGirlie Tue 11-Jun-13 19:15:40

Yes I do use Always! Just bought two double packs this afternoon so I'm stocked up for quite a while!! What should I try instead? I have always used Always (confusing!!)

FriedSprout Tue 11-Jun-13 19:20:38

Think they do still do one that is un-scented. I got dd some without scent the other month.

scaevola Tue 11-Jun-13 19:27:24

Bodyform are similar price and unscented. So are many supermarket own brands (often cheaper), and worth a look in a Poundland if you have one nearby, for Kotex.

inneedofrain Tue 11-Jun-13 19:30:05

I had a similar problem (in a hot country) doctor recommended I used maternity pads and I treated them the same way, in freezer with witch hazel they gave me some reliefe and helped everything to calm down down there!

I would certainly suggest trying maternity pads for flow etc. I know they can be bulky and less discret might be tricky depending on your job, but they shouldn´t irritate the area!

Hope you get feel better soon

Wearegoingtobedlehem Tue 11-Jun-13 19:37:36

I have just changed ( well 3 months ago) to get away from their nasty irritating scent.

scaevola Tue 11-Jun-13 19:51:03

ShyGirlie: you might like to read this thread about Always. The manufacturers are claiming it's not an irritant, but it doesn't seem that clear cut to many users.

Might be worth mentioning as a possibility to your GP? And if they sopprt it as the likely cause, raising with the manufacturer?

Sparklingbrook Tue 11-Jun-13 19:54:15

Shea Butter Andrex did this to me. there was a roll in the apartment on holiday. I thought it was posh. OMG the irritation.

Have you considered washable cotton sanpro? Not to everyone's taste but I find myself much cleaner feeling and less sweaty down ther than with always.
Always are plastic, and soooo superabsorbent that my bits seem to stick to the, I'm sure it's because they are trying to absorb tpeven the natural moisture in my skin! Also the inner is la sort of chemical crystal stuff like you find in pampers nappies. Really not good to have plastic wrapped chamicals near a sore and irritated fanjo.

If you don't fancy washables during the day, I second the suggestion of body form, or the really cheap towels from bargain shops - they are bulkier because they don't contain the expensive superabsorbent stuff - and maternity pads for at night.

I am sure some one will belong to recommend a moon cup in a minute....

Oh god poor you. I've always used Always never had a problem until few months ago! Now they're irritating me like mad!! I got a free trial sample of some disaposable moon cup things and they were fab have tempted me to buy a real one, I never ever would've even tried one if it hadn't been free!

ShyGirlie Fri 14-Jun-13 20:59:59

Swabs all came back satisfactory... What now?!? Must say steroid canesten has really helped, no trouble at all for now. But it says ur only allowed to use it for 7 days, so when I stop will the irritation come back??

Rally morphing into too much info now, but I never have any discharge at all, except for my period. Mentioned this to doctor, she seemed interested but didn't follow through on it. She said being overly dry maybe is causing the irritation through friction etc. I'm only in my 20s, is no discharge normal, or what can be done about it?

ShyGirlie Fri 14-Jun-13 21:04:03

Also, when she was using that thing that holds u "open" for swab (can't remember name of it!!!) she asked if I normally felt discomfort during penetration as I was quite "tight" for that thingy (what is it called?!?) I have no problem getting, ahem, lubricated, when aroused but would still feel discomfort during sex.

Is this ringing any bells with anyone?!? I feel like I'm totally abnormal or something! hmm

meditrina Fri 14-Jun-13 21:12:05

The word you are looking for is speculum.

It does sound as if this is some sort fo contact irritation. aside from Always, have you changed washing powder recently?

Could well be lichen sclerosus. Get a referral to a dermatologist with special interest in vulval stuff.

inneedofrain Fri 14-Jun-13 21:27:44

Shy girl

Ok a question what do you mean by discomfort?

Have you had a smear?

Ok next

Have you changed anything recently like laundry powder? I assume you are just using water to clean and nothing else
Your not using personal wipes or anything?
Not wear a different type make of tights?

Don't worry about being normal we are all normal it probably something real simple but it might take a little thinking to work out what

ShyGirlie Fri 14-Jun-13 21:58:46

Discomfort during sex - I just mean pain on penetration, as if I am too tight. I have bled a little in the past.
Daily discomfort - severe itching, like I could just tear my skin off.

Haven't changed washing powder or anything, don't use soap to wash down there.

How is lichen sclerosis diagnosed? It's just that the swabs all came back clear, although they were taken internally, whereas the problem seems to be external in my opinion.

Does taking the steroid cream for longer than 7 days cause any problems I wonder?

awaynboilyurheid Fri 14-Jun-13 22:01:20

Try Lactobacillus adopholis for encouraging healthy bacteria in your gut works well for health but also for thrush type symptoms can get it in most health food shops

I've been diagnosed by a dermatologist having a look. Some people have biopsies, but I haven't needed one.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 14-Jun-13 22:06:29

You need to get a referral to a vulval dermatologist or gynaecologist that specialises in skin issues. They will take skin samples.

tipp2chicago Fri 14-Jun-13 22:10:57

Cut down on sugar a bit if you can.

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 14-Jun-13 22:12:30

Using the steroid cream for longer than prescribed can cause problems with skin thinning, so best not to do that.

I suggest what others have said, keep cool with loose, cotton underwear, just wash with plain water - no soaps, shower gels etc, and ditch the Always pads.

If the discomfort returns, go back to the GP as may need referral/other treatment.

valiumredhead Fri 14-Jun-13 22:17:34

Just wanted to add that Always have irritated me too. I use a moon cup but have used pantie liners as am menopausal and felt I needed a bit of extra freshness. Oh dear God, the burning started almost immediately and realised it was the liners.

Hope you feel better soon. One more thing do you use bio washing detergent/softeners? If you do switch to non bio and cut out the softener. Ditto soaps/shower gels.

Also, you may need to reduce the AMOUNt of washing powder in your machine. Most people use far too much. In doing that, and doing extra rinses on clothes, my ds's eczema went away. If the skin is generally inflamed and irritated down there it will be sensitive to the slightest thing till its had a chance to recover.

By the way, I had a similar problem to yours in my early 20s. The itching was bad enough to wake me up at night. Can eaten cream would help for a while but it would all flare up again if I stopped the cream. Swabs for thrush came back negative and they were done twice. Doctor said there wasnt really excessive discharge like you would expect in thrush too so she really thought it couldn't be that. the end, I used a combination of canes ten combi , so cream externally and pessary. PLUS I took Diflucan orally at the same time. Took multivitamin, lowered my sugar and alcohol intake, got loads of sleep, rinsed knickers loads by hand to make sure all washing powder was gone, got partner to use canesten cream on himself etc, and doing all that at once finally cleared it for good. It must have been thrush, despite the negative swabs, I am convinced.

That shoudk read "canesten" ha ha!

ShyGirlie Sat 15-Jun-13 01:43:59

Aww thank u so much ladies for all of your advice, I'm certainly going to take it all on board, anything to ease this problem.

This is why I love mumsnet, I really did feel so down and isolated by the whole thing, unable to talk to absolutely anyone in real life about it. I was scared in case I would get flamed on here, but u really have all been lovely! thanks

How's it going, OP? Any improvement?

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